Whether your keen on saving money or saving the environment, insulating your home is a great place to start. With rising fuel costs, a well insulated home is vital to make your home comfortable and affordable.
Cavity wall and attic insulation is relatively inexpensive and will normally pay for itself in a 1-3 year period. Therefore homeowners should act now and start saving immediately.
According to Sustainable Energy Ireland, the gap between an energy efficient home and an inefficient one can be enormous.
It estimates that the cost of energy used in a B1 rated, 110 square metre semi-detached home would be about €725 (based on average domestic oil and gas prices in October 2008).
This rises to €1,175 in a C1 rated home and soars to €2,280 in an E1 rated, which would be typical of many second hand built homes built before 1980.
Energy Saving Tips
Upgrading loft and, where possible, cavity insulation, will save energy in your home by reducing heat loss through the building fabric.
Turning the heating thermostat down to 20°C can cut as much as 10% off your heating bills. Heating in hallways and bedrooms are comfortable at 15-18°C. You can also save on running costs by heating your home for an hour less each day.
Thermostats for hot water for bathing and washing are often set too high. Setting the temperature at 60°C/140°F is sufficient and this will save you money. It is also important not to leave the hot water running unnecessarily.
Pull the curtains to stop heat being lost through the windows. Be careful not to drape curtains over radiators as this will direct heat straight toward the windows and some heat will be lost unnecessarily.
Energy saving light bulbs use around one quarter of the electricity that an ordinary bulb will use and lasts 12 times longer. Each energy efficient bulb could save you up to €10.50.
All appliances with heating elements such as kettles use enormous amounts of electricity. Heating the correct amount of water needed instead of filling the kettle every time will help to cut down the electricity bill.
Televisions, computers and home appliances
Switch off your appliances at the set. Standby can use as much as 10%-60% of the electricity that would be used by the device if it was switched on. Also don't forget to turn your computer monitor off, as it too wastes electricity if left on.
When purchasing kitchen appliances such as fridges, freezers, dishwashers and washing machines, opt for a more energy efficient appliance. An EU Energy Label should be displayed (A to G Scale) on appliances for sale in order to help you make a choice, "A" being the most efficient and "G" being the worst guzzler for energy.
Switching Energy Supplier
In the current rising trend of energy prices it could well be worth shopping around to save money on your energy bills, further discounts are available if you switch both gas & electricity to the same supplier. It is a simple process and there is no disruption to your existing energy supply.