Did you know that 45% of the energy consumed in the UK is used to heat buildings*?
With the majority of heating still coming from natural gas, that makes it one of the country’s biggest sources of carbon emissions. And the same goes for the average home with a gas boiler, where heating adds up to a third of your household carbon footprint.
With many of us staying at home more than in previous years, here are some ideas for making your home warmer and greener this winter.
1- Keep the heat in
A large proportion of homes in the UK are old and draughty, with plenty of ways for heat to escape. On average, around a quarter will seep out through the roof and a third through walls and gaps around doors and windows.
Insulation and draught proofing is essential for making sure heat generated doesn’t go to waste. From thermal wallpaper and curtains to draught excluders for gaps under doors, there are plenty of lower cost and DIY options for making your home cosier.
If you’re not sure where to start, think about getting an energy performance assessment. Go to Energy Saving Trust for independent advice and more tips for making your home energy efficient.
The Green Homes Grant Scheme
For more extensive (and expensive) home improvements, get financial support by applying for the government’s new Green Homes Grant scheme.
The Green Homes Grant provides households with up to £10,000 towards the cost of energy efficiency measures, such as loft or cavity wall insulation. If eligible, you’ll receive a voucher that must be redeemed by 31 March 2021.
2- Invest in renewable heating
Something else that you can put the Green Homes Grant towards is a heat pump. This low carbon heating technology draws natural, renewable heat from either the air or ground, which can then be used for heating and hot water. You may also be able to sign up to the Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive, which means you’ll receive quarterly payments as a reward for using green, renewable heating.
Heat pumps are highly efficient, producing more heat energy per kwh than the electricity it takes to power them. Paired with good home insulation, they’re a crucial technology for supporting UK homes on the journey to zero carbon emissions.
To help, we recently announced that we’ll be offering the UK’s first Heat Pump Tariff, which means all the power it takes to run your heat pump will be matched to 100% renewable electricity.
Our new Green Heat tariff provides cheaper unit rates and no standing charge from October to March, reducing the cost of running a heat pump during the months when you need it most. Paired with the Green Homes Grant, it’s designed to make it more affordable to invest in clean, green heating technology. Find out more and get a quote here.
3- Thermostat down, layer up
Familiar advice but worth repeating, wear some warm layers rather than expecting the heating to do all the hard work.
The recommended indoor temperature range is 18-21ºC, depending on your health and age. If you’re a healthy adult then keeping the thermostat at the lower end of the scale will help you use less energy.
If you’re working from home, sitting at a desk for hours is a recipe for getting cold, even with an extra layer or two. Do your circulation (and back) a favour and set regular reminders to walk around and stretch to warm up.
4- Look after your boiler
Even with a drive to transition to low carbon heating, gas boilers will still be around for some time yet. So the less gas we use to keep our homes warm, the better (even if it’s green gas, like ours).
One way to reduce what you use is to make sure your boiler is working as efficiently as possible with an annual boiler service.
We’ve partnered with boiler and home cover company Hometree to make this simple for our customers. Take a look at our recent blog to read more about why we’ve partnered with Hometree.
Good Energy receives a small commission when our customers sign up with Hometree.
*The Energy Saving Trust, referencing a 2019 report from Policy Connect entitled Uncomfortable Home Truths: why Britain Urgently Needs a Low Carbon Heat Strategy.