Energy efficiency starts at home
There's lots of changes you can make around your home to help you save energy, reduce your bills and cut down on your carbon emissions.
Over half of Isle of Man residents are very concerned about the financial cost of home energy ,with 76% already taking steps to reduce minimise their energy usage
Island Global Research June 2023
Whether you're a homeowner, a private or social housing renter - below you will find helpful case studies, easy measures to take at home plus funding and support for your home to become more energy efficient and to lower your bills.
You'll also find advice here for switching to a low carbon heating system which can not only provide big emissions reductions but are a lot more energy efficient, providing good financial savings. As we work toward net zero these systems will become commonplace as we decarbonise how we heat our homes. New builds from 2025 will be fitted with low carbon heating systems.
A quarter of your heat can be lostthrough your roof
ISLAND CASE STUDIES
We hear from fellow residents Vicki and Sylvia on measures they took in their homes to make them more energy efficient.
SAVE ENERGY AND MONEY IN YOUR HOME
- Switching the lights off when you leave a room could save £25 a year on your electricity bill.
- Replacing your lightbulbs with LEDs you could save between £35 and £150 a year on your bills. LED lighting is 80% more efficient and can last 30 times longer than traditional halogen light bulbs.
- Drawing your curtains and blinds at dusk can reduce heat loss from your home up to 17%.
- Only boiling as much water as you need in your kettle will save you around £43 a year.
- Swapping one bath for a shower and trying to keep it to 4 minutes long will reduce your water usage and save you around £70 a year on your energy bills.
- Adjusting your radiator valves in less-used rooms to 3°C will save you around £135 a year on gas.
- Reducing your boiler flow temperature from 75°C to 55°C could save you around £55 a year on gas.
- Reducing your heating use by 5 hours per week will save you £16 on your gas bill.
- Installing a smart thermostat could reduce your household bills by £64.
- Switching your appliances off at the plug instead of leaving them on standby will save around £35 a year on your bills.
- Wash your clothes at 30°C and save over a third on your electricity bill.
- Using your washing machine, tumble dryer or dishwasher when they're full will save around 14% of the energy you use.
- Invest in new home appliances with high energy ratings (most ratings go up to A+++) and don't buy larger than needed.
For more energy saving tips visit:
Did you know?
- Turning down your thermostat from 20°C to 18°C is an effective measure households can take. This small change can reduce your gas bill by 25%.
- Around half of the Island’s households can save up to 8% of their gas use, around £16 per year, by reducing the flow temperature of their combi boiler to 60°C or lower.
- Even without changing the thermostat, lowering the settings on radiator valves can save over 5% on an annual bill.
Upgrading your heating controls to smart heating control systems can give you more control over where and when you heat your home.
Tip: by only heating the rooms you need to when you are in the house you can save money on your energy bills.
Check if you are eligible and order a free smart heating control through the Energy Efficiency Scheme.
For more advice and information of heating controls visit:
Low carbon Heating
Read more below on decarbonising your home heating and the low carbon heating systems available.
Draught-proof your home
Draught-proofing is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to save energy and money, in any building. It can reduce gas demand by around 5-8% in a typical home.
Controlled ventilation helps reduce condensation and damp, by letting fresh air in when needed. However, draughts are uncontrolled: they let in too much cold air and waste too much heat.
Block up unwanted gaps that let cold air in and warm air out. Effectively draught-proofing your letterbox, windows and doors could save you around £60 on your energy bills in a year.
For more information on Draught-proofing visit:
Easy to install, window film is an affordable choice for keeping the heat in your home and could save you £43 a year on your energy bills.
If you’re looking to make a more permanent change, there are many benefits to replacing windows, such as lowering energy costs, reducing heat loss and increased peace and quiet. Replacement windows may be more air tight than the original frames.
Tip: Look for replacement windows with trickle vents built into the frame so that you can easily control ventilation.
Energy efficient solutions for windows includes:
- Double glazing
- Triple glazing
- Secondary glazing
You could be eligible for grant support to replace draughty windows following a Home Audit through the Green Living Grant Scheme.
For more information on windows visit:
Rugs & curtains
Rugs and curtains look great however, they’re also exceptionally useful for adding warmth and comfort to your home, especially if you’ve got draughty windows or gaps in floorboards.
Did you know?
- Drawing your blinds and curtains at dusk can reduce heat loss from your home up to 17%.
Choose thick or lined curtains, but make sure not to block your radiators with the curtains otherwise the heat won’t get into your room. A new pair of curtains doesn’t have to be expensive, there are lots of second-hand options available that will keep costs down – this is a more environmentally friendly choice too! Ideally, the curtains should stop between the edge of the windowsill and above the radiators.
There are many effective ways to insulate your home, which can significantly reduce heat loss, save energy and lower your heating bills.
Did you know?
- Adding and insulation jacket to your hot water tank will keep the water warmer for longer, and save your household £70 a year on energy bills. You can buy these jackets from DIY stores and fit them yourself.
Floor insulation is a great way to keep your home warm and toasty throughout the winter months. Generally speaking, you only need to insulate the ground floor. If you’re on an upper floor, you don’t typically need to insulate your floor space.
Tip: Consider insulating any floors that are above unheated spaces such as garages, as you could be losing a lot of heat through those.
Before you start, make sure you check what type of floor you’re insulating. Many homes – especially newer ones – will have a ground floor made of solid concrete. This can be insulated when it needs to be replaced, or can have rigid insulation laid on top.
Older homes are most likely to have suspended timber floors. If you have air bricks or ventilation bricks on the outside wall(s) of your house that are below floor level, you probably have a suspended timber floor.
For more information on insulating your floors visit:
25% of heat is lost through the roof in an uninsulated home. Insulating your loft, attic or flat roof is an effective way to reduce heat loss and reduce your heating bills.
Installed correctly, loft insulation remains effective for 40 years and could save you £54 to £590 a year on your energy bills.
If your loft is easy to access and has no damp or condensation problems, it should be easy to insulate – and in many cases, it is possible to do it yourself.
If access is easy and your loft joists are regular, you can use rolls of mineral wool insulation. The first layer is laid between the joists – the horizontal beams that make up the floor of the loft – then another layer is laid at right angles to cover the joists and make the insulation up to the required depth.
The recommended depth of insulation is 270mm/11 inches.
For more information of loft insulation visit:
Walls that have not been insulated can lose anywhere between 30% and 45% of the heat in your home? By insulating your walls, you could reduce the heat escaping from your home and save money on your energy bills.
Wall insulation can be installed by yourself or a professional however, before you start to install, make sure you check what type of walls your dealing with.
Cavity wall insulation
Cavity walls are made of two walls with a gap in the middle. Usually, one wall is made from brick and the other of concrete. The gap between the two walls means that air runs through, lowering the temperature of your home and making it more difficult to heat.
For more information of cavity wall insulation visit:
Solid wall insulation
If your home was built before the 1920s it’s likely to have solid walls. Thus, the walls do not have cavities. Solid walls are typically made from brick or stone. The absence of cavities does not mean they are an effective form of insulation as a solid wall can be just as ineffective as a cavity wall. However it’s possible to insulate a solid wall with internal or external insulation.
Insulating your walls could save you £60 to £140 in gas per year.
For more information of solid wall insulation visit:
There are two main types of energy efficient light bulbs available in the UK and Isle of Man. Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) and Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs). Both are cost-effective options for most general lighting requirements
Replacing a traditional incandescent bulb with an LED or a CFL will save you a few pounds every year for each bulb you change, but replacing all of the bulbs in your house can provide you with some substantial savings on your electricity. LEDs are more efficient than CFLs and last 30 times longer than traditional halogen bulbs.
They are often used to replace halogen down lighters and other spotlights, but they are now also available as a replacement for most other bulbs as well.
CFLs can be used to replace many old-fashioned bulbs. They are cheap and widely available and what most people know as energy efficient bulbs. If you need a very bright single bulb to light a room, it will be easier to find a CFL to do this rather than an LED.
CFL bulbs do take a little time to reach full brightness.
LED and CFL bulbs will both last a lot longer than an old fashioned filament bulb. They will cost a bit more to buy but, because they last so much longer, you will actually spend less on bulb replacements in the end. And this is on top of the saving you make on your electricity bill.
For more advice and information on low energy lighting visit:
At the heart of any home, the kitchen, unsurprisingly, accounts for a significant amount of a household’s energy consumption. Here are some quick wins to help you make your kitchen energy efficient and save money on your bills.
Tip: before you start, it’s worth taking a few moments to perform a kitchen audit to see where you could save energy, money and emissions.
- Fit a tap aerator to reduce the amount of water you use without affecting the wash or rinsing of your dishes. It’s a small gadget that could save you around £30 a year on your energy bills.
- Boiling the amount of water you need will save your around £43 a year on your bills. If you boil too much water, put it in a thermal flask to last you throughout the day.
- When you replace your appliances, choose those with a high (eg. A+++) energy efficiency rating.
- You could save around £17 a year by washing your clothes at 30°C.
- Save around £8 a year on your electricity by reducing your washing by one load per week
- Only using your washing machine, tumble dryer or dishwasher when they're full will save around 14% of the energy you use.
- Slow cookers are an excellent way to reduce your energy use. As well as being ideal for those who like to prep their food in advance, they use little more energy than a traditional halogen light bulb, making them a great, energy-efficient addition to any kitchen.
- Make sure to defrost your fridge freezer regularly as possible so it doesn’t use more energy than necessary.
- Clean behind your fridge and freezer as often as possible to help keep them cool and working efficiently.
For more information and advice on how to become more energy efficient in your kitchen visit:
As we spend most of our time in the living room, it’s important to be aware of our energy consumption. Here are some quick wins to help you limit your energy use in your living room and save money on your bills.
- Switching your appliances (TVs, chargers and lamps) off standby will save you around £35 a year of your electricity bills.
- Turning the lights off every time you leave a room could save you £25 on your energy bills.
- When you replace your appliances, choose those with a high (eg. A+++) energy efficiency rating.
- When watching TV’s, make sure to turn down its brightness setting, as the factory settings are typically brighter than necessary for most homes.
- It feels obvious to say it, but if you don’t strictly need a desktop set-up, opt for a laptop, which is smaller and therefore more energy-efficient than larger options.
The bathroom sees a lot throughout the week, from your morning routeing to the amount of water you use during each visit. Here are a few quick wins to help you keep your energy usage to a minimum and save money on your bills.
- Using an efficient shower head can reduce hot water usage by 40%.
- Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth, washing your face or shaving. A running tap can use more than 10 litres a minute.
- Choosing showers instead of baths and trying to keep your shower to 4 minutes will save you around £70 a year.
- Get a cistern displacement device. These devices can be placed into your toilet cistern then, when you flush, the device inflates, saving you around 1-2 litres every time you flush.
- Use cold water where you can – heating water for use in our homes makes up 12% of our typical gas bill.