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.
Whether you're a homeowner, a private or social renter, a student, or you live with your parents - here's a few things you can do to become more energy efficient and reduce your bills.
Around 20% of the Island’s carbon emissions come from our homes
- Switching the lights off when you leave a room could save £25 a year on your electricity bill.
- By replace your light bulbs with LEDs you could save between £35 and £150 a year on your bills. Bonus! 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%. Thus, you won’t have to spend money keeping your heating on.
- 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.
- Installing window film on all windows will save you around £43 on your energy bills.
- 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.
- Fix leaky taps; in one week a leaking tap wastes enough water to fill half a bath
- Look for home appliances with the highest energy ratings (most ratings go up to A+++)
- When buying a new home appliance don't buy larger than you need. A smaller appliance will use less energy than a larger one with the same rating.
Our homes are more than just bricks and mortar. They’re spaces where we keep warm, dry and sheltered - this involves using energy for heat.
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.
Modern boilers are more efficient than older boilers for several reasons, but their main advantage is that they are ‘condensing’. A condensing boiler recovers more heat from the exhaust flue gas and uses it to heat the central heating water, making it more efficient than older boilers.
If you’re thinking of replacing your older boiler, consider your current and future heating and hot water needs. How much hot water you and your family use, the size of your property, if the fuel that is available to you, your existing system and the types of boiler you can have installed. Think about the energy efficiency or if there are options for renewable energy use.
Installing a new boiler is a big decision however, it will save you energy and money in the long run.
For information and advice on boilers visit:
Upgrading your heating systems can make a significant difference to lowering your energy use and of course your energy bills.
If you're using gas, then move to an Air Source Heat Pump or a Hybrid Heat Pump (if you haven't got space for a water tank) is an option. They are run on electricity and, as they are 300-400% efficient they are cheaper than gas.
In terms of Oil based heating, the Renewable Heating Scenarios carried out for the Island suggested that a switch to biofuels such as HVO (hydrogenated vegetable oil) maybe the most feasible transition to low carbon heating.
For more advice and information of heating systems visit:
- Hight heat retention storage heaters
- Hybrid heating
- Ground source heat pumps
- Air source heat pumps
- Manx Utilities - Smarter Living
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.
For more advice and information of heating controls visit:
Draught-proofing is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to save energy and money, in any type of building.
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.
To draught-proof your home effectively, block up unwanted gaps that let cold air in and warm air out. To do this, fit draught-proofing strips to window frames, around your letterbox and doors or, use an old newspaper. Saving warm air means you’ll use less energy to heat your home, so you’ll save money as well as making your home warm and cosy.
Did you know?
- Draught-proofing can reduce gas demand by around 5-8% in a typical home.
- 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
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 drafty 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 £291 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.
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 and advice on 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. 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 greenhouse gas 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.