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Preparing your Home for Winter

Thu 12 Sep 2013

It’s rare that we have such a great summer as we have had this year in the UK and as it’s drawing to an end, many of us will be thinking about rising energy bills and how best we can budget for these.

Whilst the cold weather hasn’t yet set in, it’s safe to say that it will and when it does, most people will find their energy bills at least doubling in price, so what can you do to help ensure yours stay as low as possible?

Getting prepared

Before the winter comes, have a good look around your home to see what energy saving preparations have already been made to your property. Does is have:

·         Insulation in walls and loft

·         Seals around the doors to keep out draughts

·         Double glazing

·         An old boiler

·         Energy-saving lighting

If not, then perhaps it’s time for a home upgrade?

 

Preparing your Home for Winter

 

Isn’t that expensive?

Not necessarily. The UK government has targets that are set and have to be achieved by 2020, when it comes to sustainability and energy saving. This means that in order to meet those targets, they have introduced schemes for homes and businesses that are designed to allow people to install improvements without having to shell out a lot of cash in advance.

The Green Deal for example allows householders to make improvements that will save energy and give cashback to the owner or allow the improvements to be paid for through energy bills. This allows the payment to stay with the property, rather than the individual so that you don’t find yourself in huge amounts of debt and the improvements remain a part of the property itself.

How do I apply?

First, it’s necessary to get an audit of the property carried out by an approved Green Deal provider. This involves someone coming to inspect your home to see where improvements can be made with regard to energy saving.

This could be anything from as little as loft insulation to fitting a new boiler which is more energy efficient. It’s thought that old boilers can cost up to 30% more than newer appliances, so this is something that would see a reduction in the cost of heating and hot water immediately.

Once you’ve had the audit carried out, you can then put in an application and in some cases, you may even qualify to have a free boiler fitted. Certainly worth your while for numerous reasons.

You have to use a Green Deal approved supplier to carry out the work and you will be required to sign a contract setting out what needs to be done and how it’s going to be paid for.

If you’re in receipt of benefits, there are other grants and schemes you can also apply for. You can do this by answering a number of questions about the benefits you receive on the government website.

Last year it was reported that many people, even those in work and considered to be comfortable, found it difficult to pay for heating and this meant that many turned the heating down and suffered in silence.

However, that need never be the case and thanks to the sustainability drive, there’s now more options than ever to choose from that can help you improve both your home and quality of life this winter.

 

Article by Brett MacDougall, Director of Hunters Camberwell branch. Circle Brett on Google+ HERE.