How to choose the sustainable changes you can make at home that will reduce your bills

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The impact of the global energy crisis has seen more and more consumers look at what sustainable changes they can make at home. In fact, 75% of consumers have adapted to using less energy, according to our 2023 global consumer study, “The Rise of Home Energy Efficiency”.

How to choose the sustainable changes you can make at home that will reduce your bills

But what are the most effective steps you can take to live more sustainably and reduce your energy bills? Should you start on the journey to self-sufficiency with solar panels or would energy-efficient windows open up new energy savings?

Sustainable changes at home

Homeowners around the world are introducing new technology into their homes, in a bid to reduce energy spend.

Our survey found that in the last 12 months alone, 24% of consumers have invested in smart meters to track energy usage, 15% have upgraded to double or triple glazed windows, and 12% have installed solar panels.

If you’re looking to follow suit, it’s worth spending some time considering your own unique circumstances. There is no one-size-fits-all approach and It’s important to choose the right sustainable changes for your home, budget and the timescales you have for seeing a return on your investment. Every measure will deliver some form of energy saving, but the upfront cost and payback time can vary.

1. Improving Insulation

Ensuring your home is well-insulated prevents heat loss during the colder months and keeps your home cool in the summer. Attic or loft insulation can be a good first starting point if you’re looking to build up energy savings and can deliver a reduction in energy bills of up to 30%.

However, costs can often reach the thousands if there are no public subsidies or government grants available, and it can take several years to see a return on that investment. It’s important to note that insulation only slows down energy losses and won’t eliminate them entirely.

  • Average cost: 30K
  • Estimated ROI: 30 years

2. Smart Heating Systems

In contrast, managing how you heat your home can be two to three times less costly, whilst still delivering impressive energy savings. Smart heating is a popular choice for homeowners looking to make sustainable changes, with 16% of respondents to our survey switching to a smart thermostat in the last 12 months, to help reduce their bills.

By heating rooms to different temperatures and not heating empty rooms, you can reduce your bills by at least 30%. You can achieve this with smart heating systems like Wiser, which allow you to manage your heating room-to-room from your phone to optimise energy use and minimise wastage.

Bedrooms often need to be cooler than living rooms, for example. Simply making sure these rooms are separated with closed doors and maintaining a temperature difference of 4-5 degrees would cost only hundreds, and is likely to pay for itself in under two years.

  • Average cost: 5 euros per m2
  • Estimated ROI: less than 2 years with current energy price

3. Solar Panels

How to choose the sustainable changes you can make at home that will reduce your bills

For those looking to make a significant, long-term investment in sustainable living, solar panels are a game-changer. By converting sunlight into electricity, solar panels lower your reliance on conventional energy sources and are a step towards energy independence – something that has become a key concern when making home improvements for 78% of homeowners, according to our study.

Solar panels can also generate excess energy that can be stored for later use – effectively providing you with free energy to use during the night – or sold back to the grid in some countries, providing an additional income stream for households.

The upfront cost of installing solar panels can be substantial and the return on your investment will take some time, so it’s worth exploring what subsidies and grants are available to offset the upfront costs.

  • Average cost: 10K
  • Estimated ROI: 8 years

Save Using A Home Energy Management System (HEMS)

Making any of these changes to your home will result in a more efficient consumption of energy, but what if true self-sufficiency is the ultimate sustainability goal?

For the cherry on the energy-saving cake, efficiencies can be optimised with HEMS. Home energy management systems allow you to intelligently coordinate and manage your energy sources and loads for optimal energy production and minimal consumption, allowing you to reach 70-80% self-sufficiency and reducing your reliance on expensive external energy providers.

On a bright sunny day, a HEMS will automatically prioritise using solar energy to heat your water tank or charge your EV, optimising your usage of clean energy. Or on cold winter days, it will activate smart room-to-room heating control to ensure only occupied rooms are heated.

By integrating control of the different sustainable changes made to your home, a HEMS can deliver even greater energy savings and move you further along the road to energy independence and living sustainably.

How to choose the sustainable changes you can make at home that will reduce your bills

To learn more about the results of our 2023 global consumer survey, read the report here.

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