Energy saving small investments

You don’t have to spend a fortune to make your home more energy efficient. There are small investments you can make to improve energy efficiency without breaking the bank.

1: Get a smart thermostat for your home

Compared to old-fashioned thermostats, smart thermostats lmake it easy to control your central heating, wherever you are. It’s also very easy to create heating schedules so you’ll never heat an empty home.

Typical cost: from £119 excluding installation

2: Fit radiator reflector panels

On exterior walls, reflector panels behind your radiators can help direct more heat back into the rooms, making them cosier. They’re relatively cheap and easy to install too. You can even get similar effect for less money by putting aluminium foil on the wall behind the radiator.

Typical cost: £2 to £10 per radiator

3: Replace your light bulbs

Low-energy LED lightbulbs use 90% less energy than old-fashioned lightbulbs. They’re not very expensive and their long lifespans mean you might never need to replace them – especially in rooms that aren’t used often. And for maximum control, go for smart lights that make it easy to save energy by switching things off from your phone, wherever you are.

Typical cost: simple LED bulbs from £3 – smart bulbs from £20

4: Use ‘eco-balls’ in your tumble dryer

Put a few eco-balls in with your laundry and they’ll speed up the drying process by keeping things separated and helping the warm air to circulate better. The tumble dryer is expensive to run – and this is a simple way to make it a bit cheaper.

Typical cost: £5 to £10

5: Plug devices into a power strip

Standby mode is less of an energy drain than it used to be, thanks to better energy-efficiency standards. But it can still add up to energy waste over time. So plug your different devices into a power strip and turn that off at the plug when you’re finished to save energy.

Typical cost: around £8

6: Draught-proof windows and doors

Draughts make your home lose heat more quickly. But it’s cheap and simple to draught-proof your home using materials from a DIY store. 

Typical cost: from £10

7: Use a chimney balloon or sheep

Have an unused chimney that lets in cold draughts? Go to a DIY store and ask about chimney balloons or chimney sheep. They’re cheap and easy to install – and should help to keep things draught-free during the winter.

Typical cost: from £12

8: Insulate your hot water cylinder

Most hot water cylinders will have some insulation to stop heat escaping. But upgrading that insulation is easy to do and doesn’t cost much. You can get a jacket from DIY stores that helps stop the heat escaping while it’s being stored.

Typical cost: £15

9: Fit thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs)

If your radiators only have basic on-off valves, consider upgrading to TRVs. The dials let you set a temperature for each radiator, which is handy for keeping some rooms at an energy-saving low temperature.

Typical cost: Standard TRVs from £20, smart TRVs from £50