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Home owners missing out on energy efficiency opportunity

One of the best times to make energy efficiency upgrades is when you're already doing work on your home – but our UK Pulse survey shows that in most cases, this isn't happening.

Two-thirds of British home owners have taken on some improvements over the last three years, but only a third upgraded their boiler at the same time, and even less tackled their windows

Cut the hassle – and the cash

But why is home improvement such a key 'trigger point' to spark energy action? Energy Saving Trust Chief Executive Philip Sellwood (pictured) lays down the logic.

Philip Sellwood CEO of Energy Saving TrustHe said: “Why rip out kitchen cupboards to access pipes a year or so after a renovation project because your boiler needs replacing? Who wants to have to redecorate again? If you’ve got tradespeople undertaking a loft conversion or an extension, it will be easy for them to add some extra insulation or insulate cold rooms elsewhere in your home.

“By doing jobs such as these at the same time, not only will you make your home warmer and cheaper to run, but you’ll save on the cost and hassle of hiring another tradesperson at a later date.”


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Cold issues get lost in space

Cold rooms come a close second to a need for more space as a home bugbear, so it seems there's something of a logic gap when it comes to actually carrying out changes that will improve comfort. 

So here's where we're stepping in. A new Energy Saving Trust guide provides advice that should simplify planning energy efficiency into home improvement – making it less of a daunting task to future-proof homes while maximising aesthetics and storage.

Some energy-saving upgrades are not just a good idea, though – they're a legal requirement. But of the near-60 per cent planning work in their homes in the next three years, less than 40 per cent are aware that energy efficiency measures are required alongside the work to comply with building regulations.

Annoying neighbours? Beyond our scope

The UK Pulse poll revealed other factors motivating the UK's home improvers. Major life changes like a boost to the pay packet spark action; as does having kids and moving into a new place. 

It also showed that getting on with neighbours is the one annoyance bigger than damp and mould. Alas, there are some things that well-timed energy efficiency measures can't help you with, but for all the cost-reducing and comfort-improving stuff, take a look at the new guide.

Download Energy Saving Trust UK Pulse 2016 report. Send us your photos of energy efficient upgrades made in your home.

Share your thoughts with us - post a comment below or tweet us at @EnergySvgTrust.

Gary Hartley is Energy Saving Trust's expert blogger. He has extensive experience researching and writing on a number of topics, with particular expertise in sustainable energy, policy, literature and sport. As well as providing regular blog content, Gary has also been published in numerous magazines and journals.

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Its like you learn my thoughts! You appear to grasp a lot approximately this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do with some percent to force the message house a bit, however instead of that, this is excellent blog. A fantastic read. I will certainly be back.

Hey Gary,

1000% agree. Reduction/Efficiency is almost equally as important as powering with green energy. That way if you're connected to the grid, you can make more of an impact.

If I'm not mistaken, stated over 50% of energy usage is from heating and cooling & The Green Age stated insulation can really cost a lot (35% heat loss through walls, 25% through roof, 10% through doors/windows.