While the fabric of your home may need some upgrades to improve its energy efficiency, there are some quick changes you can make to reduce your energy consumption.

 smart heating system - green homes grant - grand designs

Image: Wiser smart home heating system from Drayton 

As part of the Government's Green Homes Grant, you can now take a quiz on the Simple Energy Advice website to discover which home improvements you could make to save energy in your home, which are eligible to be funded by the grant and find a list of accredited tradespeople to quote for work to be done, ahead of vouchers being issued. 

In the meantime however, making small behavioural changes at home will help reduce your energy consumption and start your journey to a more energy efficient home. 

Take advantage of natural light

home landing with shutters and leather chair - green homes grant - grand designs

Image: Hillarys

Open curtains and blinds throughout your house to make the most of natural light and reduce the electricity demand of lights. In warmer months, this will help to naturally heat your home too.

Read more: Green Homes Grant: replacing single glazing

Switch to energy saving lightbulbs such as LEDs or CFLs

Change your regular lightbulbs to LED alternatives to save on energy. LED bubls use 2-17 watts of electricity – a third of what a normal bulb uses. 

Don’t leave appliances on standby and turn them off at the wall

Leaving appliances on standby is a constant drain on your energy, so ensure that little red light is off and turn your electricals off at the mains plug. 

Buy a smart thermostat

smart thermostat in kitchen - top tips to improve your home's energy efficiency - home improvements - granddesignsmagazine.com

Image: Google Nest

A smart thermostat lets you adjust the temperature as you wish through an app on your mobile device, even while you're away. It can also turn off your heating or air conditioning system automatically when you leave the house, reducing wasted energy. 

Funding for smart heating controls is available as a secondary measure under the Green Homes Grant. 

Make small changes to how you heat your home

Turn down your thermostat a few degrees. You probably won't notice the difference in your home's heat but it will save you money and energy.

Read more: The Green Homes Grant hub

Switch to a smart meter

A smart meter allows you to see and monitor exactly how much energy your using, meaning you are a more aware household and control your energy usage much more effectively. Contact your energy supplier for more information on switching to a smart meter. 

Wash your clothes on a lower temperature setting

whirlpool washing machine - top tips to improve your home's energy efficiency - home improvements - granddesignsmagazine.com

Image: Whirlpool

Washing machines are a huge culprit for consuming household energy. Reduce this by washing your clothes at a lower temperature. It's unlikely you'll notice a difference in the quality of your wash and will still have smaller energy bills.

Make the most of warm weather by drying your clothes outside

When the weather is warm outside, use an outdoor air dryer to dry your washing. Avoid the tumble dryer wherever possible. 

Make sure your dishwater is completely full before running it

full dishwasher - top tips to improve your home's energy efficiency - home improvements - granddesignsmagazine.com

Image: Fisher & Paykel 

Only run a dishwasher when it is full to ensure you're making the most of its energy consumption. Otherwise, wash up by hand if you don't have enough for a full load. 


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