As the cold winter air begins to batter the outside of our homes, many of us will be trying to keep the inside warm and toasty – but this can often see bills creep up.
The Green Homes Grant is a great new government initiative for homeowners in England that helps to cover the costs of making energy-efficient improvements to your house – which could potentially help you save on energy bills. Homeowners could receive up to £5,000 to pay two-thirds of the cost of energy saving measures like insulation and low-carbon heating improvements, while low-income households can get 100 per cent of the costs of work covered up to £10,000.
Plus, there are all kinds of things you can do to keep those bills down, with many covered by the scheme. The deadline to apply and get the work completed has been extended to March 31, 2022.
These top ten tips will save you pounds when it comes to keeping snug…
Turn it down a notch
Did you know that dropping your thermostat by just one degree could save you around £60 every year, according to USwitch ? Your body is unlikely to notice such a small change in temperature, but your bank balance will.
A whopping 25 per cent of heat is lost through our roofs – but the good news is that rectifying this is classed as a primary measure under the Green Homes Grant. It will cover two-thirds of the cost of eligible improvements, including loft insulation, flat roof insulation and pitched roof insulation, up to a maximum government contribution of £5,000 – and if you or someone at home receives certain benefits, it could cover the whole cost up to £10,000 . You can find out more here .
If you're trying to keep the thermostat down and your duvet is not thick enough to keep you warm, you don't have to fork out for a higher winter tog. Just layer a fleece blanket over your usual duvet, creating an extra layer of insulation to keep you toasty.
Keep it covered
Shockingly, 40 per cent of the heat in most homes is lost through windows, floors and doors – even when they're shut. Draught exclusion is covered by the Green Homes Grant, as a secondary measure – which you qualify for as long as you install at least one primary measure, such as loft or roof insulation (see tip 2). Note that the subsidy for the secondary measure is capped at the value of the subsidy provided for the primary measure. For example, if you receive £400 for a primary measure such as cavity wall insulation, you will be able to receive a maximum of £400 for a secondary measure, such as an energy efficient replacement door.
To stop losing heat through your floors, consider buying a couple of cheap rugs to use in your cooler rooms. They will add that much needed layer of extra insulation, keeping it warmer and saving cash. It can also add an extra design pop to your interior – win-win!
Getting work done during national restrictions
Tradespeople, including Green Homes Grant installers, can continue to work in people's homes under the national restrictions from 5 November.
You can still apply for a grant and get the work done. Your installer will follow the COVID-19 Secure guidelines .
If you would prefer, to minimise contact during national restrictions, you can ask your installer to provide a quote remotely using a video call or detailed photos.
Timing is money
It's often said that leaving heating on a low setting all day is cheaper – but this is a myth. In the long run, it's best to have your heating on only when you need it. If you use a timer, you can make sure you never leave it on for too long.
If you currently have single glazing and you're thinking about upgrading your windows, you can use a voucher for a secondary measure under the Green Homes Grant to help cover the cost. To keep things extra warm around your windows, close your drapes or curtains as soon as it gets dark – they provide an additional barrier to prevent heat loss through your windows.
Keep that heat flowing
Try to avoid putting furniture between your radiator and bed – it will block the warmth from reaching you. To really make the most of the heat you're paying for, you could get a smart meter to help track and manage your consumption.
Instead of leaving the heating on all day, you can get your bed feeling extra snug with a good old fashioned hot water bottle. You can now buy body-length versions that can heat a large area and are easily draped over yourself for an extra cosy boost.
When you bleed the radiators in your home, you release air that has become trapped inside, which improves the efficiency of your heating system. This means a warmer home and cheaper energy bills – saving you money in the long run. It's a quick and easy job that you can do yourself and it doesn't cost a penny.
You have until 31 March 2022 to redeem the vouchers and complete the work, subject to terms and conditions.
To find out more about the Green Homes Grant and to see if you're eligible, visit www.gov.uk/GreenHomesGrant .
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