Go green and save up to £1,000 Go green: in your home

You could save nearly £1,000 a year by running your heating more efficiently, fully insulating your home and conserving energy and water. We've listed eight ways to go green – along with the cost of each project and its average payback time, based on the likely savings you'll make.

A man attends to a boiler

1. Update your boiler

Old boilers work at around 55-75% efficiency, but a new, greener condensing model performs at 90% efficiency, needing less fuel and costing less to run. If you're looking for a new boiler, a condensing boiler will save you between £160 and £360 on your heating bills each year depending on the size of your house. Expect to pay between £800 and £2,000. 

We've tried and tested a range of boilers – find out which ones scored highly on energy efficiency in the Which? boilers review.

  • Cost £800-£2,000
  • Payback Five to ten years

2. Control your heating

Take control of your heating with a programmer, room thermostats and thermostatic radiator valves. These items cost around £200 to buy and install, but the estimated saving on your heating bills is around £105 a year – meaning swift payback for this project. Turning your thermostat down a degree is free and could save you £40 a year.

  • Cost £200
  • Payback Two to three years
power drill

Cordless drills are best for light tasks

3. DIY draught proofing

Seal up draughts in doors and windows using draught excluders, fit brushes to letterboxes and fill gaps between skirting boards and flooring using wood moulding or sealant. It could cost up to £90 for materials – less if you improvise and make your own draught excluders using old fabric or clothing – but it will save you around £30 a year.

  • Cost up to £90
  • Payback Two to three years

4. Install cavity wall insulation

Two thirds of Which? members with cavity walls have them insulated – if you haven't, insulation is a worthwhile green investment that can save you around £160 a year on your heating bills. Bring in a professional tradesman to complete this project – consult Which? Local for details of recommended tradesmen in your area, and find out more in our guide to choosing the right insulation.

  • Cost £101-£500
  • Payback Two to three years

5. Insulate your loft

In a recent Which? survey, 97% of members with a loft had loft insulation – but generally less than the recommended 270mm thickness. Insulating your roof – or topping up existing insulation – could save you up to £205 a year.

  • Cost £101-£500
  • Payback One year or less

6. Fit a low-flow shower

Fitting a low-flow shower head is one of the most effective ways to save water in your home as it uses up to 70% less water than a standard one. For households with water meters, this measure will also save you money.

Tip: to find out if a low-flow shower will benefit you, put a two-litre container on the shower floor – if it takes fewer than 12 seconds to fill when the shower's running on full, a low-flow shower will cut your usage.

  • Cost £26-£100
A low energy lightbulb

Energy-saving light bulbs come in a number of shapes with a variety of different fittings

7. Use energy-saving light bulbs

Energy-saving light bulbs use far less electricity than standard bulbs and last up to 10 times as long. Fitting all your home's lights with energy-saving bulbs can save around £50 a year. 

Tip: Contact your energy supplier to ask about free energy saving light bulbs – many have free samples. Find out which bulbs we recommend in our energy-saving light bulbs review.

  • Cost £25 or under
  • Payback One year or less

8. Fit a Hippo

Flushing an old toilet uses up to 13 litres of water. Fitting a cistern displacement device – such as a Hippo or a Save-a-flush – will save a litre of water per flush. Ask your water company if they have free devices available. If you're buying a new toilet, choose a more water efficient dual flush loo, which uses only up to six litres. Plus read our water saving tips for more advice.

  • Cost £25 or under for a hippo
  • Cost £101-£500 for a new toilet