Greener homes mean lower bills, says surveyA&L spells out energy efficiency cash savings

23 November 2007

Energy lightbulb

We test light bulbs on how long they will last turning them on and off 30,000 times.

It can cost up to £9,000 to make a house more carbon neutral, but homeowners can quickly recoup some of the cash in lower fuel bills, research showed today.

The first step to improving a home's energy efficiency is installing energy-saving light bulbs, which last around 12 times longer than conventional light bulbs and use 75% less power, according to Alliance & Leicester (A&L)

People who are prepared to invest more money in making their home greener could consider loft insulation, which costs around £370 to have put in, but can reduce energy bills by around £110 a year.

Insulation

Having cavity wall insulation would cost around £500, but it is estimated this would knock around 15% a year off the average family's heating costs, saving between £100 and £120 annually.

A&L estimates it would take just two years to recoup money spent replacing a boiler that was more than 15 years old with a modern more energy efficient one, with this costing around £500 but saving £240 a year.

Double glazing a property would set homeowners back by around £1,400 for six windows but would lead to further savings on fuel bills.

Wind turbine

People who are prepared to invest a bit more in reducing the carbon footprint of their home could pay £1,500 for a wind turbine, or even £5,000 for solar panels to generate their own electricity, which could reduce annual electricity bills by a further £200.

Overall the group said it would cost up to £9,000 to make a three-bedroom semi-detached home more carbon neutral.

Richard Al-Dabbagh, senior personal loans manager at Alliance & Leicester, said: 'Becoming carbon neutral will not happen overnight. Nowadays more and more people are giving environmental considerations and their carbon footprints a higher priority.

'This includes trying to make their homes as energy efficiency as possible. There are lots of diverse ways homeowners can try and make their homes greener but it all depends on how much people want to spend.'

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