The Best Energy Saving Home Improvements 2021

Energy Saving Home Improvements

If you’re a homeowner or a landlord of a residential property, you can apply for a Green Homes Grant to help pay for energy-saving upgrades to your house.

Insulating your house to save energy or installing low-carbon heating to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide your home emits are two examples of improvements.

You must use the voucher and complete the changes by March 31, 2022.

Energy-Saving Improvements During Lockdown

Green Homes grant installers During the national lockdown, will continue to operate in people’s homes. You still have time to apply for a grant and complete the job. Your installer must meet the COVID-19 Secure guidelines.

How Much Support Is Available?

Up to a maximum government contribution of £5k – the vouchers would cover two-thirds of the cost of qualifying upgrades.

If you or a family member receives such benefits, you might be eligible for a voucher that covers the entire cost of the enhancements. The voucher has a maximum value of £10,000. Check if you’re qualified for the low-income assistance program.

Landlords do not qualify for low-income assistance.

Green-Energy Grant Eligibility

green energy grant

If you live in England and meet the following criteria, you may be eligible.

  • You own your home (this includes long-leaseholders and joint ownership) (including long-leaseholders and shared ownership)
  • You’re the owner of a park home on a residential lot (including Traveller sites)
  • You are a residential landlord in the private or social rental market (including local authorities and housing associations)
  • The Green Homes Grant would not apply to newly built homes that haven’t been occupied before.

If you’re claiming other grants or funding

Energy Company Obligation (ECO)

A Green Homes Grant voucher cannot be used to offset the cost of a measure that has also received funding from the Energy Company Obligation (ECO). Both the ECO and Green Homes Grants can be claimed as long as they are for separate steps, such as loft insulation and cavity wall insulation.

Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)

For a renewable heat installation, you can claim both the Domestic RHI and the Green Home Grant. First, you must assert the Green Home Grant voucher and notify Ofgem that you have used it when applying for accreditation to the Domestic RHI. The Green Homes Grant would reduce your Domestic RHI expenses.

You do not need to inform Ofgem if you are just claiming the Green Homes Grant voucher for energy conservation steps.

Local Authority Delivery Scheme

If you have already secured a grant from the local authority as part of the Local Authority Delivery System, you are ineligible to apply for the scheme.

If You’re A Landlord

State Aid

The Green Homes Grant is deducted from your gross de minimis state funding for a three-year term. You must ensure that you don’t go over the €200,000 de minimis state aid threshold.

Energy Efficiency Standard

Under the minimum energy efficiency requirement, most private rental properties must have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) level of E.

If you’re applying for a green grants voucher for a private rental house, you’ll need to have one of the following:

proof that you’ve fulfilled this requirement

proof of an exemption

If You’re A Tenant

While coupons are not available, you can use the Simple Energy Advice (SEA) website to see what energy efficiency or low-carbon heating improvements are best for your home. You will fill out the survey and create an energy-saving plan to submit to your landlord.

What The Voucher Can Be Used For?

We recommend that you seek professional guidance about how to maximise your home’s energy quality and heating.

You may also consult your property’s Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) or a retrofit assessor for assistance. As part of your grant, you would not be able to claim the expense of any advice.

Green Homes Grant Home Improvements

solar panel installation home improvements

There are two types of measures available: primary and secondary.

Primary measures

At least one primary measure must be installed with the voucher.

Insulation

The voucher covers the following insulation measures:

  • insulation for solid walls (internal or external)
  • Insulation for cavity walls and underfloors (solid floor, suspended floor)
  • Insulating a park home
  • Insulating a loft
  • Insulating a flat roof
  • Insulating a pitched roof
  • Insulating a space in a roof

Low Carbon Heating

The voucher covers the following low-carbon heating measures:

  • air source heat pumps
  • ground source heat pumps
  • solar thermal (liquid-filled flat plate or evacuated tube collector)
  • biomass boiler
  • hybrid heat pump

Secondary measures

If you instal at least one primary measure, you can use your voucher to help pay for any of the secondary measures mentioned below.

The amount you receive for secondary measures cannot be more than the amount you receive for primary measures.

Only after you’ve installed a primary measure and redeemed the vouchers for that measure will you be able to redeem more vouchers for secondary measures.

Windows and doors

The voucher covers the following measures:

  • draught-proofing
  • double or triple glazing (if replacing single glazed windows)
  • secondary glazing (in addition to single glazed windows)
  • energy-efficient doors (replacing single glazed or solid doors installed before 2002)

Heating controls and insulation

What Does The Green-Homes Grant Scheme Cover?

  • Labour
  • Thermostat for hot water tank
  • Heating controls for hot water tank insulation (such as appliance thermostats, smart heating controls, zone controls, intelligent delayed start thermostat, thermostatic radiator valves)
  • materials
  • VAT

If additional work is required for the installation of the steps, the voucher will cover it. Find out what the voucher entitles you to (ODT, 12.7KB).

You, a member of your household, or a member of your immediate family, are unable to complete the work.

All voucher-eligible work must be done by a TrustMark-registered installer who is also a member of the scheme. When installing your measures, your installer must adhere to PAS and MCS requirements.

How to apply

  1. Make sure you’re qualify
  2. Check out what energy-saving or low-carbon heating options are available for your home.
  3. Find licensed installers in your region who can complete the job.
  4. Fill out an application for the voucher.

Official members from the Green Homes Grant scheme will never come to your home without your permission or call you to persuade you to join the scheme.

Getting a quote

If you’ve decided on the upgrades to make, we suggest getting at least three quotes from licenced installers to ensure you’re getting the best deal.

To apply for a voucher, you only need one quote from a Green Homes Grant approved installer.

When you submit, you must provide a copy of the quote. If the quote appears to be too high, the scheme administrator will ask you to provide another estimate.

You can install various steps using multiple installers. You will need to fill out one application form, but each measure may include a separate quote.

You can ask your fitter to provide a quote remotely via video call or detailed images if you choose to avoid contact during local restrictions.

Your application for a voucher does not guarantee that it will be accepted. You can not commit to starting any work until you have received a valid voucher.

Getting the voucher

For each of the steps that you have applied to install, you will receive a separate voucher.

Each voucher is only good for the specific measure and property for which you applied. The voucher can only be used by the designated applicant and cannot be given to someone else.

When your voucher has been released, you can begin working. Work completed prior to that date is not eligible for reimbursement.

Getting the work done

The installer will start working as soon as your voucher is released.

You may be asked to pay a deposit by your installer. This should not be more than they usually charge. It can’t be more than the estimated contribution to the cost of initiatives based on the estimate they gave you.

If you’re applying for a low-income grant, the installer will only ask for a deposit if the job’s overall cost reaches the grant amount of £10,000. Only the excess sum would be available for a deposit in this situation.

After the work is done

When the job is done, your installer must provide you with the following:

a dated copy of an invoice detailing the cost of supply and installation of the steps you’ve selected. Each measurement must have its own invoice.

any certification for energy-saving measures

a warranty letter from the installer

an MCS certificate, as well as for instructions from the manufacturer (if you have installed a low carbon heating measure)

a Directory of Biomass Suppliers (if your measure is a biomass-fuelled low carbon heating system)

Redeeming the voucher

  • Your voucher must be redeemed before it expires.
  • To use your voucher, you’ll need the following items:
  • your unique identifier (received when you first applied for the grant)
  • the address of the property where the system is installed
  • the email address for which you submitted your application
  • the number on your voucher
  • the measure’s total price (including VAT, as applicable)
  • A digital copy of your invoice with the date. You’ll need one invoice for each measurement.

You’ll need to double-check that:

  • The installation went as expected.
  • The installer has provided you with the required certification documents.
  • You’ve paid the installer your portion of the bill (if applicable)

When you withdraw your voucher, the grant will be billed directly to the installer on your behalf.

Strategic Improvements

A new year provides plenty of opportunities and maybe some renewed encouragement to get your surroundings in shape. What ventures, on the other hand, can give you the most bang for your buck? We’ve compiled a list of 20 ideas for you to consider. Some are expensive, while others are inexpensive, and some require flashy new smart devices while others are as low-tech as they come. A lot of them are ideal for do-it-yourselfers. All of this will help you save money in the long run.

Install a Programmable Thermostat

No, you don’t need a fancy smart thermostat, but if you want the convenience of controlling your heating and cooling from your phone, a product like the Nest Learning Thermostat could be worth the extra cost. However, the EPA estimates that if you configure your thermostat to keep your house cooler in the winter months or warmer in the summer months when you’re away, you’ll save on heating and cooling expenses, making it a cost-effective investment. Bonus: You could be eligible for a refund from your utility provider if you instal one.

Don’t Forget About Caulking and Weather Stripping

It’s all too tempting to overlook low-tech, low-cost home upgrades that can pay off big time. According to the Department of Energy, any money spent re-caulking and repairing worn-out weather stripping around windows and doors can be repaid in as little as a year in lower power bills.

Add More Attic Insulation

Could this be one of the most effective ways to save? With some simple attic insulation, you can keep your heating and cooling costs down. Check your attic for clear joists above the insulation.

Ditch the Incandescent Lights

According to the Department of Energy, installing energy-efficient bulbs in only the five most commonly used light fixtures in your home will save money all year. In addition, CFL and LED bulbs have a much longer life than incandescent bulbs, lasting 10,000 or 25,000 hours, respectively, compared to 1,000 hours for incandescent bulbs. And, if you want to save even more money in the long run, app-controlled smart bulbs like the Philips Hue are simple to schedule, automatically turning off, so you don’t waste energy.

Add Smart Power Switches

Smart lights are fantastic, but if you’re not ready to make the investment or want a more compact alternative for small appliances and other power hogs, a few smart switches will suffice. The Wemo Mini Smart Plug, which costs £25 or less, allows you to power your favourite fan, humidifier, Christmas tree lights, or even the curling iron or space heater you frequently forget to switch off. You’ll save resources and avoid a possible fire hazard in the process.

Get a Low-Flow Showerhead

A low-flow showerhead might not sound appealing at first; after all, there’s nothing like a long, hot shower with incredible water pressure to make you forget about your worries. However, if you’ve lived in your house for a while, you could have showerheads that make 3 to 5 pm (gallons per minute). New showerheads, on the other hand, range from 1.5 to 2.5 pm.

Spring for a Water Filter

If you’re drinking bottled water because you’re wary of what comes from the tap or simply don’t like the taste, an inexpensive water filter might help you break the habit. Filtrete’s under-the-sink model costs $41 and takes less than half an hour to connect. Filters have a six-month lifespan.

Opt for Smart Security Devices

If you’ve looked into the cost of a conventional controlled security device, you’re probably already aware of what we’re about to say. They are pretty pricy. Smart security systems like the Nest Security Camera and the Ring Video Doorbell will provide peace of mind without the monthly bill. They’re also simple to control remotely from your phone. If monitoring is needed, smart-tech companies are stepping in with less expensive options like the Ring Alarm System.

Choose Energy-Efficient Appliances

Appliances are becoming more effective and convenient all the time. What do you do first if you need a complete makeover? Get an Energy Star-certified refrigerator, washer, and dryer — according to Consumer Reports, these are the biggest energy hogs. According to Energy Star, simply replacing an old refrigerator will save £300 over the course of five years. Choose the smallest size you can and go for a conventional top-freezer model to save the most money.

Plant Some Trees

If your home is baking in the sun because it isn’t shaded, it’s time to plant some trees. Aside from instant curb appeal, trees can save you a lot of money, particularly during the summer. According to the Department of Energy, a little shade will save you anywhere from 15% to 50% on your annual cooling costs. But that’s not all: windbreak trees will also help save money on heating in the winter. Choose a 6- to 8-foot tree to provide instant shade for your windows, and your roof will be shaded in as little as five years.

Consider Low-E Windows or Window Film

While trees are an excellent way to keep the heat from forcing your air conditioner to work overtime, you can lack the space or prefer a more immediate solution. Low-E windows, also known as low-emissivity windows, are designed to let in less heat in the summer and more in the winter.

Trade-in Grass for a Xeriscape

The lush green sea of grass in your yard may seem beautiful, but consider how much time and money you spend maintaining it and watering it. You can replace some or all of that lawn with native plants, particularly drought-tolerant ones, using xeriscaping. Experts estimate that you could save about £200 a year on your water bill, not to mention countless hours spent mowing, fertilising, and otherwise caring for your lawn.

Try a Smart Sprinkler System

We understand if you are unable to give up your lawn. However, replacing your old sprinkler controller with a smart model like the Rachio Smart Sprinkler is a simple and convenient way to save money in the long run. These devices will sense exactly what your lawn needs, skipping cycles if the soil is already saturated or if rain is in the forecast, in addition to providing the advantages of a traditional smart unit, such as being able to monitor sprinklers from your phone or with a voice assistant.

Replace That Roof

A new roof, while expensive, is a necessary evil if your old one has reached the end of its useful life. The good news is that it will save you a significant amount of money on your homeowner’s insurance — up to 20% — because advancements in roofing technology, such as higher shingle wind ratings, can better protect your home from bad weather. Homeowners can also save money on cooling by opting for a more energy-efficient “cold roof,” which is often the same price as a standard roof replacement.

Have Your Ducts Sealed

Given that heating and cooling consume most of a home’s electricity, it makes sense to ensure that each system operates as effectively as possible. However, it’s likely that the ducts that transport warm or cold air to your living spaces are leaking, causing up to 30% of the air inside to escape before you benefit. Sealing your ducts, whether by yourself or with a contractor’s help, will solve the issue while also saving you money on your utility bills.

Put in Some Ceiling Fans

According to Angie’s List, a ceiling fan alone won’t cool the air, but using it in conjunction with your air conditioner will enable you to raise the temperature on your thermostat by 4 degrees and remain comfortable. Of course, this might result in some significant energy bill savings. In addition, the ceiling fan will not collect dust in the winter. Reverse the blades’ direction to bring warm air down and keep warm without turning up the heat.

Splurge on the Hardwood Floors

Wood floors are usually more expensive to instal than carpet in the age-old cosy-versus-classic debate. However, they will save you money in the long run. Hardwood floors will make your house sell faster if you’re planning to sell soon. There’s also good news if you want to remain in your house for a long time: Carpeting usually lasts just ten years, while hardwood floors can easily last three times as long — or even much longer if properly cared for.

Cosy Up to a Water Heater Blanket

Do you have an old water heater? Go ahead and touch it. Is it warm? If this is the case, you could save money by purchasing a low-cost water-heater blanket that will minimise heat loss and, as a result, your water-heating costs. The best thing about this project is that water heater blankets are affordable (starting at around £20) and simple to instal.

Consider Going Tankless

When your water heater approaches the end of its useful life, consider whether you still need a behemoth with a traditional storage tank. According to the Department of Energy, a tankless water heater that heats water on demand can be up to 34% more effective than a traditional water heater for a small household using 40 gallons or less hot water per day. Although you’ll pay more to get this form of a water heater installed, it’s also simpler to maintain and lasts much longer — 20 years or more — than traditional versions, which might only last 10 to 15 years.

Install a Leak Detector

Any homeowner who has had a washing machine break down or a pipe burst on an unusually cold morning can attest to how costly water damage repair can be. Is there a low-cost way to avoid disaster? A leak detector that alerts you to an issue before it becomes too serious. You can go low-tech, opting for a traditional alarm with some kind of siren, or you can go smart, opting for a smart alarm like the Fibaro Flood Sensor, which sends a warning to your phone — ideal if you’re away from home for extended periods.

Conclusion

The green home grant has now been extended, to find out more head on over to our blog page or start a new thread on our forum. We’re committed to helping our readers save money especially with national lockdown stay at home measures in place – it’s a great time to continue on home upgrades as well as making your home more energy efficient. Energy bills are currently soaring – this is mostly because of coronavirus (covid 19), brexit and other reasons meaning that more people are joining the job queue and in need of reducing their energy bills. The green homes grant will help cover the cost of wall insulation, upgrades to single glazing and more. To read more about this subject click here.

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