Make your home more energy efficient

This advice applies to England. See advice for See advice for Northern Ireland, See advice for Scotland, See advice for Wales

You can save money on your energy bills by finding ways to improve your home’s energy efficiency.

There are quick and simple things you can do - for example:

  • change your heating controls so you stay warm but use less energy

  • check the cost of running your electrical appliances so you can decide how best to use them

You might also be able to make energy saving home improvements to improve your home’s energy efficiency.

Check your heating controls

You might be able to save money by changing the settings your heating controls.

You can:

  • turn down the temperature to the lowest comfortable setting

  • make sure your heating is only on when you need it

  • turn down radiators in rooms you use less often

You can also find ways to keep heat in your home so your heating doesn’t need to be on as much.

Check how to save money heating your home.

If you use a storage heater, you can check how to use your storage heater efficiently.

If you use a different type of electric heating, find out about using room heaters on the Centre for Sustainable Energy website.

If your heating doesn't work

Try to get it fixed as soon as possible so you don’t need to use portable electric heaters, which cost more to use.

If you rent your home privately, ask your landlord to fix the heating. They must make sure your plumbing and heating work properly. Check what repairs your landlord has to do.

If you rent from a social housing landlord, they have to fix your heating - check how to report a repair.

Check if you can use less electricity

It’s a good idea to find out how much your electrical appliances cost to run and how you could use them differently to save electricity.

Find ways to save money using your electrical appliances.

Make improvements to your home

There are changes that can be made to your home to make it more energy efficient. This might include adding insulation or installing a more efficient heating system.

If you own your home, you can get recommendations for improvements you can make to your home on GOV.UK. This includes estimated costs of the improvements and how much you can save on your bills.

You might be able to get a grant to help you make improvements. Check if you can get help with the cost of improving your home’s energy efficiency.

If you live in an older home, there are some extra things you might need to think about before making changes to your home. Find out more about energy efficiency and older houses on the Historic England website.


Spray foam insulation

You should think carefully before having spray foam insulation installed. There are some risks with spray foam insulation that could cost you a lot of money.

The risks of spray foam insulation

Spray foam insulation can:

  • have a high cost compared to other forms of insulation 

  • reduce ventilation which can cause condensation and dampness

  • cover up problems in your roof like leaks or damaged wood

  • be very difficult to remove before making repairs

  • lower the value of your property

  • make getting a mortgage with some lenders difficult

You should get independent advice from a buildings surveyor before you have spray foam insulation installed. You can find a surveyor on the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) website.

It can be expensive to get advice from a surveyor - check how much it will cost first.

If it costs too much to get advice from a surveyor, make sure you get at least 3 quotes from different home improvement traders. You can compare what types of insulation they recommend and how much it will cost.

You might find mineral wool loft insulation is cheaper and better at insulating.

You can find out more about using spray foam insulation on the RICS website.

Check what you should do if you have a home improvement problem caused by a trader.

If you rent privately

You must get your landlord’s permission before you make improvements to your home.

If your Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) says your home is rated in band F or G, your landlord normally has to make some improvements.

You can check your home’s EPC rating on GOV.UK.

Your landlord won’t have to make improvements if your home is registered as exempt from the ‘minimum standard’ of energy efficiency. You can check if your home is registered as exempt from the minimum standard on GOV.UK.

If your home is rated in band F or G and not registered as exempt, speak to your landlord and ask if they’re willing to make improvements to bring your home up to a band E or better.

It can be difficult to work out if your home is exempt - if you're not sure, you can ask your landlord. You might be worried your landlord will evict you if you ask them about your home having an F or G rating. If you're worried or your landlord won't make the improvements needed, talk to an adviser.

If your home is exempt from the ‘minimum standard’ of energy efficiency, your landlord is still responsible for making any repairs or improvements to keep your home warm enough. Check what repairs your landlord has to do.

If you live in social housing

Your landlord has to make sure your heating and insulation is good enough to keep your home reasonably warm. 

If it isn’t, they might have to make repairs on your home. Check if your landlord has to repair your home and what you can do if they don’t.

Get more help

Contact your local council to check if there are support schemes or energy advice agencies in your area that can help. Find your local council's contact details on GOV.UK.

You can also get advice on the Energy Saving Trust website.

Get help with energy bills or the cost of living

You can check what to do if you’re struggling to pay your energy bills.

If you don’t have enough money to live on, check if you can get help with the cost of living.

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