Home improvements you can make to future proof your bills – and save thousands

Martin Lewis answers 'complicated' question on energy support

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Energy bills have already risen by more than 50 percent this year and are due to rise again in October. But there are a number of ways you can offset how high your energy bill goes – and future proof yourself for what could be an expensive couple of years. Experts at Boiler Central have spoken to Express.co.uk to tell you which home appliances you should be switching sooner rather than later.

Go A-rated to save money

Boiler central experts explained that the surefire way to bring your bills down is to change your appliances to A-rated ones.

They explained: ”The most energy-consuming item in a household is the boiler. A G-rated boiler, for example, is only 60-70 percent efficient, meaning up to 40 percent of the energy is wasted.

“That is a huge amount reflecting on your bill, especially with the new energy tariffs. Switching from a G-rated boiler to an A-rated one can save households at least £580 a year.”

Boilers are the biggest energy consumer in your home, but the amount other appliances guzzle may surprise you.

They continued: “Boilers are followed by fridge/freezers, accounting for more than half the consumption of boilers.

“Dishwashers, ovens and washing machines are next in line in terms of energy use. These are the five appliances worth considering for an upgrade to an A EPC rating.

“With many finance options in place, making the switch now becomes realistic and affordable, not to mention much better for the environment.”

Boiler changes to consider

Changing your boiler can set you back a considerable amount, so you shouldn’t consider doing it unless your heating system is on the brink or extremely inefficient.

That being said, if you are looking to switch up this summer, it’s worth considering your boiler as it guzzles the most energy out of all your household appliances.

Boiler Central explained: “If you are planning on upgrading your boiler, we strongly advise opting for a hydrogen-ready combi one, which is, hands-down, the cheapest green alternative to a conventional boiler.

“Most newer models are manufactured to be hydrogen-ready up to 20 percent so that, once there is a switch in fuel source in the UK, they can be modified to run on 100 percent hydrogen.

“Interestingly, over the past two years, several gas supply trials have been carried out in closed communities, which concluded that adding up to 20 percent hydrogen into the public gas supply would essentially have no effect on how people use their current gas appliances, such as cookers and boilers.

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Forget heat pumps

Heat pumps have been all the rage recently as the Government announced its funding pool for green heating improvements.

But experts at Boiler Central have advised there are cheaper – and better – alternatives to going through the faff of getting one installed.

Boiler central said: “Unfortunately, not every home is suitable for heat pump installation. If you live in a flat above ground level, for example, you obviously have nowhere to dig a hole for the ground source heat pump, nor is it worth bothering to get planning permission for an air source heat pump that will last you less than a boiler.

“Furthermore, the costs of installing a ground source heat pump can rise to an eye-watering £35,000. Air source heat pumps are much cheaper to install, averaging to around £7,000, but they are entirely dependent on the outside weather, meaning you still need to use your boiler on the colder days.

“If your home and pockets are fit for installing a heat pump, especially a ground source one, it really is absolutely fantastic for the environment.
“Heat pumps also offer some certainty amid the massively fluctuating gas prices and the related energy prices over the years, decreasing one’s dependence on such a volatile market, particularly now.”

However, considering the extortionate installation costs, the government’s funding programme seems to only be feasible for high-income households.
They continued: “The good news is that upgrading one’s boiler does not have to be limited to switching to heat pumps.

“If your budget can stretch a little further now and you already have A-rated appliances and a hydrogen-ready combi boiler, you could also add solar panels into the mix to save later. With the weather we have here in the UK, you cannot rely on them entirely, but a good 40 percent to 70 percent of your hot water could be sourced from your solar panels.

“A hybrid system with solar thermal panels may be an even better option. Costing between £3,000 to 6,000 to install, solar thermal panels are a space-saving version of regular solar panels and can be up to 70 percent more efficient than regular solar panels.

“With the summer coming up and hopefully lots of sunrays to harness, now might be the best time to invest in solar energy and prepare for the unprecedented bills coming this autumn.”

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