Which energy-efficient home improvements are the most cost-effective?

As energy costs having been rising, reaching an astounding 59% above their winter 2021/22 levels, and online searches regarding energy bills see an 80% uptick, many homeowners are looking for ways to enhance the energy efficiency of their homes, aiming to cut costs.

The question that looms is: which home enhancements genuinely yield the highest energy bill savings? Furthermore, what’s the timeframe for recouping the initial investment?

The experts at chartered surveyors Stokemont have analysed the initial costs and average energy bill savings of energy-efficient home upgrades for households across the UK and this is what they found:

Based on the findings, opting for LED light bulbs instead of traditional incandescent ones stands out as a highly economical and swift energy-efficient enhancement for your home.

With a modest initial cost averaging just £5, making the switch can yield substantial savings. For instance, if you’re replacing a 100-watt bulb, you could potentially trim £14 off your annual energy expenses. This implies that the investment in the LED bulb could be recouped in less than five months.

Transitioning from halogen bulbs to LEDs offers a payback period of 6.2 years, presenting an uncomplicated and effective bulb replacement. Although the savings may not match those of switching from incandescent bulbs, the average annual savings amount to £4.50, or £5 for higher wattage bulbs.

Roof insulation, specifically adding 270mm loft insulation to an uninsulated loft, emerges as the third most cost-effective home improvement, boasting a payback period of 3.2 years on average. In a detached house, despite an initial cost of around £1,200, the potential £445 annual energy savings could recover the investment in just 2.7 years. For mid-terrace houses, though with less impressive savings at £240 per year, the payback period is 3.7 years, coupled with a lower initial cost of £880.

Cavity wall insulation, securing the fourth position, promises substantial energy bill savings of £255 per year on average, leading to a payback period slightly over 9 years. Mid-floor flats enjoy an even more favorable scenario, with an initial cost of £1,000 and a shorter payback period of 7.5 years.

The study identifies gas boiler replacement with an A-rated model as the fifth most cost-effective upgrade, offering yearly energy bill savings averaging £251. The payback period varies significantly based on house type and existing boiler. For instance, a detached house switching from a G-rated to an A-rated boiler could recover the initial £3,700 in just 6.4 years, yielding substantial yearly savings of £580. Conversely, a mid-floor flat with a D-rated boiler would see more modest savings at £80 per year, necessitating a lengthy 46.3 years to recoup the initial investment.

Some interesting findings here and I will be making sure that all my bulbs are LED for a start, and then work down the list.

Image by Daniel Reche from Pixabay

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