Earlier this month, Changeworks Deputy Chief Executive Liz Partington shared some of the actions we can all take to play our part in tackling the global climate emergency. 

Here we look at another of those actions in more detail: improving the energy efficiency of our homes. We spoke to our specialist energy advisors to get you some top practical tips to keep your homes warmer and stop wasting money on your heating and electricity bills.

Reducing the amount of heat and energy we waste in our houses can seem daunting – but not everything has to be about massive changes or spending a tonne of money. There are small, simple things that everyone can do. Chances are that every home can be at least a little bit less wasteful.

"Everyone can do something, even if it seems like a small thing." 

Michael Seaword, Energy Advisor, Home Energy Scotland

It’s not just about saving the planet; it will also stop you paying too much for your heating and electricity bills. If you make changes to the energy efficiency of your home, you might see a direct change in the size of your bills.

Beyond that, you get the satisfaction of knowing you’re doing your bit to tackle the climate emergency. Even if we just become a little bit more aware of where we might be wasting energy, we can make changes that make an impact.

"Energy efficiency isn't exclusive – it's for everyone. Everyone can stop wasting money and reduce energy." 

Dean Wigglesworth, Partnership Manager and Home Energy Specialist, Home Energy Scotland

Basically, it’s a win all around! With that in mind, here are our four easy tips to make your home more energy efficient.

Lightbulbs

Energy efficient LED lightbulbs are an easy “quick win” to improve the efficiency of our homes. Did you know that they use around one tenth of the energy of an old-style lightbulb? When you change all the bulbs in a house, that makes a big difference.

But you don’t have to change them all at once – focus on the rooms you use the most, like the kitchen or living areas. And remember, whatever bulbs you have, turning lights off when you aren’t using them is one of the easiest ways to save energy.

Draught proofing

It might not be fashionable, but making our homes less draughty can make a big difference. Simple draught excluders can help keep your home warm and reduce heating waste. Thermal curtains are another great option to quickly improve the efficiency of your home. The more your home keeps the heat in, the less you have to crank up the thermostat – and that’s good for your wallet as well as the environment.

"Any time you use heat or switch something on, you use energy.” 

Alan Cole, Affordable Warmth Advisor, Changeworks

Turning down the temperature

It may sound obvious, but the higher temperature you run things in your home at the more energy they use. If you run your dishwasher or washing machine at a higher temperature, you could be wasting money. A 30 degree washing machine cycle can use 57 per cent less energy than a higher temperature wash and is fine for most types of loads.

Similarly with your heating, turning your thermostat down even one degree could cut your bill by around £80 over the course of a year.

Be on top of your heating

Your heating is a big driver of energy use in the home, so being more active in managing it could make a significant difference. If you can, turn your heating down even one degree. That extra degree could be costing you dozens of pounds a year.

Aside from just turning it down, you can focus heating on areas like living rooms while turning down the heat in bedrooms and kitchens – rooms that aren’t occupied as often. There’s no point in heating the whole house if the family is all in one room! That’s waste you can cut without even noticing.

Everyone can do something to make their home more energy efficient, even if it’s a tiny thing. It could be changing one lightbulb or turning off one radiator in an under-used room. It doesn’t have to be a chore! It can be an easy action that puts pounds back in your pocket and cuts your carbon footprint, so we can all do our part to protect the planet at the same time. What will you do?