6 Summer tips to save energy

6 Energy saving steps to take this Summer (that your Winter self will thank you for!)

Written by Cathy Hallewell

As the sun shines brighter and temperatures rise, it’s the perfect time to think ahead and make some simple energy-saving changes in your home.
The benefit? When the Winter chill rolls around, you’ll be patting yourself on the back, rather than being left out in the cold.
Here are seven easy steps to help you save energy this summer, and even score some UK government grants with the help of Energy Saving Genie.

Overview – 7 steps to saving energy:

  1. Get a smart meter
  2. Make the most of your windows
  3. Add screening options
  4. Mind the gap(s)
  5. Add insulation
  6. Learn about UK government grants for eco savings
  7. Get Energy Saving Genie help you access the grants

1. Get smart 

If you don’t already have one, installing a smart meter can help you monitor and reduce your energy usage, leading to significant savings. They’re available from your energy supplier and they’re completely free (including installation).

A smart meter performs two functions:

  • Smart meters automatically send your gas and electricity usage data to your supplier via a secure network.
  • An in-home display unit shows your current usage and costs, with gas readings updating every 30 minutes and electricity readings in near real-time.

With a smart meter, you can track your energy usage more accurately and avoid estimated bills. This can help you identify energy-hungry appliances and adjust your habits to save money.

According to the Energy Saving Trust, smart meters can help households save up to 10% on their energy bills. They also provide the added convenience of automatic meter readings, eliminating the need for manual readings and estimated bills.

Without a smart meter, you may be unaware of how much energy you’re using and where you could be saving. This can lead to higher bills and less efficient energy use.

There are a range of smart meter and heating control options for properties that qualify for the Energy Company Obligation (ECO4) scheme. Grants include Smart thermostats, thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs), programmer & room thermostats and time and temperature zone control (TTZC). These are often installed alongside heating upgrades and insulation and you can check eligibility using the free grant checker.

Tip 1 -open your windows to regulate temperature

2. Give your windows a workout!

One of the easiest ways to keep your home cool without spending any money is to make greater use of your windows.

By simply managing when you open and close your windows, you can significantly control the temperature inside your home. When it’s cool outside, usually in the early morning and evening, open your windows to let the fresh air in. During the day, close them up to keep the heat out.

The benefit?

This simple trick can:

  • keep your home naturally cool (this method can reduce the indoor temperature by several degrees) and
  • reduce the need for extra cooling expenses, saving you money on energy bills.

If you leave your windows open all day during the heat, you’re essentially letting all that hot air in, which makes for an unpleasant night in the height of our UK Summer.

Start today by checking the weather forecast and planning the phase of your window opening and closing times accordingly.

Tip 2 - screen with plants

3. Apply that sun screen (to your house!)

Blocking out the sun’s rays before they even hit your windows can make a huge difference.

Keep the Summer sun at bay by:

  • installing shades and shutters
  • placing leafy plants on window ledges (inside or outside your windows)
  • adding indoor curtains or blinds

This not only keeps your home cooler but also adds a bit of extra privacy.

Without effective screening, your home can turn into a greenhouse, making it uncomfortably hot and causing additional energy usage.

 

Draught proofing home with sealant

4. Mind the gap(s)

Draught-proofing your home can lead to significant energy savings, especially crucial during the current cost of living crunch.

Draught-proofing involves sealing up gaps around, for instance:

  • doors
  • windows
  • chimneys
  • floors and skirting boards
  • loft hatches
  • and other areas where cold air can enter and warm air can escape.

This simple and cost-effective method can make your home warmer in winter and cooler in summer, reducing your reliance on heating and cooling systems.

By draught-proofing your home, you can save up to £50 a year on energy bills, according to the Energy Saving Trust. It’s an easy way to improve your home’s comfort and efficiency without a large investment. Sealing gaps around windows and doors can prevent cold air from entering, making your home warmer and reducing the need for heating.

Ignoring draughts can lead to higher energy bills and a less comfortable home. During the cost of living crunch, every penny saved on energy bills can make a big difference.

Check your home for gaps today and get them sealed them up in time for Winter.

 

Tip 4- add insulation for summer cooling and winter warmth

5. AI (Amazing Insulation)

In addition to draught-proofing your home, good insulation ensures both warmth in Winter and coolness in Summer, making it a win-win option.

Properly insulating your roof, walls, and floors can trap cool air inside during summer and keep warm air in during winter. 

Insulation reduces the need for both heating and cooling, leading to lower energy bills all year round. What’s more, the UK government’s ECO4 scheme (the funding scheme is administered through Ofgem) offers grants to help cover the cost of insulation improvements. These grants can significantly reduce (and even remove) the amount you need to pay for insulation measures.

Homes with proper insulation often have more stable indoor temperatures, meaning less need for heating and cooling. This housing improvement can lead to significant energy savings. For example, a family in the Birmingham area used an ECO4 grant to install loft insulation and cavity wall insulation. Since these installations, their home stays much cooler in summer and warmer in winter, and they’ve seen a 25% reduction in their energy bills.

Without insulation, your home is susceptible to temperature extremes, making it uncomfortable and costly to maintain. You’ll also miss out on the available financial support from the ECO4 scheme, which can make these improvements more affordable.

Invest in insulation to enjoy comfortable temperatures and lower energy bills year-round. Take advantage of the ECO4 grants to make this investment even more cost-effective.

While you could consider DIY options for sealing gaps, a better step in the right direction is to use Energy Saving Genie’s free grant checker to see if you qualify for ECO4 grants that can help cover the costs.

Tip 5 - access ECO4 grants and save money

6. Tap into UK Government grants with ECO4

You can get financial help to make your home more energy-efficient through the UK government’s ECO4 scheme.

The Energy Company Obligation (ECO4) scheme is designed to help qualifying UK households across England, Scotland, and Wales reduce their energy consumption by offering grants for various energy-saving measures.

Essentially, the ECO4 scheme is designed to:

  • tackle fuel poverty and
  • help reduce carbon emissions

The grants can cover significant portions (if not all!) of the costs for improvements like loft, roof and wall insulation, energy-efficient boilers, air source heat pumps, and even some renewable energy installations, with the expense being borne by energy companies.

By accessing these grants, you can make substantial improvements to your home’s energy efficiency without the hefty price tag. This means lower energy bills, a more comfortable home, and doing your bit for the environment.

As you’d imagine, there’s been a great deal of interest in the ECO scheme and it’s helped thousands of UK homes fund energy-saving upgrades. Families have seen dramatic savings and improvements in their home comfort. For instance, one family in Manchester was able to insulate their entire home and install a new energy-efficient boiler, reducing their annual energy costs by nearly 30%.

Failing to take advantage of these home upgrade grants means you could miss out on significant financial support, leaving you to shoulder the full cost of energy-saving improvements. This could result in higher energy bills and a less-than-ideal living standard.

ECO4 grants are a fantastic opportunity to improve your home’s energy efficiency affordably.

Use Energy Saving Genie’s free grant checker to see what you’re eligible for. It’s quick, easy, and could save you a lot of money.

Tip 6 - how Energy Saving Genie can help you in Summer to be warm in Winter

Let Energy Saving Genie help you access these ECO4 grants

Energy Saving Genie simplifies the process of applying for these grants and connects you with top-rated installers.

Navigating the ECO4 grant application process can be daunting. With various eligibility criteria and paperwork, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. That’s where we come in. We take care of everything from determining your eligibility (in relation to assessing householders’ current receipt of government benefits and income, along with checking the property’s current EPC – energy performance certificate) to connecting you with trusted installers who can carry out the work.

With Energy Saving Genie, you get a hassle-free experience.

We have a network of over 30 Trustmark-registered installers, all highly rated and contracted by major energy suppliers. This means you can trust that the work will be done to the highest standards. Plus, we handle all the paperwork and administrative tasks, from initial assessment to finalising the installation of energy-saving measures, so you don’t have to worry about a thing.

We’ve helped countless households across Great Britain access grants and improve the heating systems in their homes. One of our customers, Sarah from Glasgow, was able to get her home insulated and a new boiler installed through the ECO4 scheme. She found the process seamless and was thrilled with the results. Her home is now much warmer in winter, and her energy bills have dropped significantly.

Trying to navigate the grant application process on your own can lead to delays, missed opportunities, and a lot of unnecessary stress. You might end up missing out on grants you’re eligible for or face difficulties in finding reputable installers.

Energy Saving Genie makes it easy to access ECO4 grants and ensures you get the best service from trusted installers. The best news is that, even if you don’t qualify for the ECO4 grants, our checking tool will also assess your eligibility for other government schemes, such as those supported by your local authority (ECO Flex).

Start your journey towards a more energy-efficient home today with our free grant checker. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by – taking action now means you’ll be warm as toast this Winter and enjoying the benefits for years to come.

Enjoy Summer and be ready for Winter

And there you have it! Seven simple energy efficiency measures to help you save this summer, so your winter self will be warm, cozy, and thanking you. Remember, a little effort now can lead to big savings and a more comfortable home all year round.

If you’d like to get ready for Winter now, go ahead and use our free grant checker today as there is funding available right now to improve inefficient homes.

FAQs about the ECO4 scheme

The ECO4 scheme is the latest phase of the UK Government’s Energy Company Obligation, aimed at helping low-income households improve their energy efficiency through various grants and support measures.

Eligibility requirements have been broadened in ECO4 to include more low-income households, particularly those on certain benefits or living in energy-inefficient homes.

Even if you don’t meet the eligibility criteria for the ECO4 scheme, there are a number of other grant schemes available, such as the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) and the Great British Insulation Scheme. Energy Saving Genie’s free grant checker will provide you with information relevant to these grants, if applicable to your circumstances.

ECO4 covers a wide range of measures related to heating controls, including insulation, heating system upgrades, smart thermostats, and whole-house retrofits to improve overall energy efficiency. The focus in this phase of the scheme is on upgrades, rather than repairs to existing household heating measures (such as a boiler repair).

 

You can apply through the Energy Saving Genie’s free grant checker, which will determine your eligibility and connect you with Trustmark-approved installers. From there, the installer will act on your behalf, taking care of all paperwork, including determining installation costs, which are the responsibility of the energy supplier.

The process for an installation customer varies depending on the type of measures required, but typically, from application to grant installation, it can take a few weeks to a couple of months. The process is completed with relevant certification and warranties supplied to the installation customer.

The benefits include reduced energy bills, improved home comfort, and a decrease in carbon emissions, contributing to a greener environment. In the short term, this means savings on heating costs for you and a warm home especially during our Winter months, and in the longer term, a more sustainable future.

If you have any questions or enquiries related to the scheme, please email us.

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