This week in the Examiner, Kieran McCarthy of KMC Homes provides advice on the quickest and cheapest home improvements to cut your energy bills
Q.we’ve just got our second massive electricity bill and we need help! I know we’re not alone, but this has left us stunned. How can we best future-proof our home, or at least shave back the bills? It’s a 1980s semi-d we bought six years ago and it had a C1 BER at the time. It’s pretty draught-free, at least, and has gas central heating and insulated to the standards of the day. Should we do PV panels on the roof for energy generation?
A. We certainly live in unusual times. We have neatly transitioned from a global pandemic to a very unfortunate war in Eastern Europe. Beyond all the terrible loss and hardship this brings to the people directly affected by the war, the world we live in is now suffering from wartime fuel shortages. We are still very dependent on fossil fuels and a large concentration of these fuels comes from Russia and these fuels directly affect your electrical energy supply.
So, closer to home, what can you do to help offset your rapidly increasing electricity bills? Photovoltaic) panels on your roof will certainly help but these are a big ticket item and, in an older house with a limited budget, I feel there is other low-hanging, cost-saving fruit available. I would begin by looking at your entire home energy input as gas prices will also escalate in tandem with electricity so I would start with the external envelope of your building.
There is little point in spending on upgrading your energy sources if your existing building is wildly inefficient. The new more cost-effective energy will just pour out through cracks in your building and these precious efficiencies will be lost.
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