How transforming your Sheffield home into an ultra-energy efficient property can help the environment - and save you money
Homeowners have been offered cutting edge scientific advice on how to turn their ageing Sheffield houses into ultra-energy efficient eco-homes.
The national grid is decarbonising faster than experts predicted but scientists say retrofitting Britain’s ageing housing stock remains one of our greatest challenges if we are to stop climate change.
Researchers from money.co.uk spoke to scientists to discover how the latest innovations can be used to retrofit older homes.
Ben Gallizzi, an energy expert at money.co.uk, said: “There are simple steps everyone can take to improve the energy efficiency of their home.
"Some measures are more complex than others and will require more investment but there are some things we all can do quite easily if we are to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and tackle climate change.”
One tip is to let the light in. Consider a roof window, sun tunnel or find other creative ways to maximise natural light into your home. The more sunlight can find its way inside the less the need for both electric lighting and artificial heating.
Other tips include use less gas. Households wishing to reduce their carbon footprint should find ways to use less gas and instead choose clean electricity as their preferred cooking and heating method.
Go solar is another recommendation. Solar energy is abundant and photovoltaic panels and arrays have become increasingly cost-effective. Experts says all available roof space in Britain which is south or south-westerly facing should be utilised for solar energy.
Utilising smart technology in our homes lets us switch energy sources to ensure efficient management of energy flows from solar panels, the grid and from a connected EV.
Go triple glazed. Single pane windows used to be the norm and are still in place in thousands of older homes across the UK. But, while double glazing has become standard for all new homes, experts say we should go one step further and make triple glazing the standard of the future as it’s much more effective at stopping heat being lost from the home, thereby greatly reducing energy consumption.
Fully insulate your home. It may sound obvious but experts say there are still far too many homes in the UK with poor or even zero insulation. This is particularly true of older housing. Keeping heat inside the house is the simplest thing you can do to vastly improve energy efficiency – and reduce gas and electricity bills.
Install a bidirectional battery. It may sound like the stuff of science fiction but rechargeable homes are already a reality. By installing a bidirectional battery your home’s energy can be topped up from the battery of a compatible electric vehicle (EV). The home’s energy needs are then balanced between its solar array, battery and the grid.
Choose an air pump or underfloor heating. As your home moves towards net carbon zero, you will have less need for central heating. Instead, you should opt for an air source heat pump or underfloor heating which is much more efficient and helps a house to retain heat far longer.