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Seven Ways to Make a Home More Energy Efficient in 2024 

With 3.5 million UK adults planning major home improvements in 2024, an energy expert has shared seven adjustments that can properties more sustainable. 

The advice was shared after research by IronmongeryDirect, the UK’s largest supplier of specialist ironmongery, found that over 13 million buildings (73 per cent) could improve their Energy Performance Certificate rating. 

The government’s Minimum Energy Performance of Buildings Bill is currently being considered by the House of Commons, and if it passes, would require all owner-occupied properties to have an EPC rating of at least C by 2035. 

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To help homeowners improve their energy ratings in 2024, IronmongeryDirect spoke to Oliver Creevy, managing director at Insulation Advisor, to share seven ways to improve efficiency: 

1. Install a condensing boiler - “Upgrading to a modern, energy-efficient boiler, such as a condensing boiler, can significantly reduce energy consumption and enhance the overall performance of a heating system." 

2. Replace windows and doors - “Windows and doors are key to maintaining a well-insulated home. Double or triple glazing for windows improves thermal efficiency, while upgrading doors, especially those with gaps or poor sealing, can also contribute to better insulation.” 

3. Upgrade insulation - “Assess the current insulation levels in the property and suggest upgrades where necessary. This can include loft insulation, cavity wall insulation, and insulating floors.” 

4. Draught-proofing - “Sealing gaps around windows, doors, and other openings can prevent cold air from entering and warm air from escaping. This simple yet impactful act improves energy efficiency and enhances comfort by maintaining a consistent temperature.” 

5. Install solar panels - “While the initial investment can be substantial, the long-term benefits of solar panels, including lower electricity bills and a reduced carbon footprint, make them a worthwhile suggestion for customers looking to embrace renewable energy solutions.” 

6. Replace old appliances - “Upgrading outdated appliances with energy-efficient models can lead to substantial energy savings. Look for appliances with a high Energy Efficiency Rating as they meet strict efficiency guidelines. From refrigerators to washing machines, modern appliances are designed to use less energy while delivering the same or even better performance, contributing to a more sustainable and cost-effective household.” And...

7. Address air leaks - “Identifying and sealing air leaks is a practical step in improving home energy efficiency. Inspecting windows, doors, and other potential openings and sealing them can prevent heat loss and reduce the workload on your heating and cooling systems. It's a cost-effective way to make your home more comfortable and energy efficient.” 

IronmongeryDirect’s research has created a map that identifies the local authorities which have the most homes that could be made more energy efficient, and found that Birmingham, Leeds and Cornwall top the list. 

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The UK local authorities with the most homes that could be made more energy efficient are: 

#

Local Authority

Properties where energy ratings could be improved

Total properties

Percentage of properties where energy rating could be improved

1

Birmingham

238,926

318,512

75%

2

Leeds

187,293

256,400

73%

3

Cornwall

149,926

191,938

78%

4

County Durham

147,263

173,248

85%

5

Bradford

127,855

157,881

81%

6

Manchester

125,289

192,116

65%

7

Liverpool

119,954

164,524

73%

8

Sheffield

117,315

164,395

71%

9

Wiltshire

116,781

151,393

77%

10

Buckinghamshire

116,381

160,414

73%

Ellis Osborn, ecommerce manager at IronmongeryDirect, says: “The push for greater energy efficiency will ultimately benefit us all, but it is of particular interest to tradespeople, who will undoubtedly be required to help the nation on this journey. The demand for sustainable buildings could create lots of opportunities in our industry, and that’s why we’ve launched our new interactive map, so people can spot areas where the most work is required.” 

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