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Do you know what the best options are for improving the energy efficiency of your home?

Posted by Chris Newman on 9 November 2012 at 8:37 am

With winter approaching and energy prices rising again, you may be thinking about how to make your home warmer. But where do you start? 

Our mantra at Parity is that every “home is different”, and by that we don’t just mean the physics of the house, we mean the people inside too. There’s no guarantee that something that your friends have done to their home will be right for you because your house, however similar it might appear to be, will have unique features that affect its energy use, and you almost certainly have different objectives, budgets and lifestyle choices (even your relative DIY skills can make a difference to what will give you the best bang for your buck). On top of this there are practical considerations such as local planning regulations and grants which can affect your choices.

The interplay of all of these factors means that there are myriad possible solutions and combinations of measures and only some of them will be appropriate for your particular circumstances.

To help you make the right decisions, we believe that there’s no substitute for using proper analysis to cut through the conjecture, marketing speak, and generic information that you’ll often come up against. With a good assessment, you can accurately model how your house is performing, what measures can improve it, and how their cost effectiveness might be affected by your behaviour. What’s more, you can look how groups of measures function together as a “package” – which is very different to just adding their individual effects together.

Upcoming policies such as the Green Deal, the Renewable Heat Incentive and ECO will all shortly join the Feed in Tariff in making it – at least in theory – easier and cheaper than ever to “retrofit” your home. But again, these schemes won’t be the best solution for everyone. Good, objective and independent advice will guide you through the policy landscape and help you to understand which schemes could help or hinder your particular journey to lower bills and a more environmentally friendly and comfortable home.

Of course, if you are only planning to do a few little things – like tackle your draughty windows or add a bit of insulation to your loft – you’re probably OK not to worry too much. But if you are planning to invest some time and effort in improving your home’s energy efficiency, possibly alongside a wider renovation project, it is really worth getting some support. Without it, it can be very easy to miss opportunities and, worse still, to make mistakes and waste money. With it, you can soon start to read those headlines about rising energy bills with a satisfied smile rather than a grimace.

About the author: Chris Newman leads on development and delivery of the Parity Projects Home Energy Masterplan.

If you have a question about anything in the above blog, please ask it in the comments section below.

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