How green is your home?
We’re all wondering how to improve energy efficiency in our homes, especially as fuel bills continue to rise. Of course, new Redrow’s come complete with energy efficiency built in and will always save you money compared with an older property. New builds are designed to save you money. They have water conservation measures, low-energy lighting, better insulation, heat retaining materials, high-specification doors and windows and efficient boilers. Many new homes also offer solar panels as standard or as an upgrade, harnessing natural energy to help the environment and cut bills.
New research based on Government Energy Performance Certificate data has found that buyers of a new build house will save on average £3,100 a year* on energy bills. Further research had also shown that a new build home costs more than 50% less to light and heat than an older property. Experts are now predicting that energy bills for a typical household will rise to £3,549 a year following the new price cap, so the importance of any savings is even greater.
Cool home gadgets for your home
There are many devices which can help us keep an eye on how much energy we use, helping us to be kinder to the environment whilst cutting our costs at the same time. These include smart power strips which ensure devices like TVs, computers and consoles aren’t using energy while they’re in stand-by mode. You can set timers on your power strips to turn off sockets when you know items won’t be in use (for example, overnight). You can also control sockets remotely, so if you do realise you’ve forgotten to unplug or switch off a device when you’re out of the house, you can do it via an app. Smart plugs can even be synched to your smartphone so you can switch power off to any device even when you’re not there.
LED lights use less electricity and emit a lower level of carbon dioxide than their predecessors. And – thanks to the latest LED apps - you can now set the ambience and mood of a room remotely, dimming lights or changing their colours via your smartphone, tablet or smart home hub.
Basics, too, like smart meters allow you to check your usage and make savings where possible.
App-based heating controls like Hive give you the freedom to control and adjust power remotely, meaning you never have to heat your home when it’s empty.
Working on sunshine
Solar Pholtovaic (PV) panels harness the energy of the sun, providing an eco-friendly method of powering our homes. A 3kW system, like that offered by us via My Redrow, may generate up to 50% of the electricity needed to heat a homeowner’s water and radiators. Solar energy needs to be used as soon as it’s generated, so you can make the most of free electricity by setting timers on your household appliances – like washing machines, dishwashers etc - to run them in sequence throughout the day.
And it’s not just inside that can benefit from the powerful rays of the sun. You can brighten your garden by purchasing exterior solar lights, which work during the night as well as day. You can also get solar powered chargers to make sure your phone never loses power when you’re out and about, plus solar-powered speakers to play music when you’re enjoying that garden barbecue with family and friends.
Future home technology
As time goes by, technology will make more and more homes fuel-efficient. The Future Homes Standard, which comes into effect in 2025, will require all new builds to be ‘future-proofed’ with low carbon heating and world-leading levels of energy efficiency.
Air-sourced pumps are expected to replace gas as the main source of heating and hot water systems for new homes – a development which we are already trialling at one of our developments in Wales. Insulation and ventilation, glazing, and materials, will also be enhanced, creating improved airtightness and, thus, increased efficiency.
Eco-friendly tips for home
Using the latest tech is just one way of reducing your energy usage and therefore cutting your costs. Other effective measures include washing clothes at a lower temperature and drying them outside instead of in the tumble dryer. You should also switch off appliances not in use instead of leaving them in stand-by mode, and make a surprising dent in your heating bill by turning down the thermostat by just one degree.
Improving insulation and draft-proofing, along with other measures, can also help to make homes more eco-friendly and cheaper to run.
To find our more read our tips on how to save energy at home.
*Based on fuel bill figures following the price cap rise in April 2022