10 Top Tips for Improving Household Energy Efficiency

Making improvements to your house’s Energy Efficiency is becoming increasingly important. With the rising cost of electricity and gas and the push to improve Energy Efficiency ratings by 2025, there’s a lot of pressure for families and landlords to make the necessary changes to save money on bills.

Most of these improvements are a lot easier to make if you own your own home but if you rent your home then you could always make suggestions to your landlord.

Here at Cook Brown Energy we are an Independent Assessment Company providing energy consultancy for all types of commercial and domestic projects throughout England and Wales. In this article we have outlined some of the top energy efficiency tips for homeowners and landlords to help minimise energy bills.

Upgrade your Windows and Doors

Windows and doors are one of the biggest causes for heat loss in homes. Typically around 10% of heat is lost through them (source), either through the glazing, or through air leakage – because of broken seals.

To maximise on energy efficiency, it is recommended to upgrade to triple glazed windows. The additional pane of glass provides and additional insulation barrier for heat radiation.

It’s more difficult to upgrade windows in some properties, listed properties, rented properties, or if you are in an area with restrictions to replacing windows and doors. In these cases, secondary glazing can be considered. Secondary Glazing is an addition to existing windows and can even be used by people who rent properties because it is a more affordable option.

Another alternative is adding thick curtains to the windows, these work in a similar way to an additional pane of glass, preventing the warm air escaping through the window.

Learn more about U-Value calculations with Cook Brown Energy >

Wall Insulation

Insulating your walls will largely depend on the type of walls you have as each type is insulated differently. The older your house is the more insulation you are likely to need. Houses built before 1920 typically have a single thicker outer layer; newer houses have a cavity gap built in to help improve insulation as it requires heat to pass through two barriers before escaping.

Uninsulated houses can result in a lot of energy loss so adding insulation is an effective way to reduce heating costs, and improve overall energy efficiency. It is estimated you could save up to 30% on energy costs by making this improvement.

Wall Insulation for Different House Types

Your house type can also affect the type of insulation you need. Semi-detached and detached houses will need more insulation than a terraced house.

Floor Insulation

Although most heat is lost though walls, a lot of heat is also lost through the floors of a building. Floor insulation isn’t as common as it should be, especially in older homes so it’s something worth considering.

Fortunately, not all floors will require insulation because only the ground floor requires insulation, and you wouldn’t have to worry about the first floor or loft unless you were planning on dramatically improving energy efficiency. It is estimated that you could save up to 15% on energy costs if you didn’t previously have floor insulation.

Switch to Energy Efficient Lightbulbs

You shouldn’t expect a massive change to energy efficiency when using more efficient lighting but it can still make a difference.

Conventional incandescent lighting will typically produce more heat energy than light energy. If you are aiming to improve the energy efficiency rating of your house, incandescent and halogen spotlights are classed as low efficiency lights in under EPCs. Switching to low-energy LED lightbulbs could reduce energy usage by 90% compared to other lightbulbs.

Learn more about EPCs with Cook Brown >

Draught Proofing

Draughts can be responsible for energy lost through heat and are an easy thing to address when improving energy efficiency. Some common sources of draughts are doors, windows, keyholes, and letterboxes. There a few options available for draught proofing these parts of your home and there are often ways you can make these improvements yourself.

Air tightness testing is also known as air permeability testing, air leakage testing, and air pressure testing. This is a great option to assess drafts in your home. This test is the process of determining the total amount of uncontrolled air that escapes through gaps and cracks in the building’s fabric or envelope. It is a requirement for all new buildings, and a key factor in achieving energy efficiency status and energy performance targets.

Learn more about air tightness testing with Cook brown >

Washing and Drying

Washing machines and Dryers use a lot energy and there are a few changes you can make to save energy when washing and drying your clothes. Use you washing machine on a lower heat setting such as 30 degrees or do a cold wash where possible. For more important washes such as bedding, you’ll still need to wash your clothes at higher temperature though.

Waiting until you have a full load to do a wash is also a small way to avoid using too much energy. When it comes to drying your clothes, you should consider not using a drier at all. A drying rack is a great way to save energy because it doesn’t require any electricity at all. It is of course important to note that ventilation needs to be considered so make sure there’s enough air flow in your house.

The savings aren’t huge, even annually but when you are responsible with every aspect of your washing and drying then your energy efficiency will be a lot higher than it was.

Turn off Lights and Adjust the Thermostat

Adjusting your thermostat and turning it down a couple of degrees can also save energy. If you don’t already have one, then it’s a really useful addition to your house that could help you optimise your energy usage. Similarly, turning the lights off when you’re not using them can also help you save energy.

Water and Boiler

Heating water can use a lot of energy; if your boiler isn’t as energy efficient as it can be then in the long-term it can be wasting energy heating water.

Take a look at your boiler and pipes to see what insulation they have as this can save a lot on heating costs. Installing a cylinder jacket on your water tank and using foam to insulate your pipes can considerably improve overall energy efficiency.

Getting your boiler serviced annual by a Gas Safe Registered engineer can help to prolong the life of your boiler and maintain if efficiency.


Appliances can be a common source of energy wastage and a very easy way to increase energy efficiency. You may have heard about the infamous energy vampires which are appliances that use energy even when they’re off but still plugged in. These include things TVs and video game consoles.

When choosing appliances for your home it is best to choose a product with a good energy rating. It is recommended to choose an appliance with a rating of C and above. While these can be more expensive, they can help to reduce your monthly energy bill long term.

Use Your Smart Meter

Your smart meter recorded the usage of gas and electricity in your home throughout the day. Monitor how it changes throughout the day to learn where you could be wasting energy. Many households have timed heating and hot water. Make sure you are not heating an empty home.

Reducing your Energy Usage, Wastage, and Improving your overall Energy Efficiency with Cook Brown

As an energy consultancy company, we are experts in energy efficiency and will be more than happy to help with any questions you might have. Improving your homes energy efficiency can help the planet and the purse strings.

Our expert team can help you assess your energy efficiency and suggest improvements to help you make your house more energy efficient. Explore our energy consultancy services or contact us today on 01275846995 or email us on info@cookbrownenergy.co.uk to learn more.