Downsizing your energy bills

Energy bills in the UK are predicted to rise considerably this year. This is due to issues that have increased wholesale energy costs and have subsequently put a number of energy suppliers out of business. Estimates put the energy cost rise by up to 56%.

Written by

Sheila Frampton

Beechcroft’s inhouse survey revealed that 91% of its customers at Cotswold Gate, Burford, stated that energy-efficiency is important to them. This isn’t surprising, particularly when energy bills in the UK are predicted to rise considerably over the next year due to issues that have increased wholesale energy costs that have subsequently put a number of energy suppliers out of business. Estimates put the energy cost rise by up to 56%.  

This could be the perfect time to downsize your energy bills by retiring to a brand-new Beechcroft home.  Not only could you make substantial savings, you could benefit the environment, have a home that requires far less maintenance and become part of a community of like-minded people.

And did you know you could save on more than just your energy bills with Beechcroft? Find out about the other savings you could make in our 'Downsize your cost of living' leaflet.

How much could a brand-new home save on my energy bills?

Research by the National House Building Council Foundation* reveals that buying a new home built to the latest standards can save you approximately 50% on your dual fuel bill, as compared to a typical ‘upgraded’ Victorian home of a similar size. In 2017, the Home Builders’ Federation cited a saving of almost £700 a year when comparing a new build home to its Victorian equivalent – but energy costs have soared since then so the saving will now be significantly more.

Maryland Place, St Albans
New homes Maryland Place

Is the energy saving enough to consider buying a brand-new home?

A recent UK-wide study of property buyers for new homes by a kitchen fixtures supplier has revealed that 61% of house buyers prioritise energy efficiency when looking for a new home.  Sustainability has become increasingly important and the features expected in new builds include double or triple-glazed windows, insulated walls, doors and roofs and energy-efficient heating systems.

A customer buying a new home

Would downsizing to a retirement community bring greater savings?

If you are downsizing from an older property with four or five bedrooms to a much more energy-efficient property with two or three bedrooms, then you’ll be making even more savings because you won’t be heating unoccupied bedrooms.  

Community lounge
Over 55's drinking wine

Why are new build homes more energy efficient?

New build homes have to comply with the latest building regulations, designed to ensure a minimum level of thermal performance and insulation which makes them far more energy-efficient. New homes have much better insulation – in terms of the cavity walls, flooring and roofing and this means they are far more energy efficient.  They generally have much good quality doors and double glazing which lets in the sun but reduces the heat loss – making it twice as efficient as double glazing from the 1990s. Modern boilers are more efficient and homes incorporate modern technology designed with energy-saving in mind and appliances with better energy-ratings and settings which can help save energy.

Cotswold Gate, Burford

Could I fit out my old home to make it more energy efficient?

It can be done but many older houses are revered for their architecture and cultural significance and can be difficult to heat and difficult to retrofit. Costs for retrofits vary depending on the size of the house, its age and energy efficiency. You will need a retrofitting expert to conduct an analysis and create a plan – which could cost anywhere between £40,000 and £200,000 and an older house, even if energy-efficient, will still require a good deal of maintenance. 

Solar panels on a roof
Energy saving lightbulb

What are Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs)?

According to a survey published by the Home Builders’ Federation 54% of the people polled were not aware of the energy efficient rating of their current home when they moved in.  Indicating the energy efficiency of buildings, Energy Performance Certificates or EPCs are based on data about a building’s energy features including the building materials used, the heating systems and the insulation.  The data is collected by an accredited energy assessors and entered into government-approved software to generate a score for the EPC typically ranging from 0 to 100.  Domestic EPCs are banded from A to G with A being the most energy efficient.

What people say...

What are the average energy efficiency ratings of new homes versus older properties?

The latest EPC data for England, recorded between July and September 2021, states that 84% of new-build homes are currently achieving B-rated energy efficiency whilst 82% of existing homes were given a C or D rating. 

The Sidings, Wheatley
The Sidings, Wheatley

Is one type of property more energy efficient than another?

For all properties in England and Wales, flats and maisonettes were shown to be the most energy efficient. Detached dwellings are the least because of external wall exposure.In all categories, new homes were significantly more energy efficient than older properties.v

Hampton Manor, Godalming

Does being more energy-efficient mean that new homes are better for the environment?

Yes. New homes also have significantly less impact on the environment that older properties.  EPC assessments include an environmental impact score based on expected carbon dioxide emissions.  The higher the rating, the less the impact on the environment.

What energy-saving features will I find in a new Beechcroft home?

In addition to high levels of insulation to minimise energy loss, LED lighting, double-glazed windows and energy-efficient boilers, Beechcroft homes include energy-efficient appliances and underfloor heating, which is more efficient than traditional radiators.  The new build homes also include air source heat pumps and whole house ventilation.

What are the best energy saving tips?

  • LED lights consume less energy and have a longer lifespan than other types of lighting
  • Double or triple glazed windows prevent heat escaping.
  • Service your boiler on an annual basis
  • Install home automation solutions -such as home hubs- that control heating, lighting, Wi-Fi and other electrical appliances
  • Install a smart meter so you can see where you’re using most energy and reduce the usage.
  • Wash your clothes at 30-40 degrees centigrade – 90% of a washing machine’s energy expenditure is spent on heating the water.
  • Use a microwave – or a slow cooker – both of which use less energy.
  • Turn the thermostat down by just 1 degree Centigrade – it can save you up to £100 per year.

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