A building energy rating (BER) is a rating of the overall energy efficiency of a building. The rating is denoted on scale of A to G, with A1 being the most energy efficient and G being the least energy efficient. A-rated homes will tend to have the lowest energy bills. When it comes to selling your house, a good BER is an obvious advantage.
Here are some tips to increase the energy efficiency of your home:
- Swop your shower heads. Modern high efficiency shower heads can reduce water flow by half or more. Newer fixtures are designed to keep water pressure high while reducing the flow so you don’t feel the sacrifice like with earlier models.
- Install a tap aerator. A tap aerator can reduce water flow from taps by up to 50 percent without affecting water pressure.
- Check for leaks and drips from taps and flushes. Even a small drip can amount to gallons of water wastage every day.
- Install a dual flush on toilets. This means there are two flush settings – one that uses less water than the other.
- Select your washing machine setting carefully. Using hot water in your washing machine not only uses a large volume of water but also electricity if the water is heated unnecessarily. Reducing the temperature of the wash cycle is more energy efficient all round.
- Reduce tumble dryer usage. Tumble dryers are notorious energy users. The easiest way to reduce the energy use of your dryer, is simply not to use it. Dry outdoors as much as possible or use indoor drying racks.
- Maximise your oven space. The oven is one of the biggest energy users in the kitchen and most of us use our ovens very inefficiently. Rather than using the oven two days in a row, plan your meals and batch cook. It is much more economical to cook 3 items in your oven at once than turn it on 3 times!
- Reduce your fridge temperature. The temperature of your fridge does not need to be as low in winter time as it does in summer. Coming into the winter months, turn up the temperature slightly to make it run more efficiently.
- Use your microwave. Microwaves are the most energy efficient way to heat food. Some would question the health merits of microwaves but for efficiency, they are the best option.
- Use energy saving light bulbs. This is one of the simplest changes you can make to save energy and money.
- Install dimmer switches. By having a dimmer switch for your lighting enables you to turn down your lights and conserve energy.
- Ensure your home is well insulated. Good insulation will avoid heat escaping. If your home lacks good insulation, it is not too late to sort it out. There may be even a Government grant available to you to install proper insulation.
- Make sure windows and doors are properly sealed.
- Consider solar panels. A solar hot water heating system is an excellent way of making your house more energy efficient as it reduces the amount of fuel used to heat hot water.
- Never ‘standby’! Televisions, radios and DVD players all use energy when they are in standby mode. Games consoles are the biggest energy users while in standby mode. Ensure they are always powered off when not in use.