Saving energy at home: heating and insulation

Do you want to lower your bills and reduce your impact on the planet?

15% of the UK's emissions come from heating our homes. But measures like installing cavity wall insulation could help reduce your bills up to 20% and reduce your emissions by more than half.

Discover what you can do to heat your home for less.

Close up of a door that is letting in the draught

2. Stop draughts in your home

Draughty windows, doors and floorboards make homes chilly in winter – wasting heat and increasing your impact on the planet.

Draught-proofing is straightforward. Use the Energy Saving Trust's helpful guide.

If you’re renting, your landlord may pay for the materials or even get them professionally installed.

Close up of a door that is letting in the draught

Home heating facts

10%
of heat is lost through windows.
1/3
of heat escapes through the walls of our homes.
20%
reduction in bills and emissions with cavity wall insulation.

3. Install low-carbon heating

Even a well-insulated house needs heating in winter.

Switching to the best eco-heating option, a heat pump, can really reduce your impact on the planet, and cut your emissions by up to 60% .

Heat pumps extract heat from the air outside, heating water for your radiators. They even work below freezing, which explains why chilly Sweden uses so many of them.

4. Get solar panels

Renewable energy is the cleanest form of energy we can use. Imagine enjoying a sunny day, knowing the solar panels on your roof are generating free, clean electricity and hot water.

Your solar panels will probably pay for themselves in around 10 years. And they'll keep generating heat or electricity for decades.

Solar hot water panels are more efficient than solar electricity ones, but they're more costly to fit. If you do have the means and the space, install both.

You can also use excess solar electricity to heat a hot water tank. Solar panels that produce both electricity and heat could soon be a reality.

A woman next to a roof fitted with solar panels
Double-glazed windows looking out from a property on to a residential street

5. Glaze windows and doors

Double- or triple-glazed windows make a house warmer and reduce outside noise.

If you're a homeowner, replace your doors at the same time with well-insulated ones. It won’t increase the costs much but will reduce draughts.

DIY secondary glazing is a much cheaper option, but it’s about half as effective at saving energy and won’t look as good.

Double-glazed windows looking out from a property on to a residential street

Did you know?

5 years
The payback time for cavity wall insulation.
10-20 years
The payback time for glazing. But one of the best buys for a more comfortable home.
15%
of heat is lost through draughts.
Illustration of domestic heating radiator

6. Get a smart heating control

Smart heating controls let you control the heating in each room. They can help reduce energy use by assessing the weather, how quickly your property heats up, and when you’re home.

Thermostatic valves on each radiator are a cheaper option, and can be particularly useful for renters who have fewer options to improve home heating.

Illustration of domestic heating radiator

7. Save energy and water

Switching off your TV isn't going to save the world from climate breakdown, but developing energy-saving and water-saving habits will make some difference.

Smart energy meters can be helpful in encouraging good habits, as they provide live info on how much energy you’re using. For example, you'll notice a difference in how much water and energy you're using by taking shorter showers (5 minutes or less).

If you can afford to, you can make an even bigger difference by replacing old, energy-guzzling appliances with efficient versions (A-rated and above).