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Sustainable energy

Loft insulation can dramatically reduce your energy use
Heating and powering our homes contributes about 16% of the UK's greenhouse gas emissions. Luckily, there are plenty of things we can do to make our homes more energy efficient and reduce electricity consumption, and these measures will help save you money as well as cutting emissions.

Easy wins

Many of these measures are quick and simple "easy wins". Here are a few suggestions, and the Energy Saving Trust provides lots more tips (savings shown below are based on a typical three-bedroom semi-detached home and reflect the April 2022 energy price cap).

  • Draught-proofing windows and doors could save you around £60 per year, and if you have an open chimney, you could save around £90 per year more with a chimney draught excluder.
  • Turning your thermostat down by just 1°C can cut your heating bill by about 10%. Temperatures below 18°C aren't recommended, but since the average thermostat setting in the UK is just over 20°C, there's still plenty of scope for saving energy. What's more, eliminating draughts (see previous point) will allow you to feel comfortable at a lower temperature.
  • Ensuring appliances are switched off, rather than being left on standby, when not in use, could save you around £65 per year. Plus, turning off lights in empty rooms can save another £25 per year.
  • Keeping your shower time to just 4 minutes could save a typical household £95 a year on their energy bills.
  • Many suppliers now offer 100% renewable electricity. Switching is easy and every household that switches increases demand for renewables, making it easier for generators to invest in them. Just be careful to choose a genuinely renewable package and not one that relies on offsetting.

Bigger impact changes

Other changes are bigger and will cost more up front, but will save you money in the long run. What's more, grants and incentives are available to help implement many of these measures, because of the benefit they have in combating both climate change and fuel poverty. Some schemes worth being aware of are:

  • You can get measures to reduce your home's energy demand, such as insulation, solar panels and heat pumps, completely free under the Warmer Homes Scheme, if your household income is under £30,000 per year and your home has poor energy efficiency.
  • Most homeowners are eligible for grants of up to £6000 to help with the cost of installing heat pumps through the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, provided adequate insulation is in place.
  • The Smart Export Guarantee ensures that if you generate renewable electricity (for example with solar panels on your roof), you can sell any excess electricity that you don't use to the grid. It's up to energy suppliers to decide how much to pay so it's worth shopping around for the best deal.

Here are some examples of changes you can make that will benefit from these schemes, and significantly reduce your carbon footprint. For the Warmer Homes scheme, measures provided will be dependent on an initial survey of your property. Please see the eligibility details for the schemes by following the links above, as there are some caveats you will need to be aware of.

 Grants/incentives available
Warmer Homes SchemeBoiler Upgrade SchemeSmart Export Guarantee

Loft insulation to a depth of at least 270mm can make a huge difference, cutting emissions by around 610kg and saving you around £355 per year, since a quarter of all heat loss occurs through the roof in an uninsulated home.*

If you don't have cavity walls, solid wall insulation can be installed either inside or outside your home, typically reducing your heating costs by around £540 per year and your emissions by around 910kg per year.*  

Air source heat pumps are an extremely efficient heating method, since most of the energy is drawn from the surroundings rather than being supplied through the electricity grid. Depending on your current heating system, they may be cheaper to run as well. They could cut your carbon footprint by a massive 1,800kg per year - or substantially more if you have an older heating system.**

Solar Photovoltaic panels allow you to benefit from free electricity, and a typical system could save around 1000kg of CO2 per year. Check out our Switched On Solar tool to see how many panels you could have on your property and estimate your likely savings. 


*  Cost and emissions savings are based on a typical semi-detached gas-heated house and reflect the October 2022 energy price cap. Savings vary considerably depending on type of property and current heating systems; follow the links for more detailed information on loft insulation and solid wall insulation.

**  Emissions savings are based on a typical well-insulated detached gas-heated house and reflect the October 2022 energy price cap. Savings vary considerably depending on type of property and current heating systems; see the Energy Saving Trust information on air source heat pumps for more details.

Energy Company Obligation (ECO)

ECO is a government energy efficiency scheme to help tackle fuel poverty. Obligated energy suppliers must fund measures which improve the ability of fuel poor and vulnerable households to heat their homes.

In conjunction with LEAP you can check if you are eligible for funding for larger energy efficiency measures (such as loft and wall insulation) under the government's ECO scheme.

To check your eligibility for ECO visit the Ofgem website for supplier contact details

If you are not eligible for ECO through the standard eligibility criteria, you may be able to access the scheme through ECO Flex, which provides extra eligibility routes into the scheme. This document is available to view.

To access the scheme, you will need to contact your energy supplier. Alternatively, you may be contacted directly by installers to have energy efficiency measures funded by ECO installed on your property. Be conscious of scams, you can contact the Portsmouth City Council Energy Services Team, working on behalf of Gosport Borough Council,  at if you are unsure about an installer who is contacting you.

Switched on Gosport - Further Support with energy bills

If you're struggling with your energy bills, there are a number of schemes available ranging from free energy advice to home energy efficiency upgrades such as home insulation and solar panels. Visit the Switched on Gosport website for help with your energy bills and to see what energy schemes are available in your area.

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