Managing a home

Energy crisis and energy bills: how to make your home more energy efficient

5 min read

Want to know how to save on energy bills? Our guide looks into ways to make your home more energy efficient for yourself or, if selling, potential buyers.

  • David Nicholson journalist and editor
    David Nicholson

    Journalist and editor

    Published March 27th 2024

homeowners talking about how to make their home more energy efficient

The surging price of energy in recent years has placed much greater focus on the cost of running a home and pushed it up the list of priorities potential homebuyers will look for when deciding on their next purchase. But what can homeowners do to make their homes more energy efficient and more attractive to buyers as a result? What should buyers look for when viewing a property and what can they do to reduce their bills once they’ve moved in?

Energy efficiency

Even with the recent falls in energy prices, the average UK household is still paying double what it was in 2021 with the latest energy cap seeing an annual bill coming in at about £1,700. Given that a number of the factors that caused the spike in prices still remain in place, notably the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, the cost of energy looks set to remain at these elevated levels for the foreseeable future, increasing the importance of being as efficient as possible with energy use. This not only will help keep bills affordable but also has the added benefit of reducing a household’s carbon footprint.

Simple measures include upgrading to more energy efficient appliances. Keep an eye on the energy labels when considering which fridge, dishwasher or oven to buy. Investing in smart heating controls that enable you to set the temperature for a room and turn the heating on or off remotely are also well worth considering, particularly given that heating typically accounts for about half of the household bill.

With the UK’s housing stock among the least efficient in Europe, there is plenty of scope for homeowners to improve the insulation and stop heat, and with it, money, leaking out of the walls, windows and roof. The biggest gains can be achieved by insulating the loft, where a thickness of 270mm is recommended. Cavity wall insulation will also help, with different options and techniques in retrofitting it available, depending on the type of wall and structure of the building. Upgrading any windows to be at least double-glazed and ensuring any hot water pipes and cylinders are insulated will also reduce heat loss.

When buying, you should be able to find how energy efficient a house is through the energy performance certificate (EPC), as it shows how energy efficient a house is, and what can be done to improve its efficiency. Find out more about EPCs.

For low-income households, check to see if you qualify for funding via the Energy Company Obligation (ECO4) grant scheme while those living in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland should look into their local governments’ Nest, Warmer Homes and Affordable Warmth Schemes respectively for grant eligibility.

Boiler upgrade scheme

Having first reduced your consumption as much as possible, further ways of reducing bills are to explore options for generating your own electricity through installing solar panels or by upgrading your heating system to a ground or air source heat pump. To help with the cost of these more capitally intensive projects, there are grants available such as the government’s boiler upgrade scheme, which can offer £7,500 towards the cost of switching from a fossil-fuelled boiler to a heat pump. For those considering solar panels, check with your current supplier about the Feed in Tariffs it offers for the extra electricity you generate that can be sold back to the grid to ensure you’re getting the best potential return on your investment.

For prospective buyers, it is worth asking the age and type of the current boiler in any property you’re viewing and to factor in the cost of having to upgrade it if it is getting close to its 10 to 15-year typical lifespan.

Find more useful information about what to ask at a property viewing.

While all these measures remain voluntary at this point, with the government scrapping its planned introduction of minimum efficiency standards for rental homes last year, the focus on how energy efficient a home is and how affordable it is to run given the ongoing cost of living crisis is only likely to increase and become an ever more significant factor in buyer’s calculations.

Switching suppliers          

Sourcing a new energy supplier may be further down the list of priorities when you’ve just moved into your dream home but doing so can be an easy way to reduce your new energy bill. The sharp rise in energy prices in the last two years created an unusual situation in which the price cap imposed by the energy regulator, Ofgem, was the most competitive “tariff” for the bulk of consumers to be on. However, as wholesale prices trend downwards, more competition among suppliers is expected to emerge, making fixed price deals more attractive once again.

Before leaving your old home, inform your energy supplier that you’re moving and find out if there is any “early exit” charge to pay if your contract still has some months remaining on it. If this is the case your supplier may allow you to bring your existing contract over to your new home. If you’re on a variable energy cap-linked tariff then there shouldn’t be any exit charges to pay.

When you move into your new home, speak to the existing supplier of the property and let them know you’ve moved in. By default, you’ll automatically be placed on the standard variable tariff but go onto an energy comparison website to see if any better deals are available, then choose the supplier and tariff that best suits your situation and outlook (do you prefer to have security on the amount you’re paying right now or would rather be on a variable tariff where you’ll pay less if energy prices fall but risking paying more if they rise again?).

There are companies that can do this for you, find out more from our moving services partner.

Worth the energy?

Taking these steps to upgrade your insulation and appliances and investing in new sources of energy is a win for all parties. Lower bills and running costs for the homeowner, a more attractive property to prospective buyers and a reduction in fossil fuel consumption makes it better for the environment too.

While the peak of the current energy crisis may be over, making your home more energy efficient and generating your own power is the surest way to insulate yourself against future price shocks.

Share this post


We're here to help

Get in touch with one of the team

Move Specialist team

If you would like to discuss a quotation you have received please call our Move Specialists on

0333 234 4425
  • Monday - Friday

    9am - 5pm

Conveyancing team

If you would like to speak to someone about your case please call the Conveyancing team on

0345 234 0240
  • Monday - Friday

    9am - 5pm

General Enquiries

If you would like to email us, please send it to the following email address:
  • Monday - Friday

    9am - 5pm