Global warming is having a devastating impact on our planet and causing environmental issues all around the world. As climate change worsens, the effects will become more severe. In a recent high-level meeting on climate change and sustainability, experts warned that we have just over a decade to prevent climate change from causing irreversible damage.
The good news is, governments around the world have been working together to reduce greenhouse gases and positive steps have been made to fight climate change. As a homeowner, you should do your bit to lower emissions and protect the environment. With that in mind, here are some of the key ways that you can make your Scotland home greener:
Assess your energy performance
In April 2020, the Scottish Government introduced new minimum energy standards for rental properties in Scotland. Under the new rules, landlords must receive an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of at least E before they can rent their property out. From April 2022, all rental properties in Scotland must have an EPC rating of at least D before landlords can enter a new tenancy. By 31 March 2025, all properties will be required to be in EPC band D or above.
All properties for sale in Scotland must also have an up to date Energy Report, which is one of the three documents included in a Home Report. This section of the Home Report gives prospective buyers information on the home’s energy efficiency in the form of an EPC.
Improving your energy rating has several environmental and cost-saving benefits. Making your home more energy-efficient will reduce harmful emissions and lower your carbon footprint. It will also slash your monthly utility costs and lead to long-term cost savings over time. We will discuss ways to improve your energy rating below.
Improve your energy rating
There are dozens of ways to improve your home’s energy rating and become greener. Here are some of the most popular energy-saving home upgrades to consider:
Replace old windows
Old windows can allow heat to escape from your home and cause cold drafts. Upgrading to double or even triple glazed windows is a simple way to improve your home’s energy efficiency by providing an extra layer of insulation and protection against the elements.
According to Windows Guide, upgrading your windows will lower your energy bills and could save you £100 a year. New, energy-efficient windows will help you maintain the optimal temperature in your home and increase your comfort and enjoyment.
Install a smart thermostat
A smart thermostat will allow you to manage your thermostat remotely and adjust your home’s temperature according to when your home is occupied or is about to be occupied. For instance, you can programme your thermostat to come on 30 minutes before you arrive home from work in the evenings or when you wake up in the mornings.
A smart thermostat also allows you to track your energy usage and identify ways to cut back in your household. This will help you minimise your energy costs and reduce your environmental impact.
Switch to LED lighting
Traditional incandescent light bulbs are highly inefficient and use significantly more energy than modern light bulb designs like LEDs. Switching to LED lights will reduce your energy usage and save you money on your monthly utility bills.
Another advantage of LED light bulbs is that they tend to have a much longer lifespan. Experts at the Energy Saving Trust explain how a traditional light bulb lasts around two years, whereas an LED under similar conditions can last for 10 years or longer.
Upgrade your appliances
Upgrading your appliances is another straightforward way to improve your home’s energy rating and lower your energy costs. Modern appliances are built with energy efficiency in mind and switching could save you hundreds of pounds every year. Look for appliances with an energy rating of A or above to maximise your energy savings.
Install extra insulation
Installing extra insulation will help you create a warmer and more comfortable living space. It will also reduce your home’s carbon footprint and lower your average energy costs. You should consider adding extra insulation to key areas of your home such as your attic and wall cavities.
Climate change is a real issue that is affecting us all. If you’re looking for ways to lower your carbon footprint, then your home is a great place to start. Fortunately, there are plenty of simple ways to improve your home’s energy performance and save money. Try some of the above suggestions to create a greener and healthier living environment.