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  • Writer's pictureCliff L'Aimable _Chartered Surveyor & Building Engineer

Renovation changes to keep your running costs down

Updated: Jan 27, 2023

Another Blog Post from Cliff L'Aimable who has been writing construction related blog posts since 1999 and was an ex-article writer with technical publications appearing in Trinity Mirror magazines and newspapers in his column called the "Property Doctor"

In this blog I cover the following -

1. The use of LED lights in UK dwellings and their benefits

2. The use of solar panels to generate energy in UK dwellings

3. The use of low-energy appliances in UK dwellings

4. The insulation of UK dwellings to reduce energy usage

5. The design and layout of UK dwellings with an eye on energy efficiency

Enjoy your week - All the best from Cliff...


As the UK looks to reduce its energy consumption and become more environmentally friendly, many of us are looking for ways to make our homes more efficient. Fortunately, there are a number of strategies we can use in order to create an energy-efficient home that not only reduces our carbon footprint but also now critically lowers our monthly bills.

The use of LED lights in UK dwellings and their benefits

From installing LED lights and solar panels, replacing old appliances with low-energy models, improving insulation levels and changing the design or layout of our dwellings, there are plenty of simple changes we can make to save money on energy costs while helping the environment. In this blog post, we’ll explore these ideas in detail and discuss how they can help you reduce your energy usage while saving money at the same time.

LED Lights available from B&Q stores nationwide

LED lights are becoming increasingly popular in UK dwellings and with good reason. Not only are they much more energy-efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs, but they also last significantly longer which helps to create a more sustainable home. LED lights consume up to 95% less energy than traditional lighting, meaning that you will save money on energy bills as well as reduce your overall carbon footprint.

LED lights are also incredibly versatile, with a wide variety of shapes, colours and sizes available to choose from. This means that they can be used in any number of ways in the home; from task lighting over kitchen islands and counters, to ambient lighting under shelves or cupboards. In addition, LED bulbs come in different colour temperature options from bright white or cool blue hues for task lighting or warmer yellows for softer mood lighting.

Not only do LED lights offer exceptional energy efficiency, but their long lifespan is also a major benefit for homeowners. Depending on the bulb type, an individual LED light can last anywhere between 25,000 and 50,000 hours - far longer than the 1,000-2,000 hour lifespan of standard incandescent bulbs. This could mean that you may never have to replace them again during the time you live in your dwelling! Moreover, their construction is such that they don’t produce as much heat as other light sources which is another advantage when it comes to reducing energy costs at home.

Finally, one often overlooked aspect of LEDs is their low maintenance requirements since there is no need to continually change bulbs when they burn out. This means less disruption in terms of purchasing new bulbs and disposing of old ones - saving both time and effort while helping the environment by reducing waste materials going into landfill sites.

In summary then, investing in LED lights for use at home offers many benefits; cost savings through greater energy efficiency and reduced maintenance requirements alongside improved aesthetics due to their versatility and lifespan longevity make them an attractive option for environmentally-friendly households across the UK. Not only will you be doing your bit for the planet by reducing electricity consumption but you’ll be saving money on household bills too!

My main tip though is invest in quality produced LED units which have confirmed ratings, integrated heat sinks, and check out other confirmed user reviews, simply because there are a number of cheap imports on the UK market that actually fail to perform the user expectations and actually fail well before their manufacturers claimed lifespans. In some instances some consumers have claimed bulbs with a rated life of 25,000 hours failing in under 1000 hours - hmmm not good !!!

The use of solar panels to generate energy in UK dwellings

The use of solar panels to generate energy in UK dwellings has become increasingly popular over the last few years, as advances in technology and increased awareness of environmental issues have helped people to realise the advantages such a switch can bring. Not only do solar panels provide an efficient alternative to traditional electricity sources, but there are also numerous cost-saving benefits.

In the UK, solar photovoltaic (PV) systems are becoming increasingly popular, thanks to a combination of favourable weather conditions and government incentives like the Feed-in Tariff (FIT). The FIT pays homeowners for generating their own electricity, which makes it much easier for them to recoup their investment in the cost of installing a solar PV system. It also means that they can benefit from using the free energy produced by their solar panels instead of buying expensive electricity from their supplier. This could save them hundreds or even thousands each year on their bills, depending on how much power they need. As always though before purchasing and investing your cash in such systems linked to government incentive plans check to find out the latest tariff benefits that would be applicable to your particular circumstances and project.

Solar energy is also available to all parts of the country - hey !! so far no government or mad scientist is controlling our sun using an on-off switch -yet !! ; so no matter where you live in the UK, you can benefit from having your own solar PV system installed. Solar panels are typically made up of individual cells connected together into larger modules, which usually need to be mounted onto a south facing roof or wall with no shade interference. Once installed, these systems will often require little maintenance over time, with only occasional cleaning and inspection necessary.

When looking at installing a system for your home it is important to consider several factors including budget, size of system required and overall efficiency. A certified installer (registered on the competent person scheme) should be able to help you work out what size would suit your needs best and advise you on any additional requirements like system monitoring options or storage batteries if you want to make sure you store some excess energy generated during peak times throughout the day – thus helping to reduce demand on traditional electricity sources even further.

Finally, when looking at installing a solar PV system it’s important to remember that although it may seem initially costly upfront; over time it can be incredibly rewarding due not only to long-term savings but also through potential income earned through government incentive schemes like FITs paying homeowners for generating their own clean electricity. So while investing in quality LED units is essential for saving money on household bills; investing wisely in a good quality solar panel installation could mean more savings and income opportunities over time!

The use of low-energy appliances in UK dwellings

Well there has seen an upswing in recent years, largely driven by the desire to reduce energy consumption and cut costs. Not only do these "energy efficient and rated" appliances help conserve energy, but they also provide a number of other benefits. Firstly, the running costs associated with low-energy appliances are much lower than their more traditional counterparts – for instance, LED lighting can last up to 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs and use around 80% less electricity. Similarly, new refrigerators on the market often boast reduced power consumption due to improved insulation and efficiency measures.

Currys Electrical store retailers of premium products

Low-energy appliances also tend to be safer as they are able to generate less heat when in operation due to improved design principles. This is particularly important when it comes to larger appliances such as ovens and hobs which can pose a risk of fire if not kept at an appropriate temperature. Furthermore, these types of appliances typically produce less noise which can be beneficial for those who live in apartments or small dwellings with limited soundproofing.

It is worth noting that even though low-energy appliances may initially appear more costly upfront than regular versions; over time, customers will benefit from lower energy bills as well as extended lifespans due to enhanced durability features on newer models. In addition to this, many countries such as the UK run government incentive schemes (such as Feed-in Tariffs) that pay homeowners for generating their own clean energy through installing solar panels or wind turbines – another way for consumers to save money in the long run by investing wisely in good quality renewable energy sources.

Finally, when looking at low-energy appliances it’s important that potential customers do their research beforehand – checking online review sites and customer feedback can be a great way of finding out how reliable a particular model really is before committing to buy it. This includes making sure that any appliance purchased meets all relevant EU (or similar UK performance -now that we have Brexited - or kind of Brexited - but thats for another blog !) standards and regulations; these will ensure that the product is safe and fit for purpose, providing peace of mind even after purchase!

Check out large retailers such as "Currys" and "B&Q" and "Euronics" who all make the effort of clearly labelling each product being sold and giving a lot of vital information that should influence you to make the right purchase decisions.

The insulation of UK dwellings to reduce energy usage

Fabric first ! is the philosophy you should adopt whilst Increasing the insulation of dwellings since it is an incredibly important step in reducing energy usage and lowering carbon emissions.

By investing in new, better insulated homes, and improving existing dwellings, we can drastically reduce our reliance on gas and electricity for heating as a nation. This not only reduces the amount of energy used but also significantly lowers bills for you as homeowners.

Actis Reflective Foil Insulation_An Innovative product
Actis Reflective Foil Insulation_An Innovative product

Insulation works by trapping air in cavities or pockets within walls, ceilings, floors and other areas where heat can escape a building. This means that less heat is lost to the outside environment, making the house feel warmer and reducing the need for additional heating during winter months. With properly installed insulation, homes can become much more efficient at retaining heat which often results in savings of up to 25% on energy bills!

In addition to reducing energy costs for homeowners, increasing insulation levels also has environmental benefits. It helps to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from buildings as there is less need for heating with gas or electricity - both of which require burning fossil fuels emitting harmful gases into our atmosphere. Furthermore, it allows us to make use of renewable sources of energy such as solar panels more effectively because a well-insulated home will store heat more efficiently than one without any insulation.

The UK government offers numerous grants and incentives to help homeowners improve their dwelling’s insulation levels through schemes such as ECO (Energy Company Obligation). These schemes provide funding towards installing cavity wall or loft insulation with some even covering full replacement windows and doors or partial external wall insulation depending on your property's energy efficiency rating. Additionally, many local authorities also offer their own subsidised schemes whereby homeowners are able to benefit from reduced rates depending on their circumstances.

Overall, insulating UK dwellings is essential if we want to ensure that our homes are more eco-friendly and cost effective when it comes to using energy all year round. Increasing insulation levels helps households save money while simultaneously helping reduce emissions - making it a win-win situation!

The technical staff in my office ( are always available to advise our clients and to offer guidance as appropriate on the many hundreds of projects under our supervision.

The design and layout of UK dwellings with an eye on energy efficiency

In recent years, the design and layout of UK dwellings have become increasingly focused on energy efficiency. The tightening of building regulations Part L has progressively become more and more stringent for example, with a road map associated to our nation's Net Zero Target. By 2050, the UK must have net zero emissions of all greenhouse gases under the new government-set target.

The designs of your extensions and new build projects will now have to incorporate even higher levels of thermal efficiencies, improved ventilation, and measures to control overheating, high-speed internet capabilities, and finally to have on new homes, as of 2022 convenient electrical car charging points integrated into your property.

With rising energy costs, as well as growing concerns about environmental sustainability, it is no surprise that homeowners are looking for ways to make their homes more eco-friendly.

One way to achieve this is through the use of insulation. Insulation can be used in a variety of ways to reduce heat loss from a dwelling and improve its energy efficiency. Wall, ceiling and floor insulation can all help to reduce energy bills by trapping heat within the home, while also providing extra comfort during colder months. Additionally, specific insulation materials have been designed specifically with an eye on energy efficiency in mind. Check out "Rockwool" or "Actis" or "Celotex" or "Kingspan" or "Ecotherm" as a just a few examples of premium quality insulation materials.

Installing new windows and doors can also help to improve a home’s energy efficiency. Modern windows and doors are designed with multiple layers of insulation which further prevent heat loss and ensure better air tightness. Furthermore, they are available in a variety of design finishes which can compliment any style or type of property; from smaller cottages to large family homes.

The installation of solar panels is another great way for UK families to reduce their reliance on traditional electricity providers by creating their own renewable energy source. Solar panels take advantage of natural sunlight and convert it into electricity which can be used throughout the year - reducing both bills and carbon emissions significantly. In addition, some areas offer government-backed incentive schemes whereby homeowners receive payments for generating renewable electricity; making it even more attractive for those looking to invest in this technology.

Finally, local authorities may offer subsidised schemes whereby homeowners are able to benefit from reduced rates depending on their circumstances - such as if they live in an area deemed particularly vulnerable because of flooding or weather conditions like heavy snow fall at winter time etcetera. These types of schemes provide additional financial support while still enabling families or individuals the opportunity to improve their homes' overall energy efficiency levels - so actively encouraging people towards greener solutions is always beneficial!

Overall, improving UK dwellings with an eye on energy efficiency plays an important role in reducing our overall carbon emissions and helping us form a more sustainable future for generations to come - something we should all strive towards regardless of location or economic status! By investing in high quality insulation materials, installing efficient windows and doors as well as taking full advantage of solar panel incentives wherever possible - we can all do our bit towards protecting our planet whilst saving money too!


Firstly i'd like to say that I have no affiliations or neither am I sponsored by any of the retailers referenced within my publications. In this blog hopefully you will appreciate that through judicious planning you can set yourself on the way towards improving your homes and of course self capping high energy costs we are all currently being subject to. Keep warm, keep costs capped !!!

As always for private sector based building regulation approvals and inspections contact us by calling tel : 01992 710 763 Email for competitive fee quotes visit our website at Blog post written by Cliff L'Aimable Chartered Surveyor a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and a Registered Chartered Building Engineer.

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