Are you satisfied with your home’s energy efficiency? If the answer is no, then according to a Demand Institute study, you are actually a part of the majority. Their survey of over 10,000 homeowners offers a comprehensive overview of what homeowners want from their homes, as well as what they are unsatisfied with. Topping of the list of things homeowners were unsatisfied with was their homes’ energy efficiency. 71% of those taking the survey understood that energy efficiency was very important for their homes, but only 35% were happy with their own home’s energy efficiency – a ‘satisfaction gap’ of 36%. This was higher than the totals for affordable housing (a 21% ‘satisfaction gap’), having enough space at home (a 20% gap) and responsive landlords (19%) among a total of ten categories. What this tells us is that, although people are aware of the need for energy efficiency at home, they are unsure of how to go about making their homes more energy efficient. So lets take a look at why energy efficiency is so important for homeowners, and then examine how to make a home more efficient.
Why Energy Efficiency Matters At Home
Having an energy efficient home brings with it two big rewards. The first and most obvious (and dare I say most important) reward is the money that can be saved on monthly bills. Whether you are talking about unnecessary electricity consumption, an inefficient heating system or excessive heat loss due to poor insulation, lost energy = lost cash. It’s as simple as that. And really the world is your oyster when it comes to increasing your home’s efficiency. Practically every investment you make in your home to increase efficiency will pay itself off sooner or later in reduced monthly bills. So you are free to do what you like; change a few things and give your home a small bump in efficiency, or change some big things and watch your bills practically disappear.
The second, more indirect benefit of an efficient home is the positive effect your newfound efficiency will have on the environment. Reducing your carbon emissions with a better heating system or by reducing electricity consumption really helps the natural world, especially when people start making these changes in big numbers. Climate change is a scary thing, especially when you think about the precarious situation future generations are in danger of being stuck with. Homes (especially homes with outdated home heating systems) produce a lot of carbon emissions, so by increasing your home’s efficiency you really are helping the natural world in a big way.
Increasing Your Home’s Efficiency
The Demand Institute study lists several ways to increase energy efficiency at home. They range from switching to LED bulbs and changing your electricity and heating habits (i.e. stop leaving everything switched on!) to sealing leaks to prevent heat loss and replacing old or outdated appliances. It’s all solid advice, although mostly these are the kind of changes that cost very little but change very little as well. LED bulbs and better use of electricity and heating in general will save you money, but they won’t blow you away with hundreds of dollars worth of savings on monthly bills. For that, you have to think a little bigger and be willing to invest a little more in your home. One option would be to increase your home’s insulation – trapping more heat inside your home so as to minimise heating usage. However, extra insulation isn’t the best option for everyone; increased insulation offers huge savings for homes that have very little insulation installed, but much smaller savings for homes that already have decent insulation. More likely than not, to see some really big savings on your bills you’ll want to look at your home heating system directly.
Home Heating And Efficiency
At SunPump, we believe that the best way of helping the environment is to offer a home heating system that dramatically increases a home’s efficiency, saving the homeowner hundreds of dollars on monthly bills and helping make the world greener in the process. The SunPump is a solar thermal hybrid – a renewable energy heating system specifically designed to maximise efficiency and minimise carbon emissions. As a hybrid – a solar thermal heating system with an air-source heat pump integrated into the solar panels themselves – the SunPump offers 24 hours hot water and space heating (even at night, thanks to the heat pump). It’s also a primary heat source, meaning that you won’t need any other system to keep your home comfortably heated. All of which means that homeowners that move from outdated or fossil fuel burning heating systems will see a big (and very welcome) difference in their monthly heating bills. Just as importantly, studies have shown that adding solar panels to a home greatly increases resale value, often adding tens of thousands of dollars to a property’s value. In effect, this grants homeowners an instant return on their investment. Even for homeowners that never plan on selling up, a SunPump will pay for itself many times over during the course of its decades long lifespan.
So if you, like the majority of homeowners out there, want to save cash by increasing your homes energy efficiency, have a think about the options available to you. If you want a ‘small investment, small reward’ situation, consider some of the quick fix options mentioned above. If you want to notice a big improvement on your monthly bills, you might want to think about upgrading your old heating system to something more modern.
If you’re interested in learning more about SunPump, we have brochures available here.