A residential energy audit will help you see what areas of your home are inefficient and what you can easily do now, to save yourself hundreds of pounds each year (and maybe even more).
They can also tell you what specific renewables may be well suited to your home and which wouldn't work particularly well.
Let’s face it; we’re all guilty of pushing the running costs of our homes to the back of our minds.
Sure, we’ll give off about it to anyone who’ll listen, but do we actually do anything about it?
Let’s look at it another way, if your car wasn’t running correctly, you’d do something about it, right? So why should your home be any different?
Perhaps you don’t really know where to start and that's ok. The truth is we could all do something right now that would reduce our running costs. They're usually simple to do and can cost nothing to implement.
It sounds too good to be true right?
But it is true, lots of people just like you are saving hundreds and sometimes thousands per year by having a simple residential energy audit carried out on their home and using the findings to slash their energy and heating costs.
Don’t panic, I’m not talking about spending thousands on solar panels or such like, although they are an option if you're in the market to spend that sort of money.
There are lots of changes that you can make straight away without spending any money.
Others will involve spending money, but the beauty is you only need to do the things you can afford to do.
You might even be able to make some money at the same time as reducing your bills by virtue of the various green energy grants and green incentives available through the government.
So if you’ve been thinking about trying to reduce your bills, there are companies out there who will carry out an energy audit (Not to be confused with an EPC or energy performance certificate) on your home.
I'm well aware most people tend to get their information from the various sales reps who are trying to sell their particular technologies.
But think about it, is a rep going to tell you all the reasons why it might not suit your property or just the reasons why it will?
An independent energy audit will tell you both!
As part of your residential energy audit the auditors should look at all aspects of your property and advise you on the pros and cons of all the options available to you.
Trying to decide on how to improve your home and which technologies to incorporate can get very confusing very quickly.
If you decide to upgrade your boiler do you go for a condensing boiler? If so what brand do you go for? Which is the most efficient? Do you need one that ties in with a zoned system or a pressurised system, should you place it outdoors to avail of more space or should you keep it indoors?
Or, perhaps an air-source heat pump or a biomass boiler would be a better fit for your specific situation.
See what I mean?
And these are just the tip of the iceberg. Each area you could upgrade is a potential minefield of confusion. From insulation, to biomass, solar panels or condensation solutions right through to draft proofing.
Sure on the surface they seem straight forward, but once you start to investigate them, they all get really complicated.
So what if you could get one impartial person to come into your home and simply talk to you about all your options and advise you on the best and cheapest way of reducing your bills tailored to your specific home?
What if they could let you know if your property would benefit from draft proofing or increased insulation levels? Perhaps you would benefit from photovoltaic solar panels or a biomass boiler or maybe an air-source heat pump?
What if they even pointed out all the disadvantages associated with each of the options in addition to the advantages?
Well…thankfully you can now get just such a service from one of the many energy audit companies out there.
The secret is to choose an energy auditor with a wealth of experience and knowledge. Ask them what their experience is and ask for an example of what you can expect to receive.
Ask if they are simply carrying out an EPC? (An EPC is not a residential energy audit as discussed here)!
If they are, you can get an EPC anywhere and it will only give you generic suggestions that may not even suit your property. You really need a much more detailed report which will be specific to your home.
The thing you need to remember is that you don’t need to spend a fortune to make your home warmer, cheaper to run and more environmentally friendly.
During your residential energy audit the surveyor should explore all the options, not just the glamorous high cost ones. If it’s possible to reduce your bills on a small budget, then that’s the first suggestion they should look at. It doesn’t always make sense to spend lots money on the more expensive technologies.