Buy new in retirement and you could save up to £1400 on energy bills!

14 January 2014

Downsize and save on your energy bills

As the country prepares itself for the latest round of energy price increases and another bitterly cold winter, many over 60s have yet again been left worrying about the expense of heating their homes.  New homes have long claimed benefits over old in terms of energy efficiency, but now McCarthy & Stone, the UK’s leading developer of retirement apartments claims that buying a new build property could actually help retirees to significantly reduce their energy bills and make savvy savings in 2014.

According to research carried out by the housebuilder, downsizing from an older property to a new build apartment could save you up to £1400 a year in energy bills*.  McCarthy & Stone used an independent, qualified assessor to compare the energy efficiency and estimated cost of fuel bills for two properties - a traditional three bedroom semi-detached house built in the early 1900s, and a brand new typical one bedroom McCarthy & Stone apartment.  The results showed a stark difference, with energy costs totalling an estimated £1935 a year in the older property compared to just £521 in the new home.  CO2 emissions from the older property were also nearly four times higher than those of the new build home. 

Ali Crossley, Executive Director of McCarthy & Stone commented: “In 2013 we struggled through some severe weather which meant that many of us had to keep the heating up high much longer than expected.  When coupled with rising fuel costs, those living in older, draughtier properties will not have had it easy, but this is not a problem we believe people in their later years should have to deal with.  We believe that once people reach retirement, they should be able to relax and enjoy it, and not spend time worrying about potential issues like heating, maintenance or security.

“Many prospective purchasers will want to move from larger, older properties which are expensive to run; to our developments which have been designed with energy efficiency in mind.  By moving to a brand new McCarthy & Stone apartment, homeowners can benefit from a range of energy saving features as standard, such as double glazed windows and patio doors throughout, cavity wall insulation and low energy light fittings. We know these features make our modern homes significantly more energy efficient than older properties, leading to dramatically reduced fuel bills.”

To help homeowners work out just how much they can save on energy bills by moving to one of its retirement developments, McCarthy & Stone has created an online Fuel Savings Calculator. Simply visit, enter your current annual total fuel bills and the app will calculate your estimated savings on energy costs. 

As part of the retirement developer’s ongoing commitment to helping homeowners cut the cost of the cold and remain efficient with their energy; McCarthy & Stone is offering some easily achievable advice for keeping your bills lower this winter.

  • Remember to monitor your thermostat. Did you know that by reducing your room temperature by just 1°C you could cut your heating bills by up to 10 per cent? Try taking it down a notch to see if you notice the difference.
  • Don’t let the draughts get in. Wherever it is practical try sealing windows, doors, and loft hatches and importantly the letter box. This can easily be done with standard draught excluders, cling-film or even old towels.  If you don’t you could find yourself loosing up to 20% of your heat.
  • Check for gaps between skirting boards and the floorboards as the heat losses through this smallest of gap can be more substantial than you’ll have ever considered. This can easily be filled with a standard tube sealant that you would often use to fix bathroom fittings.
  • Try leaving your heating on constantly on a low level for longer periods if you’re staying in  as this could save you more money than frequently switching it on and off for bigger blasts.
  • Dress warmer. It sounds almost too simple, but a light long-sleeved jumper can offer you an extra 2 degrees in warmth, while a heavier jumper adds about 4 degrees.
  • Ensure you have your appliances checked regularly for efficiency. Do this before the cold snap, and you’ll probably eliminate the cost of an expensive breakdown too.

To find out more about the properties available, please log on to, find us or Facebook or search on Twitter @McCarthyStone.



*Research conducted by IRT Surveys Ltd, Dundee – November 2013.  Based on a comparison of a three bedroom semi-detached early 1900s house and a one bedroom ground floor new build McCarthy & Stone development built in 2013.   Costs have been based on national average fuel prices.  Breakdown of costs as follows: 

  • Lighting – £146 (SH) and £74.68 (NB)
  • Heating costs – £1660 (SH) and £317.12 (NB)
  • Hot Water Costs – £129 (SH) and £129.28 (NB)

For a copy of the report please write to FREEPOST MCCARTHY & STONE.

 Meddins Lane thermal image. 

 thermal imagery, a comparison of a 3 bedroom home and a Mccarthy & Stone apartment

 [Below: Salmon Court thermal image]

McCarthy & Stone's Salmon Court Energy Efficiency test

Thermal imagery of the two properties clearly demonstrates the stark differences in energy efficiency. The blue and green colours of the McCarthy & Stone apartment illustrate low heat loss and a more energy efficient home whilst the red and yellow areas on the older property indicate significant heat loss leading to higher fuel bills.

For further press information:

Eve Parkin/ Vicky Coyle
Haslimann Taylor PR
0121 265 7070