Compare your energy bills with ours
28 February 2014
With the National Audit Office (NAO) recently predicting that energy bills will continue to rocket at a rate above-inflation for at least the next two decades*, many of those aged 60 or over have yet again been left worrying about the expense of heating their homes.
As average gas and electricity bills for those over 65 reached £1,356 last year – up from £669 in 2005** – it has become an increasing struggle for retirees wanting to stay warm in a cold snap.
We all know that new homes have long claimed benefits over old in terms of energy efficiency, but with long-term forecasts predicting the worst weather for 60 years***, we at McCarthy & Stone are keen to show just how true this is, so we decided to put one of our own developments to the test.
Using 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 – we found that downsizing from an older property to a new build apartment could save you up to £1,400 a year in energy bills*.
The results showed that energy costs totalled an estimated £1,935 a year in the older property compared to just £521 in the new McCarthy & Stone one bedroom apartment. But not only that, the CO2 emissions from the older property were also nearly four times higher than those of the new apartment.
If you want to work out just how much you can save on energy bills by moving to one of our developments, try our online Energy Savings Calculator on our Facebook Page.
As we design all our developments with energy efficiency in mind, this is a great finding for us, and it brings home the benefits of having built-in features such as double glazed windows and patio doors throughout, cavity wall insulation and low energy light fittings can make.
Energy Savings Calculator
If you want to work out just how much you can save on energy bills by moving to one of our developments, check out our online Energy Savings Calculator on our Facebook Page. Go on try it, it's easy to do.
Thermal imagery comparsion
[Below: Meddins Lane thermal image]
[Above: Salmon Court thermal image]
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.
But of course we do understand that there are many who may not be in the position to either make the move to a newer property, or retro-fit their older properties with these features. So for that reason we’ve pulled together some easily achievable tips that everyone can use to help keeping their 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.
Hopefully, by following this advice and making some small changes, you could end up making a big difference to your pocket in 2014.
*According to a report by the National Audit Office (November 2013)
** According to a report by Saga (January 2013)
*** Data by Exacta Weather (November 2013)