Energy Saving Guide & Eco-Friendly Homes

With the increasing energy prices causing a stir for every household in the UK, we wanted to take a look beyond the standard energy efficiency improvements and delve into the latest technologic advances that can help you create or update your home to an eco-friendly standard.

Our Eco-Friendly Property Highlight

Uggle House, Uggle Lane, Scotforth LA1 4QB

Completed in 2013 to the owners exacting standards, this unique and modern detached home has an impressive design that is perfect for entertaining with smart open plan living and luxury finishes. It is also a high spec home having been completed to a Passive House standard to offer unrivalled energy efficiency achieved from high levels of insulation, triple glazing, a smart mechanical heat recovery ventilation system, rainwater harvesting system and a combination of south facing solar PV and solar hot water panels.

Fine & Country Lancaster, t: 01524 380560

First Point of Action

Before we get into this, we wanted to list the more penny friendly upgrades you can carry out on your home to help keep the cost of your energy bills down.

Upgrade your boiler – Focus on the efficiency rating, G being the worst and A being the best. Most modern condensing boilers are graded with an A energy rating and could save you in excess of £340 per year on gas bills when compared to an older boiler with a G energy rating.

Insulation – Insulating your home can be one of the most efficient ways to retain heat and can also reduce the potential for damp in the future. There are many types of insulation available to suit the type of property from loft insulation to cavity wall insulation or solid wall insulation. Always check when purchasing a home to see what insulation, if any, has already been applied.

Smart Meters – Most energy companies now offer a free upgrade to smart meters and if you haven’t taken this step already it is certainly worth doing to  help you better manage your energy usage. There are also many options for further upgrades to systems that allow you to control ‘zones’ within your property from an app. This helps you take control of your heating, personalising specific rooms with different timings and levels and also to be able to control the heating when away from the property.

Double Glazing – Windows can be a big cause of heat loss within the home. It is therefor no surprise that a great way to keep that heat inside is to upgrade your windows to double or even triple glazing. There are other benefits to this too which include reduced external noise and better protection from the outside elements.

Draught Proofing – A simple task of filling in all those little gaps that allow the outside air to sneak in and the heat to leak out. There are many different options available whether you’re looking for doors, windows, cracks in the walls or exposed pipework.

LED light bulbs – The most efficient form of light bulbs on the market and once fitted, they last up to 10x longer than normal bulbs.

Energy Efficient Upgrades – consider upgrading your appliances to those with a greater energy efficiency. Updating your bathroom? There are plenty energy saving options out there such as  water saving shower heads, reduced capacity baths, low flow taps and low flush toilets that can all help reduce your energy bills but also help with the national effort to reduce our carbon footprint.

Our Eco-Friendly New Build Pick

Plot 3, Hill Farm, Brookhouse LA2 9PW

Situated within the exclusive Hill Farm Development that enjoys a private rural setting within the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, 3 Hill Farm presents a truly unique opportunity to acquire a substantial eco-friendly new build family home on the outskirts of Brookhouse village. The latest energy efficient bonuses include Air Source heating, underfloor heating and high levels of insulation.

Fine & Country Lancaster, t: 01524 380560

Long Term Investments

For those looking to make some investments with long term returns on both energy bills and your carbon footprint or whether you are taking on a new build project or an extensive renovation, there are some great modern connotations to consider.

Solar panels – The sun is a great free energy source to tap into. Whilst the initial installation of solar panels can seem expensive, in the long run you will not only dramatically reduce your energy bills but also your carbon footprint. Furthermore you can also sell you excess energy back to your energy supplier. There are two main different types of solar panels; PV Solar panels which are used to run your appliances and lighting and solar thermal panels which can be used to heat your water and yes, they work even on a cloudy day!

Under Floor Heating – a must have for any contemporary home but not just for the comfort. Underfloor heating is a very effective way of heating your home and also requires a lower temperature to achieve the same output results of conventional radiator systems, meaning it can use up to 14-40% less energy. Pay particular attention to the planning and installation design of your system as this has a big impact on the overall efficiency. There are two types of underfloor heating; electric and wet. Whilst wet installation has a higher cost compared to electric underfloor heating, the long term efficiency and energy saving costs offset these initial costs. That being said, electric underfloor heating is still a great option for smaller renovation projects and can easily be installed to most rooms with minimum disruption.

Air & Ground Source Heat Pumps – Heat pumps are fast becoming a must have for new build homes however can come with a hefty price tag. That being said, the benefits in terms of energy efficiency are unrivalled, capable of operating at 350-400% efficiency. So what is the difference? In terms of reliability and efficiency, ground source heat pumps win due to the fact that the heat is sourced from underground which remains above 10 degrees throughout the year whereas air source heat pumps will have to work harder in the colder months when the outside temperature drops. That being said, air source heat pumps tend me be the popular choice, still achieving great efficiency results, lower installation costs and less space required. Ground source heat pumps require pipes to run underground at approximately twice the floor area of the property. This involves a lot of landscaping and plant machinery, as well additional components required to the air source systems. That being said, there are some great grant options available from the RHI that contribute and sometimes even cover the installation costs.

Biomass Boilers – Biomass boilers work in the same way as a conventional boiler however they are fueled by wood in place of fossil fuels, essentially making them carbon neutral and dramatically helping with reducing long term climate change. Whilst the initial cost of installing can be high, the lower running costs and higher energy return make these a great investment. You could also be eligible for a grant to help towards the installation cost. Be aware though, the systems are a lot larger that conventional boilers and require a large housing space as well as space for storing the wood pellets that fuel the system.


The best news – if you are considering taking any of these steps you could get moneys towards your renewable energy improvements.

You can find out more about this on the website.

Our Value for Money Eco-Improved Home

15 Gardner Road, Warton LA5 9NY

Located along a quiet residential cul-de-sac, within walking distance of the village amenities, this versatile home would be suited to a range of buyers whether that be families looking to be close to a well regarded primary school with great connections to the secondary schools in the area or those of retirement age looking for a peaceful retreat with space for visiting family. Added bonus of PV solar panels.

Matthews Benjamin Lancaster, t: 01524 384960

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