Investing to Save

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Moving into the winter, energy bills are heading skywards across the country. With many energy providers looking set to raise prices by as much as 18% in 2012, by far the best way of saving money over the next year or so will be to make sure that your house is energy efficient.

Unfortunately, the measures that offer the greatest returns are also the most expensive, so securing the capital straight away can be a little challenging. However, big banks are offering excellent deals like personal loans from Santander that could be just the solution to your financial issues, and afford enough savings on energy bills that you could pay back the loan relatively easily.

The most expensive action is usually to install a new boiler. A brand new, energy efficient model, could cost you as much as £2,000 and will return about £300 a year in savings (at current prices, this could, of course, rise), so a new boiler is quite a long term investment. However, cheaper models that come in around £1,000 can pay themselves back in five years.

Another expensive action is internal insulation for solid walls. Solid walls are difficult to insulate because they’re made up of one line of stone, and most wall insulation involves filling a cavity (which doesn’t exist with solid walls). They are, however, also responsible for as much as 33% of heat loss and good insulation can save you £500 a year, making it well worth the cost.

Smaller measures are also worth considering, and you’ll be able to do many without any additional finance. A boiler cover that costs £15 will save you £50 over the course of just one year, whilst loft insulation and pipe lagging can be done yourself with liberal amounts of insulating foam from a hardware shop (although it is advisable to get it done by a professional).

A final thought is to make the most of feed-in tariffs (which have recently been reduced). Getting solar panels can be expensive, but if you can squeeze them in before the New Year you’ll receive the full feed-in tariff and they’ll generate significant cash returns, paying themselves off in 8 years as well as lifting the overall value of your home.

Remember that there are many energy efficiency products out there that can be found for free, and lots of schemes that can save you extra money. There has never been a better, and more cash efficient, time to invest in energy efficiency.

Image: Grant Cochrane / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

 

This has been a guest post. I hope you enjoyed it!

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