Looking for ways to lower your carbon footprint this new year? Or maybe you’re just hoping to get your energy usage down after that eye-watering Christmas bill?

Whatever the reason, make Greta Thunberg proud by following these ten steps to turn your existing house into a super-efficient eco-home.

The dream of being able to turn your existing home into a cost effective, snug and wholly comfortable eco-home is not one that happens overnight; nor will most come for free, but there are some measures that outperform the rest and can quickly help you save money and improve your situation.

Here are the top 10 most effective measures you can take to fast turn your existing home into an environmentally sound one to be proud of.

  1. Improve loft insulation – it’s rare today that people have no loft insulation installed but compared to modern regulations almost everybody would benefit from topping it up. Modern building regulations suggest almost 300mm of fibre glass insulation to keep your home snug and once it’s done you can forget about it. Most homes can be treated for less than £500 and you’re likely to get your money back within 2-3 years.
  2. Get cavity wall insulation – if you live in a home built in the last 100 years it is likely that your home will have cavity walls. If so check if they are insulated and treat them if they are not. There are still companies out there providing this service for competitive rates and the savings will often pay for the work within 4-5 years.
  3. Target draughts and open chimneys – in older properties this is a real cost saver especially for those with open chimneys. Draughts can account for around 15% of a standard energy bill, more so for older properties. Simple draught proofing seals, tape and chimney balloons can recoup the cost within a year and cut down wasted energy that is literally going up the chimney.
  4. Install solar panels – Prices for solar panel systems have fallen considerably, and still far outstrip any standard investment options. Even the largest 4kW (16 panel) domestic system cost no more than £7,000 and you are likely to get your money back within 10 years with a 20-year tariff payment term. It will also offset your daytime electricity usage and works wonders with a heat pump.

Read more: The Green Familia