28 New Year, New You Home improvements, interiors & energy savings Go green

Ways to make your home more eco-friendly, from small changes to energy-reducing renovations. Words: Rhonda Carrier


Until March 2022, homeowners and landlords can apply for a Green Homes Grant voucher of up to £5,000 towards the cost of installing ener- gy-efficient, low-carbon heating improvements that could save them up to £600 a year on their energy bills. For those on income-based or disability benefits, the full cost of improvements will be covered up to a maximum of £10,000.


for that of our planet. And while some ways of maximising your home’s green potential involve big financial decisions and taking a long-term view, there are many small, everyday actions you can take that will save you money on an ongoing basis and help the planet.

M T • Can

aking our homes more eco-friendly is a no-brainer: it’s essential both for our health and

Save energy You can reduce your carbon footprint and lower your energy bills by installing a smart meter, washing laundry at a lower temperature, using energy-efficient light bulbs, upgrading your curtains and blinds for better insulation, and switching to a green energy provider. To super- charge your home’s green credentials, consider making the time to talk to a sustainability consultant.

Reduce water usage Saving water involves making small changes, such as not running the tap when you brush your teeth or shave, taking short showers instead of baths, and collecting rainwater in containers for watering your garden. Installing a low-flow showerhead has also been shown to save a lot of water, as does checking your home for small leaks that might otherwise go unnoticed for a long time.

Green cleaning Use natural alternatives for cleaning tasks, such as vinegar, lemon juice, bicarbonate of soda/baking soda, castile soap and beeswax. In terms of cleaning equipment there are plenty of changes you can make. Opt for reusable spray bottles, old towels and cloths and repurposed clothes and sheets instead of wipes and kitchen roll, and use long-lasting tools made of wood or metal instead of plastic.

If you install at least one primary measure — such as solid wall insu- lation or a cavity wall, or low carbon measures such as a solar thermal or biomass boiler — then you can also use the voucher to cover the cost of secondary measures, such as draught proofing, double/triple glazing, external energy efficient doors or hot water tank thermostats and insulation.

To find out if you’re eligible, visit the Green Homes Grant site:

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