Does the property have cavity walls? Have the cavities been insulated? Insulating cavity walls should cost £250–£300, but could save up to £100 per year on your heating bills. If you're concerned about damp, cavity wall insulation can actually help reduce damp by raising internal temperatures, it will even help keep your homeÝcool in summer. Just ask the Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency or contact your local City Council for more information.
Are doors and windows double-glazed? Can you feel draughts around them? Poorly fitting doors and windows could cost you £20 per year. You don't have to spend thousands on double-glazing though; draught-proofing strips from any DIY store will pay for themselves within a year.
When was the loft last insulated? Chances are if it was more than 5 or 6 years ago it is not the recommended 11 inches deep. To insulate it yourself visit your DIY store, a loft top up of 6 inches should cost about £150 and could save you up to £50 per year. For grants and discounts to have your loft insulated professionally, for a cost of around £275–£300, contact your local City Council or your local Energy Centre.
Do the appliances come with the property? If so, how old are they? Appliances that are over 10 years old could actually cost you £130 per year, compared to the latest ‘A-rated’ models.
How old is the boiler? If it's more than 15 years old it will be less than 70% efficient, compared with new 90% efficient condensing boilers, and could cost you £100–£120 more each year.
Sign up to the Scoodi and give away or sell stuff that you don’t need, reducing the amount you have to move and any transportation costs. After you move
Make sure you use energy efficient light bulbs. They cost less than £2 from supermarkets and DIY shops and each bulb could save you £9 per year.
Consider switching to green electricity. In the UK the majority of our electricity is still generated by burning non-renewable fuels such as coal or gas, which add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. When you change to a green tariff you are encouraging renewable energy technologies and research and development into the renewable technologies of the future.
Contact Energy Helpline or uSwitch for green tariff price comparisons or visit the Green Electricity Marketplace for information on which suppliers are the “greenest”. In some cases the prices are actually cheaper than those of ‘brown’ suppliers.
If you need some furniture, why not sign up to your local Freecycle network, where people give away items for free. Many households have fully furnished their homes through Freecycle without spending a penny.
Find second hand furniture and other household items. Find things for free and for sale in your new local community.