The Real Cost of Going Green

Mar 29

With rising fuel costs and utility bills, many of us are concerned about how we can keep our energy consumption down. Numerous companies who sell energy-saving products tell us how they will eventually pay for themselves. But what is the most cost-effective way of reducing your energy bills? Depending on your budget, here are a few investments you can make along with the estimated time they will take to pay for themselves.

New Appliances

All appliances such as refrigerators and washing machines wear out eventually, so it is inevitable that you will have to buy new ones. If you know that yours will soon be coming to the end of its life cycle, it may be worth spending a bit more to make sure their replacements are energy efficient. Chances are they will pay for themselves well within their own lifespan.

A energy-efficient fridge, freezer, and dishwasher together can cost around 2000 and will return the investment in around 10 years.

And it’s not just refrigerators and washing machines that you need to be mindful of. Upgrading your heating system to a unit that is more efficient can also help you to save money in the long run too. Alternatively, if you would like to not only save money, but become greener, consider using propane tanks, which you can get from somewhere like, may be an option worth thinking about if you want to do your bit for the environment. While this is a great idea, it won’t be for everyone, so be sure to do your research before committing to the idea.

Computer Power Management

Your desktop computer is a very hungry appliance and, like many people, you may leave it on most of the time. When in a hurry, few of us have the time to wait while the PC boots up. So while this is a drain on electricity, it is a necessary evil for most of us.

However, like many people, you may have the CPU, along with all the ancillaries such as printers and monitors, plugged into the mains via a regular six socket extension lead. If this is you then you can reduce your computer’s energy consumption significantly by investing in a power managing lead. This is a lead that can be programmed to turn off all ancillaries, while still supplying power to the CPU, effectively allowing the system to sleep.

A lead will cost less than 50 and will easily return the investment within a year.

Double Glazing

Poor quality windows will cost you a fortune in heating bills. When draughts pour in, you find yourself turning up the heat which will then just escape through the window. A good set of windows will prevent both draughts and heat loss and will help you to save a sizeable chunk when your energy bill arrives at the end of the month, especially if your home is heated by oil. Better insulation can also help you to pay less for your heating, as less warm air can escape. When combined with other methods such as switching to a more affordable oil supplier such as or other local heat supply stores, upgrading your windows can make a huge difference.

A new set of windows costs around 2500 and will return the investment in around 8 years.

This is a rough guide based on an average-sized home with single glazed windows. Furthermore, you can also employ secondary glazing over your existing windows to insulate the house as well as prevent heat and energy loss.

Cavity Wall & Loft Insulation

If your home was built in the 20th century then it is likely to have external walls composed of two layers of brickwork with a gap in between. Cavity wall insulation fills that gap and traps heat.

Cavity wall insulation costs around 500 and will return the investment within 5 years.

Heat rises, and the majority of heat that escapes from your home does so through the roof. Therefore insulating your loft is an incredibly simple and effective way of trapping heat.

Loft insulation costs around 300 and will return the investment within 2 years.

Insulation and windows may seem to take a long time to pay for themselves. However, improvements to your home will have an effect on its value. Buyers love efficient homes so it is likely that these improvements will instantly add 100% of their cost to your home’s asking price.

Author Bio: Joe is a blogger for Force8 doors and windows who writes about property, home improvement, interior design and green living.