How an energy audit of your home could save you money

  • ITV News Meridian's Derek Johnson reports now on how you could reduce energy bills and make your home more efficient

Your house or flat could be costing you hundreds of pounds a year more than it should. Windows, doors, floorboards and even walls can leak heat - meaning you are wasting energy and potentially adding to your heating bills as well.

That's of even greater concern considering the rising cost of living - but there are a few quick fixes. Some are simple and cheap - and others require you to spend first in order save later.

Andy Smale is from Hampshire-based Expert Energy which offers independent advice on energy efficiency, energy conservation and renewable energy to homeowners, businesses and organisations.

Andy took us to a three-bedroomed terrace home in Winchester to give us some tips on how an average home can be better insulated, saving on energy bills.

The thermal imaging gun shows where's hot and where's cold.

The house was built in the 1930s and has a modern extension. Much of the rest of the property was draughty. Andy's thermal imaging camera found heat leaking from areas such as walls and windows.

''This is a way of finding out where heat is being lost in the house'' said Andy. ''The fireplace is drawing heat out of the room so it's costing a lot of money in lost warm air. In the fireplace you can put a chimney sheet, a block of wood to put up there to stop the draught or a chimney bloom which is pumped up and stops the heat passing through.''

Gaps in the floorboards can be sealed with silicone sealant or they can be lifted out and another form of insulation put in.

Keeping heat in is one thing but when looking to save money in the long term it's vital to look at how that heat is generated and then distributed 

Controlling the level of heat is vital in terms of energy efficiency.

The property has a new gas boiler but an alternative is a heat pump which could cost thousands to install but will cut costs.

Other advice is to think about the temperature control -  thermostats on radiators boost efficiency.

Putting solar panels on the roof is a way of saving money and thinking of renewable energyA final audit for a house like this shows that you can save a lot after just a few years.

Homeowners are expecting energy bills to rise rapidly.

Andy said: ''Some things you can do doesn't cost you anything. You know draught proofing can be as simple as making sure your doors and windows are sealed properly and you can adjust those quite easily without spending anything. 

"You can make sure you're not heating parts of the home you're not heating parts of your home you are not using at the time. Simple things like changing light bulbs. Plenty of people have still got the old filament or halogen bulb and they are only one or two pounds and that could save you ten pounds a year for each bulb that you change.''

Homeowner Stuart Mills said: ''We have always known that this house needs improving. It's a cold house outside of this back room, but it's really interesting to find out more detail about what that might cost. It's not easy, obviously bills are going up.

"We are going to pay more for our electricity and gas which is going to make it harder. But we are in a fortunate position we can probably afford to find the money one way or another.''

There are many ways to bring costs down although some projects such as installing solar panels might require spending money up front with the idea of saving further down the line.