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Costs and benefits of going green

We’re hearing a lot about climate change and carbon reduction at the moment, but the cost of improving your home can run into thousands. If you’re keen to go green, talk to us about how we can help with paying for the changes to your home.

Scientists around the world are nigh on unanimous that humans are causing devastating global warming and we all need to do more to reduce our carbon emissions. But what can we do and how can we pay for it?

The first thing most of us could do to reduce our energy use – and our heating bills – is to look at how well our homes keep heat in. According to Simple Energy Advice, a whopping 40% of the heat from our homes is lost through doors, windows and floors. Just sealing the unwanted gaps around your doors and windows could massively reduce the cold draughts through your home.

If you have old or poorly fitting windows, you could look at installing new, higher performance windows. Fitting an extra layer of insulation in your loft is a quick and easy way to cut your heating bills and make your home warmer, and cavity wall insulation is another option for some properties.

Of course, turning your heating down a degree or two, or turning it off completely while you’re out, are free steps you can take to immediately to reduce your energy use and your bills.

Many people rely on gas central heating, but the Government has announced that gas boilers will be phased out, so we will need to look at different alternatives in future, when our boilers pack up. There are a number of options available, and the Government has recently announced that grants will be made available for air and ground source heat pumps. However, these systems are currently a lot more expensive than a typical gas boiler.

Another option for some is solar panels, which have the added benefit that you get paid for any energy you don’t use, as it can be fed back into the national grid.

Credit Union Chief Executive Martin Groombridge said: “While grants may be available for many of these energy saving measures, they won’t always cover the full cost of the work that needs doing and, although the benefits of taking these steps are likely to save you money in the long run, you may need some extra help to pay for the upfront work.

“The Credit Union offers a range of loans which could make all the difference when it comes to going green. We would never encourage people to borrow more than they can afford, but we recognise there are times when we all need a little extra. Contact us today to discuss your requirements.”

To find out more about the range of improvements you can make to your home to make it greener, warmer and cheaper to heat visit www.simpleenergyadvice.org.uk for impartial energy efficiency advice. The website also contains details of home energy grants available to you locally. It’s always worth checking with your local authority if they offer grants for insulation and other improvements, especially if you receive benefits.

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