Get tips on how to reduce your energy bills

Take a tour of some of London's greenest homes and get tips on how to cut the cost of your energy bills.
Retro-fitted homes
Discover how London homeowners are reducing their energy bills with technology, such as solar panels

Londoners can learn from other owners how to slash heating bills by going to have a look at their homes during September as the annual Superhomes show stages events in 17 London properties, which are among more than 50 private homes which will be open to the public.

Visitors will learn how much money they can save by people who have cut their carbon footprints by a minimum of 60 per cent by retrofitting their properties with green technology.

The properties involved include a Hackney townhouse built in the 1870s and owned by Dave Raval, 34, a new business mentor. He and his wife spent around £100,000 upgrading its windows and heating system and insulating walls and loft, as well as adding Solar PV panels to the roof.

The project was carried out in stages between 2010 and 2012 - and since then not only is the previously chilly house now warm in winter, but his annual gas bills have been halved, a saving of £948 per year, and his electricity bills have also been halved, saving around £150 per year.

He has also earned around £1,200 in 12 months by selling power generated by his solar panels back to the grid.

“When we bought the house in 2009 it was a classic Victorian town house,” said Mr Raval. “In the winter it was freezing and in the summer it could get too hot to sleep in.”

He admits that he is unlikely ever to recoup the cost of the work through savings on utility bills. “I see it as a home improvement,” he said. “If you put a new kitchen in you don’t expect it to pay you back, but my home not only looks btter but essentially is cosy and comfortable to live in. There is also the feel-good factor of doing your bit for the planet.”

John Doggart, chairman of the Sustainable Energy Academy, which runs the Superhomes event, said the idea was to inspire people to make their homes more carbon neutral. “When they see what someone else has done suddenly it becomes real and possible for them to do it themselves,” he said.

He said the typical spend to upgrade a period house was between £20,000 and £30,000 and says that Government research suggests that a home which is energy efficient sells for 14 per cent more than one which is not.

Mr Raval’s home and other participating properties will be open to the public on set days during the course of this month. Entry is free. For more information and to book a tour see superhomes.org.uk.


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