6 ways to make your home more sustainable

Making your home more sustainable can lead to significant savings on your energy bills. Good for yourself and for the environment. But where do you start? In this blog, we present six effective ways to make your home more sustainable. 

The figures on savings are based on an average intermediate house or household, as calculated by Milieu Centraal. If you live in a corner or detached house, the savings can be a lot higher.

1. Solar panels: €900 savings per year

When thinking about making your home more sustainable, solar panels often come up as one of the first and most attractive options. Not only can solar panels provide significant savings on your energy bills, they also offer protection against ever-rising energy prices. We estimate that with 10 solar panels, you will save around 900 euros annually.

In recent years, solar panels have become increasingly affordable. Moreover, the current net-metering scheme makes it even more attractive to invest in solar energy. This scheme allows you to feed the electricity you do not use directly back into the grid, saving even more. The payback period for solar panels is now around 6 to 7 years.

> Read more about Shift to Solar's solar panels

Is your roof not suitable for solar panels? In many cases, you can also have panels mounted on the roof of a barn, garden shed or garage. For those with a driveway or extra space, a carport with solar panels also a good option. These days, more is possible than you might think!

2. Roof insulation: €550 savings per year

Roof insulation is one of the best ways to combat energy loss. Heat rises and is often lost through the roof. With good roof insulation, you use less energy for heating in winter. And let that be a major expense for many households. 

The investment cost for roof insulation depends on several factors, such as the type of roof (pitched or flat), the insulation materials chosen, and whether you opt for interior or exterior insulation. If you insulate a pitched roof from the inside, you can expect the cost to be somewhere between €1,500 and €2,500. However, if you choose to insulate a pitched roof from the outside, you should expect higher costs, namely between €3,500 and €4,500.

3. Heat pump

A heat pump is more environmentally friendly than a traditional central heating boiler and saves a lot of energy during operation. How much you save with a heat pump depends on your house type and the insulation of your house. With the handy tool from Milieu Centraal you can find out which heat pump suits you, what it costs and what it delivers.

Hybrid heat pump: 250 - 400 savings per year

The hybrid heat pump combines an air-source heat pump with a traditional gas-fired central heating boiler. This option uses the heat pump as the primary heat source and switches to gas when more heat is needed than the heat pump can provide, for example during very cold days. This is often the most attractive choice financially. A hybrid heat pump does not require good insulation, but you will get more out of it if you also insulate better.

Electric heat pump: 500 - 680 savings per year 

An all-electric heat pump can heat your whole house and also provide hot water in your bathroom and kitchen. If you also start cooking electrically, you no longer need natural gas. This option is known as a combi, full or all-electric heat pump. It is an ideal choice for houses that are already reasonably to well insulated, as the heat pump can then completely replace the central heating boiler. And if you generate the electricity needed for the heat pump with solar panels, you will have a system with a very low environmental impact.

4. Insulate cavity wall: €600 savings per year

Cavity wall insulation is a relatively inexpensive way to make your home more sustainable and reduce your energy bills. Cavity walls consist of two wall layers with a space between them; this 'cavity' can be filled with insulation material, which keeps the heat in your house during winter and out during summer. 

We estimate that for cavity wall insulation on a corner house you will pay an average of €2,400 and save around €600 annually at a gas price of €1.45. It is an investment that pays for itself within a few years. Moreover, the process of cavity wall insulation can be carried out quickly and with minimal inconvenience, making your home more sustainable in no time.

5. HR++ Glass: €90 to €140 savings per year

Switching to HR++ glass is an excellent step if you want to make your home more sustainable, especially if you still have single-glazing. You will notice the difference immediately: your home stays warmer, you experience less cold and draughts. The problems of fogged-up windows and water on the windowsill are also a thing of the past. 

But what about the financial benefits? The biggest gains are for homes with single-glazing, which does not insulate at all. Then the advice is to immediately replace the single glass in your house with HR++ glass or triple glazing. This will save you around €350 per year in a terraced house. 

However, double glazing is already standard in many houses. The difference between double glazing and HR++ glass is that HR++ insulates better. It also consists of two panes of glass, but the space between the panes is filled with a noble gas, which is a better insulator than air. This makes HR++ glass less likely to transmit cold and heat. Replacing double glazing for HR++ glass saves around €100 a year in energy costs.

6. Floor insulation: €150 to €250 savings per year

With floor insulation, you not only increase the comfort in your home through warmer floors and fewer draughts, but also save on energy costs. This sustainable upgrade keeps cold and moisture out, making your heating work more efficiently, especially in combination with underfloor heating. Do you have underfloor heating or want to have it installed? Then good floor insulation is essential to retain heat.

Floor insulation involves applying insulation material to the underside of the floor (in the crawl space) or on top of the existing floor. This material serves as a barrier that keeps heat in the house and keeps out cold from the crawl space or ground. In many cases, the installation can be completed within one day, but each insulation company has different criteria for accessibility and required height of the crawl space for floor insulation installation.

Sustainable living starts here

When it comes to making your home more sustainable, choosing solar energy plays a crucial role, whether installing solar panels on your roof or making the most of your outdoor space with a solar carport. Our expertise in solar canopies ensures that you will always get the best advice, tailored to your unique situation. Want to know more? Request a no-obligation quote or contact us for personal advice!

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Juliet Siebelink
Employee Shift to Solar
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