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#CutTheCosts of student living - Go Green

Monday 1 February 2016 Renting A Home

Energy bills can be an unexpectedly high expense for many students. So be smart and Go Green.

It’s the time of year when many university students are looking at their housing options for September. There can be lots to consider when trying to work out the best options. Deposit, rent and travel expenses are all likely to play a big role in your choice, but energy bills can often give students a nasty surprise.

Next week is both National Student Money Week and Go Green Week, so it’s a great chance to think about how saving energy can also save you money. Because what’s good for the planet is also often good for your pocket.

Our Homes fit for study report highlighted just how much of an issue the cost of energy is for students. For example, we found that more than half have felt uncomfortably cold in their home and two fifths struggle to pay energy bills.

So if you’re house hunting at the moment, make sure you ask to see the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of your prospective property. This is likely to have a direct impact on your energy bill as it gives an indication of how energy efficient the property is. The scale goes from A to G, with A being the best. You should try to avoid F and G rated properties if you don’t want to spend your time being cold or face massive energy bills!

And here are other things to look out for that can save you money and help the environment:

  • Boiler - If it’s fitted with an insulated jacket (75mm) heat loss could be cut by around 75 per cent.
  • Windows - Check to see if the windows are double glazed because 20 per cent of heat could be escaping through them if not.
  • Thermostat radiator valves - These allow you to turn off the heating in rooms that aren’t being used.
  • Loft insulation - Check if the loft has around 270mm of insulation as this could save you over £200 a year.
  • Draught-proof doors - 20 per cent of heat is lost through ventilation and draughts so look for a property that has easy-to-fix brushes or PVC seals fitted around the doors.
  • Cavity wall insulation - Older properties (pre-1920) are less likely to have cavity walls but it’s worth asking the landlord about wall insulation as it is still possible to insulate solid walls.
  • Energy saving recommended (ESR) appliances - ESR Appliances such as fridges, kettles, washing machines and dishwashers will be more energy efficient and could save you money.