Whether you want to help the planet or just save money, there's always something you can do to make your home more energy efficient
4. Solar water heating
A basic kit with solar panels, a heat-transfer system and a hot water cylinder costs £2,000 to £3,000 and could cover almost all your hot water needs in summer and half your needs through the rest of the year. You’ll need 2sq m to 4sq m of south-facing roof and you’ll probably be entitled to a grant of up to £400.
5. Wind turbines
Before you decide to generate your own electricity with a wind turbine, check with the manufacturer that you live in a suitable spot (exposed hilltops are ideal). B&Q now sells turbines from £1,500, but to be totally self-sufficient in wind-powered electricity you’ll need a 2kW turbine (around £11,000). Government grants are available to help you. In many cases you’ll also need planning permission.
6. Solar electricity
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Also known as Solar Photovoltaic (Solar PV), this system converts the sun’s energy into electricity. The panels come in a variety of shapes, including roof tiles, and should be attached to a south-facing roof. To produce a quarter of the electricity used each year by an average three-bedroom home you’ll need to spend from around £7,500 but you should be entitled to a grant. You may also need planning permission.