As the cost of living crisis continues, and many families find themselves financially squeezed, saving extra cash has never been more vital. With energy bills predicted to reach £3,000 by the end of the year, this couple have shared how they reduced their bills in hopes of helping other families do the same.
Harriet and Chris Martin transformed turned their home green in order to help the planet and save cash during the cost of living crisis.
The pair explained how they dramatically cut their home’s carbon footprint and energy consumption at an environmental event organised by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).
Over a number of years, the couple had carried out an extensive insulation programme on their 1930s home which has eventually saved them thousands each year.
Harriet and Chris installed other low carbon technology such as solar PV panels and energy saving lighting.
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They estimate the work is now saving them around £1,000 a year in fuel bills.
Not only are they saving in fuel bills but they have managed to reduce their gas usage by 65 percent and electricity by 70 percent.
The WMCA is now following the couple’s example by putting in place a number of initiatives that will see similar retrofitting measures installed in hundreds more homes across the region in the months ahead.
Harriet told Birmingham Live: “We were initially motivated to make these changes to our home for climate change and it is encouraging to see the WMCA making similar steps for the right reasons.
“This will do wonders to fight the climate emergency as well as in turn, assist those with the current soaring energy costs.
“We’re proof that making the effort to add these modifications to a home will result in huge benefits in creating a house that is relatively easy to keep cool in the summer and warmer in the winter months.”
In just 10 weeks’ time, the energy price cap will rise a further 65 percent from the current £1,971 to a staggering £3,245.
Already, households are experiencing a staggering £693 energy bill hike even before the price cap rise takes effect in the autumn.
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The Forum heard how the WMCA’s Energy Capital team, as part of a consortium had successfully secured £7.5 million from the Government’s Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund.
This will be used to retrofit 600 social homes across the region, including the installation of low carbon heating systems and solar panels.
The work is designed to create warmer homes for tenants, as well as helping them tackle fuel poverty amid soaring energy costs.
It will also support the region’s fight against climate change and its ambition to achieve net zero by 2041.
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and chair of the WMCA, said: “Harriet and Chris are a wonderful example of the benefits, especially at a time when energy prices are soaring, that can be achieved by adopting more sustainable energy sourcing methods at home.
“We’ve got a lot to learn from their experiences and their commitment.”
The change could create warmer homes for tenants, as well as helping them tackle fuel poverty amid soaring energy costs.