If you are spending more than 10% of your income to keep your home above 21°C, then you meet the World Health Organization’s definition of fuel poverty. This disproportionately affects the elderly, who tend to be on a lower income, live in older homes and spend more time indoors. Combined with weakened health, seniors are also more likely to become seriously ill due to an inability to heat homes. However, this can be tackled by making energy efficiency improvements. This eco-friendly solution could knock thousands of dollars off a senior’s annual fuel bill, helping them to stay warm throughout winter, while limiting their carbon emissions. Eco Home Improvements to Save Seniors Money
If you are looking for low upfront costs, but monthly savings, then insulation is the way to go. Around 25% of heat is lost through the roof, while a third escapes through the walls. This can be fixed by filling in the roof and cavity walls with insulation. Many older homes lack sufficient insulation or have insulation made of inadequate materials and installed incorrectly. This leaves seniors paying for heat which leaves the house almost immediately. Improving the sustainability of your property can help to lock in this heat, so that the heating is turned on less often and to a lower temperature.
The exact amount of savings depends on a variety of factors including how much insulation you have currently and how large your house is. On average, you can expect to save 15% on energy bills used for heating and cooling by fully insulating your home, with a 117% return on investment. This means that an upfront cost will be fully paid for within a few years and you can spend the rest of your retirement with reduced fuel bills.
The boiler has the biggest effect on your monthly bills, with heating taking up 90% of your energy usage. However, many older boilers have an efficiency rating of below 80%, meaning that more than 20% of the energy required is not put towards adding heat, yet it is still being paid for. Replacing an old boiler can be expensive, but it will have the largest effect on reducing your bills, not to mention your carbon emissions.
Upgrading from a boiler with an efficiency rating of 56% to one with a rating of 90% will reduce your carbon emissions by 1.5 tons each year. In financial terms, this means a reduced monthly bill of 35%-45%. This will mean that upfront costs are covered much more quickly and savings are more dramatic. Switching to a renewable energy source such as solar should be your next step towards a reduced carbon footprint and lower energy bills.
Seniors living in a cold climate are at risk of becoming ill if their home is not properly heated. However, without the right insulation and energy efficient boiler, bills can be unaffordable. Try to find the funding for the home improvements, so that you can enjoy savings over the long term and live comfortably into retirement.
By Jackie Edwards
Now working as a writer, Jackie started her career in finance and banking, but after becoming a mom refocused and decided to spend more time with her family. When she’s not writing, she volunteers for a number of local mental health charities and she looks after her parents who live close by. Her father is beginning with the early stages of Dementia and Jackie feels it important to research as much as possible into helping seniors live their final years in comfort.
Eco Home Improvements to Save Seniors Money Eco Home Improvements to Save Seniors Money Eco Home Improvements to Save Seniors Money Eco Home Improvements to Save Seniors Money Eco Home Improvements to Save Seniors Money Eco Home Improvements to Save Seniors MoneyEco Home Improvements to Save Seniors Money
As a Senior.com Director of Marketing, Kimberly Johnson is passionate about providing Seniors with the resources and products to live well. Kimberly is a seasoned caregiver to her family and breast cancer survivor. Her father battled ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease, for 13 months before passing. Today Kimberly lives in Southern California near her 102 year old grandmother, widowed mother, a mentally disabled sister and second sister who is also a breast cancer survivor. She is happily married to her husband of 22 years and they have 3 children.View All Articles