If your home isn’t energy efficient or properly insulated you will be wasting a lot of money… up to 60% of the heat will be lost through the walls and roof!

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In a house with poor insulation the biggest heat loss, around a third, will be through the walls
– that’s why wall insulation can make such a difference.

Cavity Wall Insulation

Cost (depends on house type): €475 – €815
Saving per year: €175 – €450 per year
Payback: Around 3 years.

Installing cavity wall insulation is a relatively simple process that can take just a couple of
hours for a typical three-bedroom house. The insulation is blown into the cavity from the
outside and disruption to the householder is minimal.

Your home will usually be suitable for cavity wall insulation if:

  • Its external walls are unfilled cavity walls.
  • Your cavity is at least 50mm wide.
  • The masonry or brickwork of your property is in good condition.
  • It is more than 10 years old (most newer houses will have insulation already).

Heat rises, and in a poorly insulated home around 25% of heat is lost through the roof.
Insulating your loft, attic or roof is a simple and effective way to reduce your heating bills.

Roof and Loft Insulation

Cost (depends on house type): €300 – £400
Saving per year: €200 – €350 per year
Payback: Around 1-2 years.

Loft insulation is easy to install – you can even do it yourself. Even if you already have loft
insulation, check its thickness. Adding another layer to bring it up to the recommended 270
mm will save energy and money.

Floor insulation works through filling the gaps between the skirting board and the floor. It can
reduce heat loss by 10%-15%.

Cost (depends on type of floor): €300 – €800
Saving per year: €50 – €150 per year
Payback: Around 3-5 years

Costs can be significantly reduced by doing the work yourself. Gaps and draughts around
skirting boards and floors are simple to fix yourself with a tube of sealant bought from any
DIY store. Typical costs range from around €80 to €100 if you choose to insulate them

Older homes are more likely to have suspended timber floors. Timber floors can be insulated
by lifting the floorboards and laying mineral wool insulation supported by netting between the
joists. Many homes – especially newer ones – will have a ground floor made of solid
concrete. This can be insulated when it needs to be replaced, or can have rigid insulation
laid on top.

You don’t need to insulate the floors of upstairs rooms in your house if they’re above heated
spaces (like the living room). But you should think about insulating any floors that are above
unheated spaces such as garages, as you could be losing a lot of heat through those.

All homes lose heat through their windows. But energy-efficient glazing keeps your home
warmer and quieter as well as reducing your energy bills. The disadvantage is the cost of
replacing all the widows in your home. The costs and savings will be different for each home
and each window but could save you around €200 per year. Double glazing should last for
20 years or more.


Draught-proofing is one of the cheapest and most efficient ways to save energy – and

The main places to draught-proof are your floors, windows, doors and chimney and all can
be done for a relatively low price. Doing the entire home can cost around €125 to €175, but
can save you up to €75 a year on energy. To draught-proof your home you should block up
unwanted gaps that let cold air in and warm air out.


Lagging water tanks and pipes and insulating behind radiators reduces the amount of heat
lost, so you spend less money heating water up, and hot water stays hotter for longer.
Insulating your hot water cylinder (to 75mm) is an easy way to save money. This could save
you around €30-€40 a year, so with the cost of a jacket around €20 it pays for itself in less
than a year.

Radiator reflector panels are a low-cost option. Fixed behind your radiators, they reflect heat
from the radiator back into the room, instead of letting the heat out through an external wall.


Old boilers are poor for energy efficiency, a 15 year old oil boilers can sometimes be only 60
– 65% efficient. Modern boilers are required to be energy efficient, so therefore putting in a
new boiler could be a wise investment.

Use the Power to Switch comparison to see how much you could save by moving from an
old oil boiler to a new oil boiler or as part of switching from oil to gas.


* Cost of energy efficiency measures and potential savings have been derived from information provided by the Energy Saving Trust www.energysavingtrust.org.uk