Crippled by energy costs? Room To Improve's Claire Irwin shares tips on how to be more energy sufficient

With energy bills through the roof and no real sign of them coming down any time soon, ‘Room To Improve’ quantity surveyor Claire Irwin has given her top tips on how we can be more sustainable.

The mum-of-one runs her own consulting business in her hometown Buncrana, Co Donegal, but lent her expertise to Dermot Bannon in the recent season of the hit RTE TV show.

A quantity surveyor first appeared on the show 11 years ago, and since then host Dermot insists that none of the renovations have run over budget- unless the client changes the spec!

Speaking exclusively to EVOKE Claire has shared some simple but effective ways to keep those electricity costs down.

how to, crippled by energy costs? room to improve's claire irwin shares tips on how to be more energy sufficient
© Provided by Evoke.ie Room to Improve is back with Dermot Bannon. Pic: Ruth Maria Murphy

First up, when it comes to saving money on your electricity bill, Claire says installing a smart meter in your home is a great idea. She said the meters ‘consume electricity in a smarter way and by using one you can then use electricity at a cheaper rate.’

Claire explained that having a smart reader in your home means you can use electricity at a ‘daily and a night reading’. Because the best rate is only obtainable when you have one, the quantity surveyor says it is really ‘worthwhile installing a smart meter’.

Another excellent recommendation is to ‘change to more energy-efficient LED light fittings’. Claire also wants to remind EVOKE readers to be vigilant in turning lights off when you leave the room or at night.

Claire also said that we should be mindful to check all electrical appliances in the home to make sure they are ‘A rated electrical appliances’ or as close as possible. Claire said many old appliances will have a low energy rating score and use a lot of energy when you are using them.

how to, crippled by energy costs? room to improve's claire irwin shares tips on how to be more energy sufficient
© Provided by Evoke.ie Room to Improve is back with Dermot Bannon. Pic: Ruth Maria Murphy

Claire told EVOKE that many homeowners don’t realise you can check your home’s energy rating online. ‘Check if your house has a BER energy rating and you can access that on the SEAI website with your NPRN number’ she suggested.

If the energy rating is not available for your home, you can get a registered technician to come out and do an assessment. This is a service you have to pay for but you can get a grant to help with the cost of the report.

She said ‘If you get an assessor out to check the energy of your home and if it is a low rating they will give you a tailored report of what you can do to your house to improve the energy rating’.

She continued ‘If you are in receipt of certain benefits you can avail of a free energy upgrade scheme. They plan to upgrade 400 houses a month with this scheme so it is well worth checking it out’.

how to, crippled by energy costs? room to improve's claire irwin shares tips on how to be more energy sufficient
© Provided by Evoke.ie Room to Improve Dermot Bannon RTE

If you don’t fall under the criteria for that grant there are many individual grants you can apply for on the website.

There are grants for ‘Attic insulation, wall insulation, a heat pump and much more’ Claire explained.

Insulation is so important and it is the first thing you should look at when you are looking to cut down your bill and upgrade your home.

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