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Making your home more energy efficient

There are steps you can take to save energy at home to lower both your bills and your impact on the environment.

We spend a lot of time in our homes – especially in the modern world where remote working is common. Maybe it's time to think about making your space more energy efficient.

4 benefits of energy-efficient homes

By making your home more energy efficient, you could:

  • pay less in energy bills each month
  • reduce your carbon footprint
  • create a comfortable indoor environment to live in
  • get a discounted mortgage

How energy efficient is your home?

A good way to assess the energy efficiency of your home is through the Building and Construction Authority’s (BCA) Green Mark certification scheme.

This rating system evaluates a building’s environmental impact based on its energy efficiency, water efficiency, indoor air quality and other factors.

Depending on how eco-friendly your home is, you could qualify for a Green Mark certificate, making you eligible for a cheaper mortgage. At HSBC, we offer a discount of up to 0.05%  on your interest rate, and other benefits, for homes with a Green Mark GoldPLUS certificate or higher.

You can check if your home has a valid Green Mark award already on the Green Mark buildings directory.

How to save energy at home

There are lots of ways you can save energy at home – from setting your air-conditioner at 25°C or higher, to washing your clothes at a lower temperature and turning off lights and appliances when you’re not using them.

But as well as changing your habits, you can also make changes to your home to improve its energy efficiency. Here are some energy saving tips:

Choose energy-efficient products

The National Environment Agency’s (NEC) tick rating system can help you choose products for your home that are more energy efficient.

The more ticks a product has, the better its energy rating. Appliances you run constantly, like an energy-saving fridge, can help lower your bills while being better for the planet.

For example, a 2-tick energy-saving air-conditioner could cost you about SGD260 a year more in electricity than a 5-tick one[@tips-on-buying-energy-efficient-appliances-nec]Footnote link 1, nec.

But not all your household changes need to be as costly as replacing your air-conditioner.

LED energy-saving light bulbs can use up to 25% less electricity than compact fluorescent light bulbs, produce the same amount of light, and last twice as long[@tips-on-buying-energy-efficient-appliances-nec].

Don’t forget, the Climate Friendly Households (CFH) Programme[@cfh] provides vouchers for up to SGD150 towards the cost of energy-efficient appliances.

Cool your home efficiently

Air-conditioning is one of our biggest household energy expenses.

To cool your home more efficiently:

  • limit your air-conditioner use when you can by opening windows and using a fan instead – they draw a lot less power
  • when you do use your air-conditioner, shut your windows and doors tight to improve its efficiency
  • service your air-conditioner yearly, and clean the air filters to keep it working at top efficiency

Conserve water

To conserve water at home, you can:

  • check and repair leak-prone areas and pipes
  • install water thimbles to control the water flow of your taps
  • choose water-efficient appliances – use the Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme for help
  • take shorter, cooler showers
  • save the water from washing fruit and vegetables and use it to water your plants

Explore renewable energy options

Solar energy is a form of renewable energy – it produces zero emissions, and reduces reliance on fossil fuels.

If you’re able to install solar panels where you live and can afford to, you could use sunlight to generate your own electricity or heat your water.

On sunny days, some houses in Singapore can run on 100% solar energy. You can even sell the excess power you generate back to the grid.

How to finance your energy improvements

Savings or credit

If you have cash to hand, using your savings to fund your home improvements, especially smaller projects, can be a good option.

If you’re using a credit card to pay for your home improvements, check out how much you could save by switching to an eco-plan with your HSBC credit card. Take advantage of offers for your credit card and earn rebates on your energy bill for some extra financial flexibility.

You could also save money through bill rebates and contribute towards a greener future by switching to SembCorp Power’s Sunshine plan[@semb-corp-power]. It provides 100% solar energy for your home.

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