Though they might initially seem unrelated, the cost-of-living crisis has some unexpected consequences for the removals and storage market. A recent Deltapoll survey, commissioned by PR firm, the London Communications Agency, reveals that most Londoners now cite the cost of living as their greatest concern, well ahead of other pressing worries such as housing, the Ukraine war and crime. And those fears are well-founded, given that energy bills are rising by £700 a year, petrol costs are at an all-time high (we’re paying almost £400 more a year for it) and there’s an imminent National Insurance hike. Further to that, one of the solutions being put in place actually puts all households into £200 of debt; that’s the government’s fuel ‘rebate’, designed to help people in the short term but actually leaving them beholden to an unwanted instalment plan in the long term. The cost-of-living crisis is expected to put a considerable squeeze on renters, who had a period of reprieve during the coronavirus surge, when evictions were temporarily banned. Now the ban is over and people are left grappling with the possibility of arrears and eviction notices.
Moving Home to Save Money
But what if there were a positive side to this otherwise-gloomy outlook? Because there’s one way in which moving house could be the solution (or at least an ameliorating factor) to the problem of energy costs going up and up. If someone moves to a properly insulated property and stays there for several years, they may not only quickly make back their moving costs, but end up with considerable savings. The industry-average cost of moving in 2022 is around £1180 (although moving to/from a one-bedroom flat can cost as little as £300), so it’s feasible you could have paid off the cost of the move and started to make a saving by the second year in your new home at the very latest. Leaving behind an un-insulated, draughty home, where rapid heat loss forces you to keep the central heating on for hours, and finding a property where the rooms remain at a pleasantly habitable temperature for hours and hours, is perhaps the best way of cocking a snook at the ever-increasing rapaciousness of the energy companies.
Choosing an Insulated Home
If you’re not familiar with a contemporary insulated home, there are several things to look out for when you’re viewing properties. New-builds are most likely to have extensive insulation already in place, but it’s possible to find homes from any period that have had significant insulation measures applied. You should confirm with the agent that the roof and/or loft are insulated. 2018 research by the Energy Saving Trust reveals that this alone brings down energy bills by as much as £200 a year. Wall insulation (particularly important for post-1920s houses that have cavity walls) is another important feature, bringing down your bills by over £200 (for cavity walls) or £400 (for solid walls).
Floor insulation comes next. While some people take the DIY approach and simply apply sealant between skirting boards and floors, for old homes insulation is a more involved job, requiring mineral wool to be placed beneath the floorboards. The saving here is not quite as dramatic, but you can still enjoy another £60 vanishing from your bills.
There are multiple methods of draught-elimination, so check that the properties you’re looking at have at least one or more of them in place (unless, of course, you’re willing to do it yourself – and it is one of the more straightforward insulation jobs). Draught-exclusion around windows and doors can take your bills down by another £25.
Adding insulation to pipes, water tanks and radiators means that water in your property stays hot for much longer. Some of these insulation jobs can be done via DIY. Pipe insulation, for example, entails the application of a foam rube to cover any exposed piping between the boiler and the hot water cylinder. Depending on how much work you do in this area, you can be looking at as much as an £80 reduction in energy bills.
Keeping Your Moving Costs Down
If you take the plunge and move to an insulated property, you can start saving all the sooner if you manage your moving budget carefully. That’s where the Master Remover Group – an array of removals and storage companies – can be the answer, especially if you choose a cost-efficient man-and-van service. Our decades of experience have enabled us to offer removals and storage to suit a wide range of budgets and you can eliminate an additional cost by opting out of any packing/unpacking services (though we can still help provide boxes and packing materials). All Master Remover Group companies are happy to consult with you to devise a move that keeps costs low but without any diminution in the quality of the service you get.