The importance of energy efficiency within home extensions
Home extensions are important because they can not only provide new, energy efficient
accommodation but can also improve the overall energy efficiency of the houses that are extended.
For the homeowner, specifying an energy efficient extension is a cost effective approach, because the additional
cost (over what would have to be spent to meet the minimum requirements of the building regulations) is quickly
recovered in reduced fuel costs. Payback periods are usually less than seven years, but fuel costs are reduced for
the entire life of the building.
The three most important factors that contribute to energy efficiency are as follows.
• The insulation and airtightness of the exposed walls, roofs and floors; good insulation and airtightness
reduce heat loss.
• The choice of fuel and the efficiency of the heating system; this affects the amount of fuel required to
satisfy the heat loss.
• The efficiency of lights and electrical appliances; this affects the demand for electricity (which is not only
expensive but also involves significant carbon dioxide emissions).