Written by Paisley Tedder

7 garden hacks to help cut energy bills

Can clever additions to your garden help cut energy bills? They certainly can! From a cleverly placed tree to solar lighting, these simple garden hacks, based on research by BoilerPlanUK, can help you save money on your energy bills both indoors and out… 

1. Well-positioned trees

Trees can add an extra layer of interest to your garden, providing a place for kids to create treehouses, much-needed shade on a hot day and natural beauty for your outdoor space. It turns out, when growing in the right place, they can also save you money on your energy bills.

A large tree or two in your front or back garden can act as a natural windbreak, meaning you are less likely to get the draft indoors and put the heating on. This can result in a potential saving of up to 25% on energy bills annually. The trees also provide shade during the summer, so you can get a reprieve from the heat by sitting underneath rather than heading indoors for an electric fan or air conditioning unit.

Isolated large tree with leafy branches

Photo: Jan Huber, Unsplash

2. Install a tall fence

Tall fences can add a whopping 20% of value to your home, which is hardly a surprise given the security advantages it can offer as well as added privacy. The advantages don’t end there though. Just like a large tree, fences can act as a windbreaker meaning you’re less likely to feel the draft and turn the heating up when the temperature drops. So, despite fences costing around £1,000 to build, they pay for themselves when it comes to cutting down on bills and property value.

tall white fence with trellis and flower wall

Photo: Tracey Adams, Unsplash

3. Keep the fridge out of sunlight

Garden bars are a huge trend of the last couple of years with searches for the asset increasing by 80% during February and March 2021. With the pubs opening and closing, they became a consistent alternative to enjoy a spot of outdoor socialising with friends and family. However, to make sure the chilled section of your garden bar is in prime condition, keep your fridge or freezer away from sunlight, just as you would indoors. Heat causes a fridge to work harder, thus costing you more in energy in the long run, so keep your garden bar in the shaded area of your outdoor space.

Pink garden bar with plants and cocktails, from Wayfair

Photo: Wayfair

4. Electric outdoor heater

With the summer coming to a close, evenings in the garden are finished – unless you have an outdoor heater. Opt for an electric heater over gas and save 15% on your running costs. The La Hacienda Copper Electric Hanging Mushroom Heater, below, is an eco-friendly alternative to a patio gas heater as it uses halogen elements to heat the body and not the surrounding air for efficiency (£129 from Homebase). Of course, a garden firepit can save you even more, since woodburning logs are super cheap. Always make sure you burn dried, treated wood, however, as these produce less smoke and are kinder to the planet.

Electric outdoor heater in copper hanging from a garden pergola

La Hacienda Copper Electric Hanging Mushroom Heater from Homebase

5. LED garden lights

As you can probably tell, we’re obsessed with covering our outdoor spaces with plenty of lights so that our evenings outdoors can go on late into the night. Save money on your energy bills by sticking to LED lights, as these use 80% less energy whilst still creating the desired effect. Consider solar lights, too, as these can be a bargain and, since they’re powered by the sun, don’t require any mains power.

Solar lights beside tiled pathway to save money on energy bills

Photo: Iconic Lights

6. Consider a porch

Not only does a porch add enhanced kerb appeal to your property, but an enclosed porch also acts as insulation for your home by preventing heat escaping, since you’re entering and exiting via two doors, not one. A open porch, as shown below, will help keep your property cool in the summer since it stops direct sunlight from hitting your windows.

a porch provides valuable solar shading

Photo: Diane Uhley / Adobe

7. Group your plants based on water needs

Typically, our house plants need around 3-4 inches of water around the stem, but it’s easy to overwater them. Save water by grouping them by their watering needs, and invest in plants that grow quickly to reduce your water usage. Alternatively, you could also save on water by investing in plants which can survive on less water, like cacti and succulents.

Urban Coastal garden design with potted plants and grasses - goodhomesmagazine.com

Photo: Dobbies