Rising energy costs mean people, especially the elderly, are less inclined to heat their homes properly. There are measures you can take to make your home as efficient as possible, and steps you can take to save energy

Here’s a list of things you can do to help save energy and make your home a warmer place.

Two useful guides to download:


Cost saving information:

  • Installing cavity-wall insulation could save you up to £135 per year. 
  • Installing loft insulation of 270mm could save you up to £175 per year. 
  • An Energy Saving A+ or A++ refrigerator could save you up to £17 per year
  • An Energy Saving A+ or A++ fridge freezer could save you up to £40 per year.  
  • Draught-proofing windows and doors could save you up to £30 per year. 
  • Insulating your hot-water tank could save you up to £40 per year.
  • A single low-energy light bulb could save you between £3 and £8 per year.
  • A boiler which is over 15 years old could be replaced for a more efficient condensing boiler saving between £100-300 per year.
  • Use a programmer to control heating and water around your life style.
  • Fit a thermostat to control the overall heating system.
  • Thermostatic radiator valves can be fitted in rooms which are used infrequently saving money.
  • Leaving appliances on standby can waste as much as £90 per year. 
  • Use your washing machine on a lower temp (30 degrees) will save money.
  • Only boil a kettle with the amount of water you need, don't boil a full kettle unless necessary.
  • Use the appropriate size ring on the cooker suitable for your pan size to avoid wasted energy.
  • Keep lids on pans as much as possible as this reduces energy consumption.
  • Close your curtains at dusk to retain heat in your home.
  • Check your hot water temperature, more than 60 degrees will increase energy costs.
  • A dripping tap will cost money, especially if its a hot tap.
  • Avoid using tumble driers if clothes can be aired outside. 
  • Make sure dishwashers or washing machines are full before using them to gain maximum efficiency 

  • Take the Home Energy Check

    To get a detailed idea of the actions you could take to reduce heating bills and improve the energy efficiency of the home take the free Home Energy Check.

    Free energy advice line

    For FREE independent help and advice on how to save energy in your home, call the Energy Saving Advice Service:

    Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm
    Saturday 10am to 2pm

    Tel: 0300 123 1234 (national rate call)

    Insulating your home

    Up to a 25% of the heat lost from homes is lost through the roof. The recommended depth of mineral wool insulation is 270mm but there are other materials that you can use. Insulating your loft could reduce your heating bills by up to £175 per year.

    Hot-water tanks are another source of heat loss. Fitting a 75mm-thick, hot-water cylinder jacket can be straightforward and cheap to install and could save you up to £40 a year.

    If your house was built with cavity walls – that is, with a space between the inner and outer layers – this gap can also be insulated. This can cost up to £500, but there may be financial assistance available to help with the cost through the Government's Green Deal scheme. Solid walls can also be insulated but this is usually more complicated and expensive. 

    Contact the Energy Saving Trust for information about steps you can take to insulate your home, the savings you may be able to make, and the options available to you

    Tel: 0800 512 012  
    www.energysavingtrust.org.uk

    Reducing draughts

    A draughty house can be uncomfortable and you will use extra energy to keep rooms warm. Common draughty areas are door frames, window frames, wooden floors, skirting boards, roofs and chimneys. However, you can greatly reduce draughts and improve your comfort by: 

  • Sealing gaps around window frames 
  • Fitting draught-proofing strips and draught excluders around doors 
  • Fitting covers to letter boxes and keyholes. 

  • It’s important to leave some ventilation to reduce condensation and to prevent the build-up of waste gases from fuel-burning appliances. Your local Gas Safe registered engineer should be able to help you with this: 

    Tel: 0800 408 5500 
    Textphone: 0800 408 0606
    www.gassaferegister.co.uk

    Glazing

    Double-glazing reduces heat loss through windows, saving you up to £160 per year, and reduces noise from outside. Permanent double-glazing can be expensive but may be able to be financed through the Government's Green Deal scheme

    Alternatively, secondary glazing, a second layer of glass fitted behind your existing windows, can help to reduce heat loss and costs less than full double-glazing. 

    Contact the Energy Saving Trust for information about steps you can take to glaze your home, the savings you may be able to make, and the options available to you:

    Tel: 0800 512 012  
    www.energysavingtrust.org.uk


    Hot water and Central heating

    Here are a few ways to make sure that your hot water and central heating systems are working effectively for you: 

    Get to know how the timer and thermostat controls work on your boiler system. By setting the controls accurately 
    you can make sure that you only have hot water and heat when you need them, and aren’t generating high energy 
    bills when you don’t need to. 

    Check that your heating isn’t set too high, but remember that being warm enough is important for your health. 
    In winter, the recommended room temperature during the day is around 70°F (21°C) for your main living room and at least 64°F (18°C) for the other rooms that you use. 

    If you are still cold, putting on extra layers of clothing can be an alternative to setting the heating at a higher temperature. In cold weather, setting your heating to come on earlier is usually better than turning up the temperature. 

    If you use storage heaters or have electrically heated hot water, make sure that you’re using the cheapest tariff 
    possible and that you understand how the settings work.

    Remember to adjust your heating as the weather changes. Using the heating less during warmer periods is more comfortable as well as more efficient. Watch the weather forecast and aim to do your washing on sunny days when you can save money by hanging it out to dry.

    Don’t set the water temperature too high – 140°F (60°C) is fine for most people. 

    Fix any dripping taps – a dripping tap can waste the equivalent of half a bath in one week. Shower instead of taking a bath, when you can. A short shower can use a third of the amount of water needed for a bath.  Have your system serviced once a year to ensure that it’s running safely and efficiently. Make sure that the person you ask to service it is qualified and registered with the  Gas Safe Register (contact details are on page 29). 

    If your boiler is more than 15 years old, consider replacing it as a newer boiler will be more energy efficient. Help with the cost of replacing a boiler might be available through the Government's Green Deal Scheme

    Contact the Energy Saving Trust for information about steps you can take to improve your home's heating and water system, the savings you may be able to make, and the options available to you:

    Tel: 0800 512 012  
    www.energysavingtrust.org.uk