There are many ways to help reduce your gas and electricity bills which also reduce CO2 emissions and helps to combat climate change.
Heating and Hot Water
- Use your heating programmer to turn of heating when not required. Ensure the programmer is set to minimise heating times.
- Use heating thermostat controls. Normally indoor temperature should not be more than 21 degrees centigrade.
- Replace old heating boilers more than 15 years old. Some old boilers can have very poor efficiency of 65% or worse and will use much more gas than a modern condensing boiler often capable of more than 90% efficiency. A new boiler could save at least £235 per year off the gas bill so it is not worth keeping an old boiler even if it is in good working order.
- Your property constantly looses heat dependant on its insulation levels. More insulation means heat loss is significantly slowed down. A well insulated house will still retain much of its heat the following morning after the heating has been turned off in the evening. A property with no insulation will quickly loose all of its heat after the heating is turned off.
- Some people have the misunderstanding that it is more economical to keep heating or hot water constantly on. It is a fact that this will use more gas or electricity as the rate of heat loss increases with temperature difference. For example a hot water cylinder which has 60 degrees centigrade water inside and 21 deg C air outside will have a constant temperature difference of 39 deg C. Whilst the hot water is at full temperature the storage cylinder will have max. heat loss therefore less gas or electric will be used if the hot water is turned off at periods of the day using a hot water programmer or immersion heater timer. The same applies to the indoor/ outdoor temperature difference within your property.
- Ensure you hot water storage cylinder is kept well insulation with mi. 80 mm thick jacket but preferably more like 120mm (not applicable to combi boiler systems)
- Fit Radiator reflector foil panels behind radiators to help improve the efficiency of your radiators. The word radiators is a very inappropriate term for radiators as around 80% of the heat the give out is convection, only 20% radiated heat. Radiator foil helps the radiators heat the room faster and reduced heat absorption into the building structure.
- Central heating systems should have both thermostatic radiator valves and a central or multiple room thermostats normally to the hall/ landing areas in the property. Thermostat control of your heating system ensure no overheating which wastes energy but also thermostat control is very effective during mild weather to automatically maintain a comfortable temperature.
- Apply pipe insulation. This is particularly important for energy conservation if there are any heating or hot water pipes passing through unheated areas of the property such as roof voids or garages.
- Ensure all of your windows are doors are fully draught proofed. Draught proofing can saves as much are £7-10 per window/ door per year off your heating bill. Also seal up any redundant chimney flues or extract fan ventilation opernings.
- Use thermal or heavy curtains during the winter and close them at dusk. This will help stop heat escaping through the windows.
- Installing cavity wall insulation could save around £135 a year.
- Installing loft insulation could save around £175 a year.
- Fit double glazing to reduce heat loss through windows. Advanced window films are now also available. These heat reflective films can significantly improve the performance of single glazed windows in conservation areas or for listed buildings. They can also be applied to pre 2002 double glazing which would not normally have had a low emissivity heat reflective coating applied at the time of installation. Look for Low emissivity window films. Very effective for conservatories especially where they are open to the main building without separating doors.
- Try to limit electric showers to 5 to 10 minutes or invest in a shower monitor to keep an eye on how much hot water you’re using. Some electric showers can be up to 10 or 11 KW and can use almost £1.40 per hour which rapidly mounts up the bills over a year.
- If the temperature in your property is boarder line comfortable without the heating on, consider putting on another layer of clothing rather than switching the heating on, especially if it is late in the evening.
- Consider whether the whole of your property needs to be heated especially if your are only occupying one area. For example – heating systems like an air source heat pump air-conditioning unit (available from around £500) which provides heating and cooling an be very effective for a home office rather than switching on the whole central heating system, or just use the living room fire.
- Use energy saving light bulbs. They last up to 10 times longer than ordinary bulbs, and using one can save you around £40 over the lifetime of the bulb. Even better, invest in new LED lights which can last 40 times longer than ordinary bulbs and can use 90% less electricity.
- Don’t leave things on standby, or save up to £30 a year on your electricity bills by using a Standby Saver.
- Ensure all electrical appliances are turned off at the plug when not in use. Some items can still use energy when plugged even if the appliance has been turned off.
- Computers can waste £60-70 of electricity per year if left on unnecessarily. Ensure the power saver settings are used which can be accessed through the control panel on computers with the windows operating system. Suggested to turn monitor off after 10 minutes and hibernate of power off computer after one hour of inactivity.
- A steamer or segmented pan means you can cook several types of vegetables on one ring.
- Load and unload your fridge or freezer as quickly as possible and don’t leave the fridge door open for longer than you need to.
- Keep fridges and freezers away from cookers and direct sunlight.
- Replacing an inefficient fridge-freezer with an A+ or A++ rated model can save up to £36 a year.
- Use an economy programme on your washing machine and dishwasher whenever possible.
- If the weather is fine, dry your laundry outside instead of using the tumble dryer.