Looking for some tips for saving money on your energy bills?
With wholesale gas prices skyrocketing 250% since January, we’re willing to bet that you want to make some energy savings where you can.
A whopping two-thirds of the energy used in UK homes goes on our central heating and hot water.
Ofgem says that the average household spends around £1,2542 every year on electricity and gas bills (it’ll be more this year!) – but there are some simple things that you can do to reduce this.
With some tweaks to your habits, you could cut your energy bills and spend the money you save on something you enjoy instead.
So, if you want some tips on saving some cash (whilst doing your bit for the planet too), this blog’s for you!
You might also like our related blog: 22 Tips to reduce your gas bill.
1. Save money on your energy bills by replacing your old boiler
If your boiler is in its golden years, it’s worth considering replacing it for a new, efficient model.
New boilers are more efficient than older ones (because they have condensing technology) and can therefore save you money on your heating bills.
This is because an efficient boiler needs to burn less fuel (usually gas) to keep you comfortable. An older, inefficient boiler burns loads more fuel to do exactly the same job, which makes it more expensive to run, and worse for the planet.
As well as older boilers tending to be less efficient to start with, their efficiency can also deteriorate further with age.
The Boiler Plus legislation requires that all new combi boilers are A rated for energy efficiency, which means that they are at least 92% efficient.
But if you’ve got an older G rated boiler, it could be 70% efficient or less! This means that for every £1 you spend on your heating bill you are wasting 30p on lost energy.
The Energy Saving Trust estimates that you could save as much as £340 a year on your gas bill if you’re trading in an old-style non-condensing boiler for a new condensing one.
So, if you have an old boiler; or you’ve noticed it isn’t performing like it used to; or your energy bills are increasing without explanation; it might be worth discussing with us whether a new boiler could save you money.
2. Save money on your energy bills by servicing your boiler
Not only will this help to keep your boiler safe, but it will help you to save money on your heating bills.
A well-maintained boiler will run more efficiently because a service will clean up any deposits that have built up in the boiler.
Ensuring that the internal combustion areas are free of dirt and debris will improve the heat transfer, allowing your boiler to light more easily and burn efficiently, which can lead to lower heating bills.
3. Save money on your energy bills by turning down your thermostat
Ok, ok, we know this isn’t a popular one – but stay with us!
We’re not suggesting that you should have to freeze your butt off or wear ten jumpers at home! But by turning down your thermostat down by as little as 1ºC can cut your annual bills by up to 10%.
Lots of people are tempted to crank up the heating when it gets chilly out. In fact, according to the Energy Saving Trust, 52% of people mistakenly believe that turning up their thermostat will heat their home up faster. But this simply isn’t true.
Thermostats don’t have any control over the speed at which your house heats up, all they do is set the maximum temperature that you want your room to be.
So, if you’ve let your home get freezing cold, and then you crank your thermostat up to 28, it will still heat the rooms at the same speed that it would if it was set to 21. The result is that you’ll get uncomfortably hot and have wasted a significant amount of energy by overheating your home.
The Energy Saving Trust says that turning your thermostat down by one degree can help you to save £60 on your annual energy bills and reduce your carbon emissions by 310kg a year.
With this much financial and environmental sense, it must be worth a degree – would you even notice the difference?
4. Save money on your energy bills by using timers
You don’t need your heating to be on full blast 24/7 to be comfortable, and if you’re paying to have a warm house when you’re sleeping or are out at work, you’re wasting money burning energy you simply don’t need.
A timer or programmer allows you to control when your heating and hot water comes on and when it goes off.
Using timers to program when your heating system comes on, and turns off, will make sure you’re warm and cozy when you want to be, without wasting money.
The trick is to set your heating to come on half an hour before you get out of bed, or get home from work, because an average home takes around 30 mins to heat up when the heating comes on.
5. Save money on your energy bills by using Thermostatic Radiator Valves
Just as you don’t need your heating on 24/7 to be comfortable, you probably don’t need all your rooms to be always at the same temperature.
Do you even use all the rooms that you’re heating?
Whilst some rooms need to be warm, it’s pointless (and wasteful) to keep your bedroom warm, whilst the whole family is sat in the kitchen.
Installing Thermostatic Radiator Valves or ‘TRV’s’ is a simple, and relatively cheap solution to this problem.
A TRV is a valve that attaches directly to the top or bottom of your radiators, letting you control the temperature of individual rooms, or ‘zone’ your heating. This means that you can turn down the heat in rooms you are not using, which will save energy.
The Greenage says that energy savings resulting from using TRVs can be as high as 40%. But this will depend on the efficiency of your radiators, your insulation and how many rooms your TRVs are installed in.
The EST estimates that you will save £75 and 320kg of carbon dioxide a year by installing and correctly using a programmer, room thermostat and thermostatic radiator valves.
As well as saving money, TRVs can also help you tailor your heating to exactly how you like it. So, if you like it warm in your lounge while you’re watching Netflix, but prefer your bedroom cooler for sleeping in, you can adjust your TRVs to reflect this.
6. Save money on your energy bills by drying your clothes on an airer
Are you guilty of hanging your washing on your radiators to dry? If so, you’ll be reducing the efficiency of your heating and thereby increasing your heating bills.
This is because radiators produce around 80% of their heat through convection, and if you obstruct them with clothes or heavy curtains, they won’t be able to heat your room properly. Invest in a separate clothes airer instead.
7. Save money on your energy bills by getting a power flush
If you’ve noticed cold spots on your radiators, or your home doesn’t seem to be warming up like it used to, don’t just turn your heating up and hope for the best.
This will only serve to increase your energy bills further.
Instead, you should consider whether you need a power flush.
To remain efficient at keeping us warm, our heating systems need to be clean. Over time, a natural but unwanted by-product of heating, known affectionately as ‘sludge’, builds up in your heating system, causing corrosion and blockages.
According to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) a build-up of sludge in your heating system could result in you paying 15% more than you need to on your fuel bills!
A Power flush can address this by flushing out the sludge which would otherwise cause damage and reduce efficiency.
8. Save money on your energy bills by reducing your heat loss
Although we tend to view heating bills as the cost of burning fuel, what you’re ultimately paying for is heat loss.
Whether we like it or not, all buildings lose heat – and the more heat they lose, the more fuel you’ll burn, and the higher your energy bills will be.
By reducing your heat loss, you’ll be lowering your energy bills because you won’t need to burn as much fuel to stay warm.
The amount of heat loss you will experience, depends on a number of factors, such as the type and age of property you live in.
But, according to the Energy Savings Trust, the following estimates indicate the proportionate heat loss from a badly insulated house:
- 25% of your heat can be lost through the roof;
- 35% through outside walls;
- 25% through doors and windows;
- 15% can be lost through ground floors.
Since heat is lost from your home through your roof, windows, walls, floors and through gaps around windows and doors; you can reduce your heat loss by draught proofing and insulating your home.
We’ve dedicated a whole blog to reducing heat loss at home. But lets look at a few tips here:
● Save money on your energy bills by draught-proofing
This is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to save energy in your home. The promise is very simple – stop cold air coming in and prevent warm air from going out.
By saving your warm air, you’ll not only feel snug and warm, but you’ll need to use less energy to heat your home.
Draught-proofing can be as simple as getting draught excluders for your doors; using heavy curtains; and using a chimney balloon when your chimney isn’t in use.
According to the Energy Saving Trust, draught-proofing around windows and doors could save you around £20 a year, and if you have an open chimney, draught-proofing your chimney when you’re not using it could save around £15 a year.
● Save money on your energy bills by topping up your loft and wall insulation
Loft and wall insulation works by reducing the amount of heat lost from the fabric of your building, reducing the amount of energy you need to heat your home, and saving you money on your energy bills.
The thicker your insulation is, the more effective it will be at stopping the heat from leaving your house.
Topping up your loft insulation from 120mm to 270mm could cost around £240, but the EST says this will save around £12 a year on energy bills.
If you have uninsulated cavity walls, adding cavity wall insulation could save you up to £150 a year off your energy bills (based on a typical 3-bedroom semi-detached house)
If you have solid wall insulation, you can save around £260 a year off your energy bills (based on a typical 3-bedroom semi-detached house).
9. Save money on your energy bills by purchasing energy efficient appliances
It’s not just boilers that are energy rated, other appliances in your home such as your fridge freezer are rated too.
So, when it’s time to replace your appliances, go for the most efficient version.
The most efficient products are those rated as “A” and the least efficient are those rated “D”.
Once you have your efficient appliances, make sure that you turn them off where possible, rather than just leaving them on standby.
The Energy Saving Trust estimates the average home wastes around £35 a year by doing this!
10. Save money on your energy bills by checking you’re not overpaying your energy supplier.
If you’ve been with the same energy supplier for a while, it’s worth checking whether you’re now paying over the odds.
Unfortunately, it’s common for energy suppliers to roll their existing customers onto their most expensive tariff after their initial contract has ended.
By shopping around, and switching to a new supplier, you might well see big savings on your next bill!
If you want us to help you improve the efficiency of your heating system, call The Heating People today.