Over half of a typical household’s energy bill goes on providing heating and hot water. You can upgrade or install heating controls without replacing your boiler. It’s a particularly good idea to think about this if your controls are more than 14 years old.
Installing a room thermostat, a programmer and thermostatic radiator valves and using these controls efficiently could reduce your energy usage and save you around £75 a year.
Installing a smart meter could also help you save energy by making you aware of how much energy you use.
Turn down the thermostat
Room thermostats prevent your home from getting warmer than it needs to. They turn the heating on until the room reaches the temperature you set, and then off until the temperature drops.
Your thermostat should be set to the lowest comfortable temperature, typically between 18 and 21 degrees Celsius. You don’t need to turn your thermostat up when it is colder outside; the house will heat up to the set temperature regardless.
Turning your room thermostat down by just one degree could save £60 on your heating bills and 310kg of carbon dioxide a year from your household carbon footprint.
The costs for replacing a boiler will vary, but a straightforward gas boiler replacement plus thermostatic radiator valves will typically cost about £2,300 (excluding radiators). An oil boiler replacement could cost around £3,100.
See how much you could save on your fuel bill by replacing a gas or oil-fired boiler.
Keep the heat in with insulation
We’ve looked at tips to control the heating in your home, but you also need to think about keeping the heat in your house.
About a third of the heat lost in an uninsulated home escapes through the walls, so making sure you have proper insulation on your solid walls or cavity walls could help keep the heat in and lower your energy bills.
If you live in a house, bungalow or ground floor flat, you could be losing heat from the bottom of your home. Insulating under the floorboards could save you about £40 a year. Insulating the top of your home – either the roof or loft space – is also an effective way to reduce heat loss and lower your energy usage. See how much you could save.
Insulate pipes to keep water hotter
Pipe insulation can reduce the amount of heat lost from the pipes in your home, keeping your water hotter for longer and reducing the amount of energy needed to heat the water.
It consists of a foam tube that covers the exposed pipes between your hot water cylinder and boiler. All you need to do is choose the correct size from a DIY store and then slip it around the pipes.
Pipe insulation can save around £10 a year on your energy bills. You should be able to do this yourself, however if your pipes are hard to reach, you might need to use a professional.
Reflect on your radiator
Radiator reflector panels are a great, low cost option to reduce your energy consumption.
Fixed behind your radiators, they reflect heat from the radiator back into the room, instead of letting the heat out through an external wall.
Remember, you only need to put reflector panels behind radiators on external walls, where they could save you around £19 a year.
Turn off standby
You can quickly and easily reduce the amount of energy you use by remembering to turn your appliances off standby mode.
Almost all electrical and electronic appliances can be turned off at the plug without interfering with their settings, saving you around £35 a year on your energy bill.
And for an extra tip – remember to turn off your lights when you’re not using them! This will help reduce the amount of energy you use every day and could even knock up to £15 a year off your energy bill.
Water, water, everywhere
Water use is closely linked to energy use. Water companies use energy to treat and pump water into houses, while energy is required to produce hot water at home.
Currently, the average UK household uses around 330 litres of water a day – or 140 litres of water per head every day. Using water wisely at home can make big difference to your water and energy bills.
Our top tips to help you save water – and therefore energy – at home include:
take short showers instead of baths
swap your shower head for a more efficient model
use cold water instead of hot when you can
make sure washing machines and dishwasher are full before using them