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Wasting less energy

04 December 2013

In most homes, the more energy we use, the more we pay. Preventing cold, draughty homes is a good idea for three reasons:

1. It increases comfort and cosiness;
2. It is healthier for you and your family and can reduce illnesses like asthma and heart disease;
3. It can also help reduce your contribution to environmental problems like climate change.

For our top 10 Green Doctor energy saving tips see view this diagram.

To find out whether you are eligible for government help to save energy in your home see here or try this handy calculator to see what support you might be eligible for.

Or check out our top tips below.

Top free energy saving tips:

  • Move furniture and curtains away from radiators so heat can circulate and close curtains in the evening.
  • Check your hot water thermostat is set to no more than 60 degrees centigrade. This can save around £30 per year.
  • Check your heating thermostat is no higher than 21 degrees centigrade. Turning your heating down by 1 degree could save up to 10% of your heating bill.
  • Turn off lights and appliances when not in use - Nearly all electrical and electronic appliances can safely be turned off at the plug without upsetting their systems. This could save between £50 and £90 a year.

Top low cost energy saving tips:

  • Install panels behind radiators to reflect heat back into the room (available from DIY stores). Fitting sheets in all rooms could save a typical household £49 a year on energy bills. 
  • Fit draught excluders into the gaps around window-frames, floors and doors - DIY draught proofing could cost up to £115, but could save £55 a year. So these works can pay for themselves in just over two years.
  • Replace old light bulbs with energy saving ones. If the average household replaced all their remaining old-fashioned bulbs it would cost around £110 and save around £60 a year.
  • Put an insulating jacket around your hot water tank (available from DIY stores). The jacket should be at least 75mm thick. It will cost around £15 and will save around £45 a year.

Top medium cost energy saving tips:

  • Insulate your loft. Ideally lofts should have 270mm (ten inches) of loft insulation. Insulating a loft with no insulation at all could save up to £180 a year, while topping up your loft insulation from 100mm to 270mm could save around £25 a year.
  • Check whether your walls can be insulated easily. If your home was built after 1920, its external walls are probably made of two layers of brick with a gap between them. Cavity wall insulation fills that gap, keeping the warmth in to save energy. The average installation cost is between £450 and £500 and can save up to £140 a year. The measure could pay for itself in under four years.

For more tips please see the Energy Saving Trust website

You might be eligible for one of the government schemes to help you make more expensive energy-saving changes to your home. To find out more click here.

Further reading:


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