Mrs Bibi lives in a terrace house in Bradford with her husband and young child. After noticing that her energy bills were on the rise she asked to be referred to the Green Doctors after hearing about the service via her GP.
After visiting Mrs Bibi at her home, the Green Doctors were keen to find out what was contributing to the households rising energy bills.
They soon found out that to warm the house quickly Mrs Bibi would often set her thermostat to 25°C and use a gas fire in the living room and although understandable, these two actions were contributing to the high bills as a greater temperature difference between inside and outside of the home will cause heat to escape quicker, wasting energy. In order to bring her bills down, the Green Doctors advised her to lower her thermostat to 21°C; as a general rule of thumb, for every degree a thermostat is lowered; heating bills will be cut by 10%. It is also more likely that her home will be able to achieve and maintain this temperature as heat will not be escaping so quickly.
When at home alone, is was suggested Mrs Bibi turn off all the radiators in her home except for the one in the room she would be occupying; usually the living room that previously she would heat with the less-efficient, and more expensive, gas fire.
As well as her rising energy bills, the house also had high levels of condensation, leading to wet windows and black speckled mould. Not only did this look unpleasant, but there were concerned about the potential effects this could have on the family’s health as living in damp conditions can contribute to coughs, colds and respiratory illnesses, something that the Green Doctors were keen to tackle.
They suggested tips such as keeping lids on pans when using the hob, opening the bathroom window while showering or taking a bath and using the clothes drying rack in only one room of the house with the door kept shut and the window open in order for moisture to escape.
Mrs Bibi was also provided with two dehumidifiers in order to help remove excess moisture from the house in the areas most prone to condensation.
Speaking about the visit, Mrs Bibi said:
“I needed tips on energy saving because my bills were getting higher and I also wanted help to reduce my carbon footprint.
“Most of the things that Groundwork told me were new to me, for example, I thought that the gas fire was cheaper than the central heating but now I’m using the radiators more often.
“My husband has noticed that the house is a lot warmer now, particularly since the radiator panels have been put in! I now feel that I have good knowledge about things I wasn’t aware of before.”