The government has provided help with the cost of energy bills this winter through the Energy Bill Support Scheme and the Energy Price Guarantee. However, there are still plenty of things you can do at home to keep your energy bills down. In fact, you could save yourself hundreds of pounds a year.
And over the year, these savings really do add up.
By turning down the flow temperature on your combi boiler to 60°C, you could save up to £100 a year. The flow temperature is the temperature of the water that is sent by your boiler to the radiators. The good news is that lowering the flow temperature doesn’t reduce the actual temperature of your home – it isn’t the same as turning the thermostat down.
What it does is increase the time it takes for your thermostat to reach its target temperature. If you are an OAP, or have a pre-existing health condition, it is advisable to set the flow temperature a little bit higher (65°C). This will ensure your home warms up more quickly.
Simply by turning down radiators in rooms you don’t use could save you up to £70 a year. Turning off radiators completely in rooms you aren’t using isn’t energy efficient at all as it just means your boiler has to work harder to increase the temperature again when you want to turn the radiator on again.
It is far more energy efficient simply to turn the valves down to between 2.5 and 3 (18°C) in rooms you don’t use.
Be mindful that OAPs, children under 5, and those with pre-existing medical conditions are more susceptible to the cold. You should always keep a minimum temperature of 18°C to protect their health.
Virtually all electrical appliances in the home draw power continuously unless they are unplugged. By turning off the power at the socket or unplugging appliances at the socket, you could save around £70 a year.
One of the most energy-intensive appliances in the home is the tumble dryer. Trying to use your tumble dryer less often could also save you around £70 a year. Don’t overfill your dryer and only use it when you have a full load – around three-quarters of the drum. If you can dry clothes outside or inside the home (with a window open for ventilation), you can reduce the need to use your tumble dryer so much.
By closing all your curtains and blinds at night, it stops warm air escaping through windows. This will reduce your heating costs – especially if you have radiators below your windows.
There are free apps that enable you to track your energy use, if you have a smart meter. This is a great way to keep on top of your energy usage.