Energy-saving tips

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Top no-cost tips

  • Turn your thermostat down by 1°C can save you as much as £60 per year. Also, keeping your heating on constantly on a low heat could potentially save you more money than switching it on and off for big blasts of heat
  • Turn unnecessary lights and appliances off and don't leave on standy. A typical household could save between £50 and £90 a year just by turning off appliances left on standby
  • Be careful in the kitchen - You can save over £55 a year just by being careful how you use your kitchen appliances. The following tips can help you reach this saving:
    • Wash your clothes at 30-40 °C;
    • Use a bowl to wash up rather than leaving the hot tap running.
    • Just boil the amount of water in your kettle that you need.
    • Use the smallest pan and cooker ring possible.
  • Turn the pressure down on the power shower.
  • Avoid pre-rinsing the dishes in hot water and just scrape dishes before they go in to the dish washer.
  • Air-dry your laundry outside rather than tumble drying it.
  • Save ironing time by taking your clothes out of the dryer before they're completely dry – they'll iron much quicker.

Insulation tips

Draught proofing

DIY draught proofing of windows, doors and blocking cracks in floors and skirting boards could cost up to £115, but could save £55 a year in a draughty home, so these works can pay for themselves in just over two years.

Tank and pipe insulation

If you already have a hot water tank jacket fitted, check the thickness, it should be at least 75mm thick. Fitting a British Standard jacket will cost around £15 DIY, cut heat loss by over 75% and save you around £45 a year. Fitting pipe insulation will cost around £10 and save you around £15 a year.

Cavity wall insulation

If a home was built after 1920, the chances are that its external walls are made of two layers of brick with a gap or cavity between them. The average installation cost for cavity wall insulation is between £450 and £500 and can save up to £140 a year.

Loft insulation

It is recommended you have at least 270mm (ten inches) of loft insulation. The cost of installing loft insulation is up to £300. You could save up to £180 a year if your loft is uninsulated by installing 270mm of insulation. Even if you have some insulation, by topping up from 100mm to 270mm could save around £25 a year.

Solid wall insulation

If your home was built before 1920, its external walls are probably solid rather than cavity walls. The cost of installing internal wall insulation is £5,000 to £8,000 and you could save around £460 a year. The cost of installing external wall insulation is £9,000 to £13,000 and you could save around £490 a year.

Heating tips

Heating controls

Whatever the age of your boiler, the right controls will let you set the times, temperature and the rooms where you want your heating. Here are the average savings you could make in a typical three-bedroom semi-detached home, heated by gas:

  • Install a room thermostat if you didn't have one before: £70

  • Fit a hot water tank thermostat: £30

Replace your boiler

Boilers account for around 55% of what you spend in a year on energy bills. Replacing an old gas boiler with an A-rated high-efficiency condensing boiler and improving your heating controls will cost around £2,500 - and could save you as much as £310 a year.

Efficient lighting

If the average household replaced all their remaining old-fashioned bulbs with low energy light bulbs and all their halogens with LEDs it would cost around £110 and save around £60 a year.

Renewable energy

While the Feed-in-tariff for electricity generating solar photo voltaic (PV) panels is going down, the average cost for electricity is going up. In addition the cost of panels is going down which means that it is still worthwhile investing in solar PV. A typical 4kWP panel could generate and save you £785 per year. The installation costs between installers and system sizes does vary and can be between £5,500 and £9,000.

It's also worth exploring renewable heating technologies, such as heat pumps, considering the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is available. Not only will households benefit from energy savings but they will also receive additional income for the energy produced.

It is recommended to get quotes from at least three Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) accredited installers. To find MCS installers you can visit their website.

Grant and schemes

Information about the home energy grants and schemes available is on the Help with home energy improvements page.


Contact us

Home Energy Team

Strategic Housing
Wakefield Council
Wakefield One
PO Box 700
Burton Street

01924 305 887