Energy-saving tips

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Top no-cost tips

  • turn your thermostat down by 1°C could cut your heating bills by up to 10% - approx. £250 a year for the average home
    • also, keeping your heating on constantly on a lower heat (18 degrees) will save you more money than switching it on and off

  • turn unnecessary lights and appliances off and don't leave electronic devices on standby
    • this could save £90 a year on energy costs for the average home

  • keeping your shower time to 4 minutes could save the typical household £95 a year

  • running your washing machine on 30 degrees instead of 40 degrees will save around £35 per year

  • air-drying your laundry outside or on racks inside rather than in the tumble dryer will save approx. £70 a year for the average home

  • only boiling your kettle with the amount of water you need will save you £13 a year from your electric bill
    • if you fit an aerator attachment to your kitchen tap – you can bump this saving up to £43 a year, based on the average home

  • filling your dishwasher and meaning you have to run it one less time a week could save you £17 per year

Just following these simple steps would save an average family over £50 a month or £600 a year!

Insulation tips

Draught proofing

Professional draught-proofing of windows, and doors and blocking cracks in floors and skirting boards can cost around £225.

But it can save around £125 (£55 in NI) a year on energy bills. DIY Draught Proofing can be much cheaper.

Tank insulation

Effective insulation of your hot water cylinder is important. Even if you have thin spray foam or a loose 25mm jacket, you can benefit from increasing the insulation to a British Standard Jacket 80mm thick.

This will save £70 (£45 in NI) a year in the process. Insulating your water tank, pipes, and radiators is a quick and easy way to save money on your bills.

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 about £900 - £1200.

This can save on average around £400 - £600 a year, depending on the type and size of house. The Council may have schemes to help you with the cost.

Loft insulation

It is recommended you have at least 270mm (ten inches) of loft insulation. The cost of installing loft insulation is around £400. 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. The Council may have schemes to help you with the cost.

Solid wall insulation

If your home was built before 1920, it likely has solid external walls instead of cavity walls. Insulating solid walls is more expensive than cavity walls, but it can lead to greater savings. The costs of installing solid wall insulation may vary as follows:

  • external wall insulation: around £12,000
  • internal wall insulation: around £8,500
  • typical Savings would be around £540 per year
    *Based on a typical 3-bedroom, semi-detached house in Great Britain

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: £100
  • fit a hot water tank thermostat: £45

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. This will cost around £2500 - and could save you as much as £400 a year. The Council may have schemes to help you with the cost.

Efficient lighting

Changing halogen bulbs for Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) can save around £55 on energy bills per year per bulb.

Visit the Energy Saving Trust for more information on making your home more energy efficient.

Grant and schemes

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

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