Counter the energy crisis and save hundreds on bills, in five zero cost steps
The price of energy has risen by 54% from April (2), and has nearly doubled since the beginning of last year. Ofgem predicts this will increase average bills by £693. This blog aims to help you save money and cut carbon during this energy crisis. We give you tips that together will save 20% on your energy bills and will cut carbon by over a tonne to your house.
1. Turn down the temperature on your condensing boiler from 80°C to 70°C
This change doesn’t result in any loss of comfort, but improves the efficiency of your boiler and heating system. You can save 6-8% on their gas usage by turning down the flow temperature on your condensing combi boiler from 80°C to 70°C.
This £80 a year saving is achieved from the boiler operating at its most efficient. The flow temperature is reduced meaning radiators are at 70°C, not 80°C. So it takes a little longer to heat up the house, but you don’t have to compromise on how warm the house is to get the efficiency.
If you’re going to do this then you need to check you actually have a condensing boiler. If you do then simply turn down the heat on the boiler.
2. Turn off heating in unused rooms and close the door
Turning off radiators in a particular room results in water not losing heat as it passes onto the next room, improving the efficiency of the heating system, and placing less demand on the boiler. This will result in the house warming more quickly and you’ll use less gas.
According to how big the room is in comparison to the rest of the house will equate to the savings. In a three bed house, turning off the heating and shutting the door in an unused bedroom will save you around 10%, or £100 per annum, on your gas bill.
3. Have fewer baths and shorter showers
The use of hot water accounts for about a quarter of the overall heat demand in the house. According to the energy saving trust an average person uses around 140 litres of water per day. The majority of that is used for cleaning.
Limiting showers to four minutes is a common means to save water, but when energy bills are so high it’s also a great way to save money. Choosing a shower over a bath may also during this more prudent time be a great way to save money.
If you do this right you can save a third on the heat demand from hot water in the house, saving a massive 8%, or £80 per annum, on heating bills.
4. Turn down the thermostat and reduce length of heating
Just turning down the thermostat by one degree can cut gas bills by 6%. If you manage to also control the length of time the house is heated you can save even more.
Most of us have the house a little warmer than is necessary. Now’s the time to get to bed a little earlier and stay in a little later (if possible). Moving from 21°C to 19°C will save you £120 a year.
5. Use appliances more efficiently
Using shorter cycles on the washing machine, turning on dishwashers when they’re actually full and boiling just the amount of water you need in the kettle to make a cup of tea makes a difference. With electricity bills costing a quarter more, changing how you use appliances will make a difference.
You can save 10% on electricity bills if you do all the above and turn appliances off at the switch at the end of the day. This will save £110 a year.
If you like this and want more information
You may want to look at my calculations. See the google sheet here where I put them together.
If you are keen to learn about other energy efficiency measures then look at the posts on our community under #energy-efficiency. If you like that then join Better Century and be continually updated with other great things you can do to improve use and sharing of resources.
- Heating & Hotwater Industry Council Report: https://www.hhic.org.uk/uploads/6165409B9D4C9.pdf
- Explanation of price cap changes (Ofgem): https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/information-consumers/energy-advice-households/check-if-energy-price-cap-affects-you
- More information on turning down boiler on the heating hub; https://www.theheatinghub.co.uk/articles/turn-down-the-boiler-flow-temperature
- More advice on water saving from Energy Saving Trust: https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/top-seven-water-saving-products-to-help-you-cut-water-use/#:~:text=Four%2Dminute%20shower%20timer,you%2030%20litres%20a%20day.