The planet may be warming at a worrying rate due to human-induced climate change, but it doesn’t mean the UK’s winters don’t still deliver nasty cold spells.
And with householders spending an average of £1,345 a year on fuel bills (according to Ofgem) making your home more energy efficient, as well as warmer, makes sense both morally and financially.
The financially sensible choice
Here are a number of ways to do your bit to help reduce CO2 emissions, as well as perhaps save a bit of money in the process:
Turn the heating down – It might seem obvious, but turning the heating down is just about the easiest way of cutting bills and reducing emissions. Energy UK says that every degree saves a household around £85 a year in reduced bills.
Radiator reflectors – These are mounted behind radiators positioned on external walls. They reflect heat back into a room, rather than losing it through the wall.
Curtains – The thicker the curtain (preferably double-lined), the more heat you’ll trap in a room at night. This is especially the case with older houses, or any house for that matter, with wooden and single-glazed windows.
Thermostatic valves on radiators – Don’t simply leave all the radiators on in the house. In rooms which are rarely used, such as converted lofts and spare rooms, leave them off or at least on very low.
Heating controls – Don’t leave the heating on all day, and, preferably, invest in a thermostatic remote control system (usually around £60 to £100) which allows you to instantly control the temperature in your home, even from a smartphone.
Switch suppliers – There are quite a few energy suppliers that now specialise in supplying energy from renewable, green sources, such as OVO Energy and Ecotricity. You could also switch simply to save money, whether the tariff is green or not! Always shop around and compare deals.
Loft insulation – Many lofts have poor, or zero, insulation. You could save an estimated £150 to £200 a year on heating bills by making sure yours is insulated properly. It should only cost around £200, less if you do it yourself.
Better boilers – If your boiler is a little old, it might be close to packing in or needing expensive repairs. New, super-efficient boilers are a world-away from those built even a few years ago. Installing a new one might cost £1,500 to £2,500, but could save you hundreds of pounds a year.
Windows – Double or triple-glazed windows can be expensive to install, but, as with boilers, it’s a great way of trapping heat in the home and reducing bills. A cheaper but highly effective option is to use secondary glazing, either acrylic plastic or plastic film, which costs very little in comparison.
Household appliances – As with boilers, you could save considerable sums by buying appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers and kettles which are more energy efficient. Look out for the ratings given, the highest being A+++.
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Published 17 November 2017