Tue, 27 Sep 2011 13:29:00 GMT
In the UK we hardly use our central heating for half the year then we use it a lot during the winter. For most of us this means low heating bills in the summer and very high heating bills in the colder winter months. We like to be able to sit comfortably in our homes in our t-shirts even in winter which means having the heating up high. It never used to be this way, we used to just put on more clothes to feel warmer.
Now that all of the main energy companies have raised their prices it means that our heating bills are going to be higher than ever. It seems that the government are not going to be doing anything to stop the ridiculous gas price hikes so it is up to you to do something about it.
Turn your thermostat down. Reducing your room temperature by 1°C could cut your heating bills by up to 10 percent and typically saves around £50 per year. If you have a programmer, set your heating and hot water to come on only when required rather than all the time.
Although some of the recommendations include reducing the temperature on your thermostat this is a pretty general rule that does not suit everyone. If you already have a poorly insulated, cold and droughty house it is just going to get colder. Turning down the temperature of your hot water for bathing and washing can however be more of a sensible approach. After all if you have to add cold water to your hot to make the temperature more bearable then your hot water is probably set too high. It cost proportionately more for every degree that you increase your thermostat by. It means you boiler has to work increasingly harder, like pushing a boulder up a hill that is becoming steeper and steeper.
What is the point in turning up the heat if it is just going to end up going outside the home. By reducing the amount of heat loss from your home you can save on your heating bills without having to reduce the room temperature. If you go round your home, particularly near doors and windows you will usually be able to feel any draughts, it is easier to do this on a cold day. The more heat being lost to the outside means the harder your heating has to work to maintain the same temperature.
You can reduce the amount of heat lost by insulating and draught proofing your house. You can get government grants for insulation that will pay all of most of the cost of getting your home insulated. This means that a specialist home insulation company can insulate your home at no cost to you or if you are not eligible for the full grant at a greatly reduced rate.
Again according to the Energy Savings Trust if you have your boiler serviced every year it will run more efficiently. The more efficiently your boiler runs the lower your heating costs are going to be. If you have a really old or inefficient boiler it may be worth investing in a new highly efficient boiler. With the start of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) it may also be worth considering investing in one of the green technologies covered by the scheme such as solar thermal (solar hot water) or a heat pump system. This will reduce your future heating costs plus allow you to benefit from the government payments for using renewable heating technologies.
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