Heat loss in British homes and offices is very high and serves at the main contributor to high energy bills. Sometimes a lot of us have to sit shivering in cold in order to save energy at home by not turning up the thermostat on the central heating.

Heat loss

Our energy saving advice will give you measures to stop the heat from leaking out of your house and should be considered an investment into making your home more energy efficient and comfortable. As we rely on imported gas and oil prices are already high, it only makes sense to reduce the amount of electricity, gas and oil we use to keep warm.

Since energy bills are issued quarterly, it becomes difficult to get a clear picture as to what uses most power or gas. As a result many people do not prioritize the cost effective measures from home energy saving advice and never reduce electricity bills.

A great example is of someone moving into a new house and immediately replacing all windows with double glazing. In terms of warmth and bill savings, this is one of the most expensive measures and gives a relatively small return. The diagram on the right helps explain why.

Cost effective measures

Some energy efficient measures pay for themselves in a very short time, through savings in heating or electricity bills. Others will increase warmth and comfort, but never repay the initial investment. Below is a list of the measures that are most cost effective. All the costs are based on Energy Saving Trust figures. Some may be available free through the energy companies obligation LINK (ECO), or available at no upfront cost through a green deal plan LINK.

1. Loft insulation (270mm deep)

Cost: free - £350; 
Approx saving per year: up to £175; 
Time to pay for itself: immediate – 2 years

2. Cavity wall insulation

Cost: free - £350;
Approx savings per year: £135;
Time to pay for itself: immediate – 3 years

3. Draught proofing

Cost: c. £120 for DIY; £240 to get a professional in;
Approx savings per year: £50, but as draught proof homes are comfortable at lower temperatures, you may save another £60 per year by turning down the thermostat.
Time to pay for itself: 1 – 2 years DIY

4. Low energy lighting

Replacing a traditional, incandescent lightbulb with a compact fluorescent (CFL) bulb will save about £3 per year, or £55 over the life of the bulb.
Replacing a 50w halogen down lighter with a 6w LED (light emitting diode) you will save £4 a year;

5. Take control of your heating

There are two ways to do this. One is to make sure you have at least the basic controls of a timer, a room thermostat and thermostatic valves on each radiator. If you don’t already have one, a room thermostat will save about £70 a year; turning it down by one degree can save around £55 a year.

What is the other way to save on your home energy bills? Just start with yourself, don’t set the timer and forget about it. Turn off radiators in rooms that are not in use and override the timing controls. For example, if you turn off the heating when you are out on an evening you will use less fuel for heating.

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