The 50plus


Energy saving ideas

Great little ideas to avoid the winter bills

Some weathermen are predicting that this winter will be one the coldest of the past few years with freezing air from the North Pole sending the thermometer plummeting to -11C. Forecasts indicate that December and January will both be colder than normal, with all areas of the UK being impacted. To help you keep your energy bills down we reiterate some advice from the Energy Savings Trust, an organisation devoted to promoting energy efficiency, energy conservation, and the sustainable use of energy.
A survey by the Trust revealed that while four fifths of Britons believe they understand their heating controls, half misuse energy by turning up their thermostat. Many also think that turning up the heating makes things hotter more quickly, that the external temperature makes a difference and that hot water needs to be constantly on - which, by the way, is all wrong. Here are a few hints.:

  • Don't turn the heating up if its cold outside. Half (52%) of the people responding to the Trust survey said they turned the thermostat up when its cold outside, but a home shouldn't need this as the thermostat is there to maintain the internal temperature, whatever the weather.
  • Don't turn the thermostat up to heat the room quicker. Over a third (35%) of people in the survey also admitted that they turn their room thermostat up when they want the room to heat up quicker. The Trust say "This does not help a room become warmer any quicker and only heats the home to a warmer temperature".
  • Don't leave the heating on low constantly. Its very common for people to think its more energy efficient to leave the heating turned on at a low temperature constantly, rather than turn it on and off. This is wrong. "This means these homes are heated when no-one is there to benefit and then the home is too cold when people are in the home" the experts said.
  • Don't keep your water heater on all day. If your hot water tank is properly insulated, water heated for half an hour in the morning should stay warm until midday. Its much better to set your water to come on for half an hour before you get up to shower.
  • Don't keep storage heaters on all the time. "Our research also found that few people with electric storage heaters fully understand how they work (only 38%)," says the Trust. "This means that households with electric heating could be paying through the nose by not taking advantage of cheaper night rate electricity." 50plus note - most storage heaters we see work only on overnight electricity. If you have a separate fuseboard / consumer unit for your storage heaters and an Economy 7 supply and billing your storage heaters should only be running on the lower overnight tariff.

Some householders may be eligible for a grant to help with energy bills or make a home more energy efficient. For more information visit:
(valid as of 15 December 2017).


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