INSULATE FOR BIG SAVINGS
With households facing yet another round of punitive price rises from utility companies, the Heating Helpline issues some timely advice about some simple steps homeowners can take to reduce energy consumption.
16 October 2012 – Come the winter, come the higher energy bills. With British Gas raising their energy prices between 5-7%, ten million households will see their energy bills rise by up to £90 a year. The British Gas decision means that three of the ‘Big 6’ energy companies have announced recent increases and it’s probably now only a matter of weeks before the rest follow suit. It’s become a familiar story – just as household energy consumption has to rise to ward off the cold so energy companies put their bills up.
But the Heating Helpline says that too few households take sufficient measures to fully insulate their homes – these are often simple steps, some costing very little, and it can mean a much warmer home and so less need to crank up the thermostat.
Here are the Heating Helpline’s top insulation tips:
- If you have less than 10cm of insulation in your loft you’ll be wasting energy. Top the insulation up to 27cm and you could save around £150 a year. And did you know that if your home is not larger than a 3-bed semi and your loft insulation is less than 16mm thick you can ask one of the big energy companies to top it up for you free of charge?
- Since the 1930s most houses have been built with an air cavity between two outer walls. If you get this gap filled with insulating foam you could save well over £150 on your heating bills. Up to 31st December this year you can also get subsidised cavity wall insulation under a scheme run by the Government that requires energy companies to help households reduce their carbon emissions. The subsidy can be worth up to £250 – contact your energy provider for more information.
- Floorboards lose a lot of heat – insulation seal between the gaps can save you about £25 per year.
- Insulate your hot water cylinder. Fitting a jacket at least 75mm thick costs very little and you could save more than £50 each year. Lagging all your hot water pipes could also save you over £25 a year.
- Badly fitted doors and windows mean avoidable heat loss. Draught proofing doors and windows by sealing gaps will help save energy. Similarly a curtain at the front door and heavy, well-fitted curtains at the windows provide insulation and reduce draughts. To track down the source of draughts take a lit candle and see where it flickers.
- Thermal blinds, which stay flush to the window frame using magnets, are a good alternative to heavy lined curtains. They cost about £145 per sq m.
- Unused fireplaces are one of the biggest causes of lost heat – if you’re not using your chimney but don’t want to board it up try a chimney balloon – they’re easy to inflate and last for years.
Operated by B&ES, the Building & Engineering Services Association, the Heating Helpline provides essential information on energy saving in the home and the importance of regular heating maintenance, and also offers dozens of money-saving solutions for homeowners. Contact them free on 0800 810 8303 or visit the website at: http://www.heatinghelpline.org.uk.
Issued on behalf of the Building & Engineering Services Association (B&ES) by Next Step Marketing Ltd
Media enquiries to: Heather Lambert. Tel: 44(0)1256 472020;
Fax: 44(0)1256 471010; E-mail:
Notes to editors
Since its formation in 1904, B&ES, the Building & Engineering Services Association (formerly the HVCA) has represented the interests of companies engaged in a wide range of building and engineering services including domestic heating and renewable technologies.
B&ES members are subject to regular, third-party inspection and assessment of their technical competence and commercial capability, carried out by an independent certification body at least every three years.
B&ES members who undertake gas installations are registered with Gas Safe – the gas safety watchdog body – and are also members of TrustMark, the Government-endorsed scheme designed to direct customers towards reliable tradespeople.
B&ES operates the Heating Helpline (http://www.heatinghelpline.org.uk) to provide consumers with free, impartial advice on every aspect of home heating.
Caption for Picture:
“Just topping your loft insulation up to 27cm could save around £150 a year. And you might even be able to get your energy provider to do this work for free.”