Reducing your energy usage

Reducing the energy used for heat, light and power in your home is an effective way of reducing your carbon footprint. Having a smart meter fitted is a good way to understand your energy use and this can lead to changing habits and thinking about ways of reducing your bills. Your home energy provider will fit a smart meter for free.

Upgrading light fittings and appliances?
Try to choose energy efficient lighting and electrical appliances. Most now come with an energy efficiency rating of A to G with A+++ being the highest performing. LED lamps or bulbs use only a fraction of the energy of old tungsten and halogen bulbs, and they are available to fit almost all light fittings. [Check with an electrician if your dimmers and transformers need to be replaced].

Upgrading your heating system?
Most properties use gas for their main space heating, however a variety of heating alternatives are now available. Changing to a Green Energy provider for your gas and electric provision is an easy straightforward change.

The efficiency of your existing system can be improved by maintaining your boiler with an annual service and having your radiators and pipes flushed every 5-6 years to remove sludge build-up. Upgrading old radiators and pipework can also make a difference. Consult a qualified plumber as they will assess your current system and will be able to advise on improvements or replacement. Try to get two or three quotes to compare the recommendations and explore the options.

Smart controls and thermostats let you know what temperature your rooms are and allow you to adjust your heating from your phone. You could also consider splitting radiators into separately controlled zones to give greater savings.

Confused about what type of boiler you have?
There are three types of gas boiler to be aware of:

Conventional boiler heats up radiators directly and the system will have separate cold-water tank (usually in the loft to create pressure) and hot water storage tank(s) to provide hot water. Insulating the hot water tank is important to improve efficiency. Sufficient hot water can be provided for several bathrooms. A good solution for properties with low water pressure. Conventional boilers are compatible with solar thermal panels. An electric immersion heater can be used as a back-up

Combi boiler is compact and doesn’t have a hot water cylinder. It makes hot water on demand and is suitable for properties with one main bathroom. They are space saving and can be 90% efficient

Condensing boiler doesn’t have a cold-water tank which can be space saving. It requires good mains pressure, and your plumber can test this and advise you. It does have a pressurised hot water cylinder and there are different sizes available depending on how many bathrooms you have and what space is available

Altering the settings on your boiler could save energy and a detailed guide is available at