This winter is likely to see large rises in our energy bills so now is definitely the time to act and save money. Are you aware some measures can be installed free? Just check on this site to see if you qualify for any assistance. There are many ways to reduce your energy consumption and below are some ideas for you to consider.

Simple quick measures

Use microwaves and induction hobs as they are the most energy efficient methods of cooking 
Use energy efficient light bulbs 
Switch off as many appliances and entertainment systems as possible when not in use 
Take a 5 minute shower instead of a bath 
Collect rainwater for use in the garden 
Install a toilet sava flush device 
Change all taps to water saving models 
Change Shower head or system to incorporate water saving 
Turn your heating thermostat down by 1 or more degrees to save 10% on your heating bills 
Turn your hot water temperature down; the standard heat setting is usually 60 degrees 

Medium Measures

Insulation is one of the most cost-effective ways of retaining heat within a home and is part of the Governments focus towards homeowners reducing fuel bills. Millions of homes in the UK still do not have adequate insulation. Go outside when the snow comes and look at your property. If the snow is settling on your neighbours’ roofs and not on yours, heat is escaping through your roof and you are paying the energy bill to melt that snow! 

Loft insulation is one of the easiest ways to help retain heat and is heavily subsidised by energy suppliers and even free for qualifying residents (low income and those over 70). The more loft insulation you install, the less heat that is lost. The optimum thickness has been shown to be 350mm, Building Regulations insist on a minimum of 270mm.

Help?

If you would like to know more about reducing your energy bills please make contact and an adviser will be happy to assist. 

Many people still believe that their energy saving actions do not make a difference, but the statistics are showing that we decreased our UK net CO2 emissions considerably last year.

There are now so many ways to save money, energy and the planet without having to invest too much time, money or effort. Let’s focus on the small, solutions which can significantly help to reduce the carbon emissions your home produces and fight climate change. 

The average house spends on average: £1380 on fuel bills each year which can be up to 48% more than necessary due to the lack of energy saving measures being implemented in the home. 

Small measures you can take

Draught proofing is a low cost but highly effective solution to reducing heat loss throughout your home. Typically all the entrance and exits will have some degree of heat loss as well as window frames, chimneys, letterboxes and cat flaps. Also any gaps between floor boards, skirting boards or service can be areas where draughts can occur; these can easily be eradicated with sealant. 

Removing the draughts not only keeps heat in during the winter but the heat out during the summer. You can simply determine where heat is escaping with a small feather or burning joss stick – if the smoke or feather moves you know you have a draught to deal with. 

It is however important to be mindful that some fuel burning appliances do require some ventilation and also timbers in the roof and floor. 

Windows will be the next problem if you don’t or can’t have double glazing and while it may not be the cheapest solution, installing secondary glazing or even triple glazing, will ensure you are draught free. 

If you can’t afford to replace your doors and windows some of the easiest and cheapest measures for draught proofing are as follows:

  • Draught Proof Door Compression Seals
  • Draught Proof Letter Box
  • Draught Proof Door Wiper Seals
  • Thermal Curtain Linings
  • Sausage Dog Draught Excluders

Help required?

If you would like to know more please make contact and one of our advisers will be happy to assist. 

Summer is with us but as we all know winter is looming, now is the time to get your boiler serviced and checked ready for the oncoming cold weather. I know we all want to forget about this, but facts are heating bills are going to rise again and its essential to have an efficient boiler.

Boilers account for approximately 57% of what we spend on our energy bills, so it is essential the boiler you have is efficient.

Modern day boilers are more efficient for several reasons, but the main advantage is that they are all condensing, and this makes a huge difference on economy. All well maintained and serviced boilers burn their fuel very effectively, but they inevitably lose some heat in the hot gases which escape up the flue. A condensing boiler has a larger heat exchanger, so it recovers more heat sending cooler gases out through the flue.

Sometimes the flue gases get so cold that the water vapour in the gas condenses out (hence the name) and even more energy is recovered from the condensing vapour.

Boiler type

If your boiler is old and you are on certain benefits you may qualify for a new boiler free of charge, so take a little time to see what you may be entitled to.

Most old gas and oil burning boilers are regular types which use a separate hot water cylinder to store hot water, rather than providing it directly from the working boiler. When your old boiler is replaced with a new generation boiler you have choices. You can maintain your hot water cylinder or have a combi that has no need for the cylinder.

A regular boiler is more efficient than a combi at producing hot water in the first place, but then some heat is lost from the hot water cylinder. So if you look at both methods they will save you a great deal of money over the years to come, but the consensus is that a combi may well save you more.

Need some help?

It is easy to find out if you qualify for a grant or even free installation select your requirement and just click the “see if I qualify” or “apply now”. This action could save you a great deal of money over the long term. 

Energy companies have announced more price rises in a move that will see households hit by a 6% hike in the near future.

The energy companies said plans to increase standard variable tariff prices on 31 August, following “significant increases in the cost of wholesale energy since the start of the year”.

As an example EDF’s energy standard variable dual fuel tariff will increase by 6% to £1,228 a year - adding £70 to the typical bill.

The standard variable electricity and gas tariffs will be increasing by 6.1% and 6% respectively.

The changes will affect EDF Energy standard variable customers, currently 40% of customers.

Those on a fixed price tariff, prepayment tariff or the safeguard tariff for vulnerable customers will not see any changes.

The news comes just weeks after the energy giant was slapped with a £350,000 fine for missing Ofgem's smart meter target last year.

It also follows a string of price rises announced over the past two months - with SEE leading the way after confirming an imminent 6.7% rise for 2.36 million households.

Why are prices going up?

Wholesale prices for dual fuel have increased by 18% so far this year, increasing sharply since April, EDF said.

This is due to a number of factors, the energy firm added, including the ‘Beast from the East’ reducing gas storage stocks over the winter, compounded by global oil markets feeding into higher UK wholesale prices for both gas and electricity.

Act now to avoid further increases

With all these increases and more promised surely its time to check out your homes energy efficiency. First and foremost check your loft insulation, having the correct level of insulation could save each household over £350 per year. Check on this site to see if you qualify for financial assistance, if you meet the criteria insulation could even be fitted free!

Can we help?

If you would like more details of how to make your home more energy efficient please do make contact and one of our advisers will be happy to help?

House buyers are being urged to carefully check the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) on their new property as the UK’s climate becomes more unpredictable.

According to various lenders there are already a number of mortgages available for properties which have high EPC ratings, highlighting the growing importance of this ratings scheme.

But with this year’s weather swinging from freezing – courtesy of the Beast from the East – to this summer’s heatwave, having a home which can retain the heat in winter and stay cool in summer looks even more essential. And this is something a home with a good EPC rating can provide.

Currently, any property being sold must have an EPC, which gives the dwelling an energy performance rating from A, which is the most efficient, to G, the least. Once purchased the certificate is valid for ten years. A high EPC rating on a property will demonstrate it has good insulation and glazing and this will ensure a home is able to stay cooler in hot weather and warmer during the cold spells. And it will also provide an indicator of how much energy is likely to be used and how this will affect the bills.

We all know that buying a house involves a multitude of decisions and sometimes things like the EPC rating can drop down the list of priorities for a move. However, as the UK’s climate becomes more unpredictable the ratings on properties could become more important and some providers are already offering mortgages specifically for properties with high EPC ratings.

According to reports many people think insulation, double glazing and the like simply help to keep their homes warm in cold weather. However, insulation actually works by slowing down the movement of heat between two spaces. This means, during the summer, insulation will prevent your home overheating as well as retaining heat during the colder months.

The EPC gives you information about a property’s energy use and typical energy costs, plus recommendations about how to reduce energy usage and in turn save money.

Can we help?

It’s so easy to find out if you qualify for a grant or indeed free installation, just select your requirement and click the “see if I qualify or “apply now”. Acting now could save you a great deal of money each month and increase the value of your property.