Good Energy Group plc

09/29/2022 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/29/2022 05:25

Home heating tips for winter

byJen Laming

Posted on29 September 2022

Posted in Energy
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With colder weather on the way, many of us may be thinking about turning the heating on soon. High energy prices are still on many peoples' minds, so we want to share some home heating tips for saving energy while still staying warm.

Get a free smart meter

This first tip won't help you save on its own. But having a smart meter and in-home display will show you how much energy you're using each day, so that you can keep track of your bills. Your in-home display will let you see how much you're spending on energy in real time, taking into account the government Energy Price Guarantee discount on unit rates.

What's more, because you can review what you've used over previous weeks or months, you can more easily see the impact of any changes you make to reduce your usage.

Register your interest in getting a smart meter

Make sure your boiler is working properly

Having your boiler serviced once a year is essential to making sure it's working safely and efficiently. This will reduce the chance of it breaking and leaving you without hot water, or having to use more energy than necessary to provide your heating.

We work with Hometree, who offer boiler and home heating care plans. Find out more about their service and how they can give you peace of mind over the colder months.

Heating your home efficiently

Make sure you're getting the most out of every unit of energy you use to heat your home.

Can you reduce your boiler flow temperature?

If you have a modern combi boiler, you may be able to set it to a lower flow temperature. This means that, rather than heating water to 70-80oC, you could heat it to 55-60oC and use less gas.

This is a change you can make yourself - check out the guides on the Heating Hub. However, it's worth first checking with a boiler technician whether your radiators are big enough to heat the room properly using water at a lower temperature.

Another note - don't drop your water temperature below 60oC if your system uses a hot water tank. This is because the stored water must be regularly heated above this level to kill microbes.

Find out how your heating controls work

Gas central heating. The Energy Saving Trust recommends installing thermostatic radiator valves on every radiator, so you can choose which ones you switch on. They also allow you to set different temperatures in different rooms. Read about how to use your heating controls to help you save energy.

Electric storage heaters. These use electricity at cheaper overnight rates to generate heat that is released the following day. Many types of storage heater are controlled using an 'input' and 'output' dial on top. The higher you turn the input dial, the more it will heat up, and the more electricity you'll use. The higher you turn the output dial, the quicker the heat will be released. So, if you want the heat to last until the following evening, keep the output dial lower. Find out more about how to use electric storage heaters.

Heat pumps. There are a couple of things to check to make sure you're using your heat pump efficiently:

  • Make sure your heating boost is set up properly - heat pumps are at their most efficient at temperatures down to -2oC (but still work at temperatures as low as -15 oC). If the temperature drops very low, an additional heating element may switch on to give the system a boost. If your bills are higher than usual, it's worth checking this hasn't been switched on unnecessarily.
  • Adjust your 'heating curve' - the basic principle of a heat pump is, the colder the air outside, the higher the output temperature needed to provide heating. You can probably lower the set temperature without making your home uncomfortable. The system may just take longer to heat the space

Find out more on the Energy Saving Trust website - including advice specific to air source heat pumps and ground source heat pumps.

What are simple ways to keep heat in?

  • Coat single-pane windows in secondary glazing film to reduce how much heat is transferred outside
  • Get thermal curtains, and close them as soon as the sun goes down
  • Use draught excluders under doors
  • Hang a thermal curtain around the inside of your front door, if possible. This will help stop heat escaping each time you open it.

How can you make your home more energy efficient long term?

If you have the flexibility to make bigger improvements, a good place to start could be a heat survey. This uses thermal imaging cameras to analyse where heat is escaping from your home.

For example, if most heat is escaping through the roof, you may need to install (or update) loft insulation. For windows, it could be most effective to replace single pane windows or older double glazing. And if most heat is escaping through walls, you could explore cavity wall or external wall insulation. Proper insulation won't just keep heat in during winter - it will help keep it out in hot summer weather.

Here's how much different insulation measures cost - and the impact they could have on your bill:

What financial support is available?

You may be able to access financial support with installing insulation under the government ECO4 grant scheme. This provides green home improvements to lower-income homes that meet any of the following criteria:

  • You've been referred by your doctor, local authority or energy provider
  • You receive certain benefits
  • You have an annual household income of up to £31,000.

Support with winter energy bills

Are you getting all the energy bill support you're entitled to?

You'll automatically receive the Government Energy Price Guarantee, which is a discount on the unit rate of electricity and gas. You'll also receive a £400 payment through the Energy Bills Support Scheme, paid in instalments over six months from October to March 2022.

If you receive pension credit or means-tested benefits, you also qualify for a £150 payment through the Warm Home Discount, as long as your energy supplier is big enough to be part of the scheme. People who are eligible for the discount will get a letter from the government in November or December. If you still haven't received any information about it by January, call the Warm Homes Discount helpline.

How to help others in need

If you are looking for ways to support households affected by the cost of living crisis, consider donating to:

You could help transform the energy industry so that it no longer relies on expensive, polluting fossil fuels. Add your name to the Warm this Winter campaign, run by Good Energy partner Friends of the Earth, to stand up for people and planet.

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Jen Laming