EasySave. Come on, let s cut our bills! Affordable Warmth Helpline

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1 EasySave Come on, let s cut our bills! Affordable Warmth Helpline

2 2 EasySave contents Page The basics 4 EasySaves on your energy bills: Cooking 6 Fridges & freezers 8 Washing & drying 10 Low cost lighting 12 Getting the most out of your heating 14 Central heating 15 Storage heaters 20 Electric room heaters 22 Warm air systems 22 Solid fuel systems 22 Technology savings 23 Insulate & Stay Safe 26 For more information contact the Affordable Warmth Helpline on or The Green Deal 27 Estimated savings 28 Helping all be and well improving the use of energy in buildings Published in 2014 by your local Affordable Warmth Network. This network is supported by the local council and health service, and aims to help individuals cut gas/electricity bills, thus saving carbon and money, and helping to tackle fuel poverty in the region. For free, impartial, expert advice, contact the Affordable

3 EasySave 3 Watt! If your energy bills are ballooning you might already be asking yourself how you can get them back under control. This leaflet will help you find easy ways to save energy and bring those high costs back to earth. Warmth Helpline on /

4 4 EasySaves on your energy bills The basics All electrical, gas and oil powered appliances in the home use energy. How much you are paying for that energy will depend on your choice of energy supplier, your choice of appliances and how often you use them. If you can stay in control of your heating and other appliances you will have more control over your energy bills. Household appliances vary considerably in their energy consumption and it pays to know which ones are the greedy ones. The energy they need is measured in watts or kilowatts and, as a rule of thumb... More watts = more cost (when switched on for the same length of time) Energy efficient products are helpful because they give you the result you want but consume less energy. For example, a 20W energy saving light bulb gives you the same amount of light as a 100W tungsten bulb but consumes one fifth of the electricity. Most white goods now carry the Energy Saving Recommended label - the most energy efficient are A or A+ rated. How energy is measured Energy is sold in units called Kilowatt Hours (kwh). 1 kilowatt hour is the unit of energy used to run 1000 watts worth of appliances for one hour. All appliances should have their power rating in watts written on them. Your energy bill will tell you how much you are paying for each Kilowatt Hour of energy you consume. The European Union s easy-to-read A to G colourcoded energy rating is attached to products. It now also applies to homes. Each time a house is built, sold or rented out, an Energy Performance Certificate is required. This records its energy efficiency and carbon dioxide emissions. It also highlights current average costs for heating, hot water and lighting, plus any straightforward energy saving improvements not yet made. For free, impartial, expert advice, contact the Affordable

5 EasySaves on your energy bills 5 Greedy appliances: the usual suspects Big electricity users include immersion heaters, kettles, vacuum cleaners, washing machines, electric showers, fires, cookers and air conditioning. If your electricity bills have gone up dramatically, ask yourself if you are using more of these. Gas central heating is a big energy user but it is cheaper to run than electric heating. This is because electricity costs a lot more per unit - typically around three times more than gas Tips Get to know how much energy your appliances consume. A plug-in energy meter can help. You may be able to borrow an energy monitor from a public library. Check appliances for the watts/ kilowatts of energy they require. Note that more watts = more cost when comparing two like products (unless the higher power guarantees you will get the job done faster). Look for the Energy Saving Recommended label and energy rating A to G scale information when buying new appliances or a new home. Avoid leaving appliances on longer than necessary - especially the big electricity users like the immersion heater. Use controls, timers and sensors to dictate when, and for how long, appliances are switched on. Warmth Helpline on /

6 6 EasySaves on your energy bills Cooking Follow our tips to cut your cooking costs. Cooking is energy intensive because the oven, grill and rings operate at very high temperatures. If you can see part of a red-hot electric ring or flames from the gas licking up the side of your saucepan, this is wasting energy. Turning the oven up high won t make it heat up faster - set it to the temperature you need. A boiling pan only needs a little energy to keep it simmering so turn the ring down and use a lid to keep the heat in. Electric kettles, toasters and microwaves are more efficient because heat is just used to heat the food or water, and is not wasted heating the pan/grill or air in the room. Try to avoid having your cooker near your fridge or freezer. Heat from it will force the fridge to work harder. What kind of cooker? Electric vs Gas Cooking food costs around 36p an hour in an electric oven or 20p an hour in a gas oven. Microwaves Microwaves use 70% to 90% less electricity than conventional ovens. Fan Ovens Fan ovens use about 20% less electricity than conventional ovens. For free, impartial, expert advice, contact the Affordable

7 Safety Gas Safety Don t block air holes in the oven with kitchen foil - keep these holes clear. Get your cooker checked by a Gas Safe registered fitter every 2 years. Gas Safe Register has replaced the old CORGI accreditation, and installers should always carry the appropriate ID (carrying the logo below) to show that they are signed up to the new register EasySaves on your energy bills 7 Tips Use a small ring or low flame for small pans. Keep lids on pans. Use a pressure cooker, steamer or slow cooker instead of an ordinary pan - they are more efficient. Set the oven to the temperature you need and no higher. Don t overfill pans or kettles - you waste energy heating extra water. Once a pan is boiling turn the ring down low to simmer. For toast, use a toaster instead of the grill. Use your microwave if you have one. If you have a small top oven use it instead of the main oven for smaller items. Avoid opening the door of the oven while it is in use and replace any damaged door seals. If you have an electric hob make sure the bases of your pans are flat and in contact with the rings. Boil water in an electric kettle rather than in a pan or kettle on an electric hob. Warmth Helpline on /

8 8 EasySaves on your energy bills Fridges & Freezers Follow our tips to cut your fridge/freezer costs. Fridges and freezer don t use much electricity an hour, but because they are on all the time the cost of running them over a year can be high. Fridges and freezers use energy: To cool food from room temperature To remove heat getting in through the appliance casing To remove heat getting in when the door is opened Heat removed from inside a fridge/freezer is pumped out into the surrounding air using cooling fins on the back of the appliance. A fridge/freezer works most efficiently when it can lose heat easily - that s why its good to keep cooling fins clean and to leave space round the appliance to let heat escape. Keeping the cold in Fridges and freezers are insulated boxes, but the insulation doesn t completely stop heat getting in because when the door is opened cool air falls out and warm air from the room replaces it. Chest freezers are more efficient that upright ones because less cool air falls out of them when the lid is opened than when the door of an upright is opened. Condensation forming on the outside of your fridge or freezer suggests that its insulation has deteriorated and that it is using more power than it should. For free, impartial, expert advice, contact the Affordable

9 Costs; old versus new The typical cost of running a fridge freezer varies dependent on age and efficiency. An old fridge freezer can cost up to 60 a year compared to a new A** rated fridge freezer which could cost as little as 25 a year. Technical improvements between the 70s and 90s have produced up to 50% increases in efficiency. So new appliances are cheaper to run than old ones. All new fridges/ freezers must carry an energy label which indicates how efficient that model is, and allows you to compare the efficiency of one machine with another. Look for this when you are buying a new appliance EasySaves on your energy bills 9 Tips Make sure there is plenty of ventilation space at the back and top of your fridge or freezer. Keep the cooling fins at the back of the appliance clean. Site your fridge/freezer in a cool place; out of direct sun and away from the cooker and boiler. Check the temperature using a fridge thermometer ( 2-3). Fridges should be 0ºC to 4ºC, freezers -18ºC (****) to -5ºC (*). Use the thermostat to keep the temp - erature right: the higher the thermostat setting, the lower the temperature. Don t put warm or hot items in a fridge/freezer let them cool to room temperature first. Keep the door shut. Defrost regularly - the more ice, the more electricity used. Replace damaged door seals, they let heat in. Take food out of the freezer in plenty of time to allow it to defrost without using a microwave. Try to keep your fridge/freezer three quarters full - this is most efficient. Warmth Helpline on /

10 10 EasySaves on your energy bills Washing & Drying Follow our tips to cut your washing/drying costs A single or twin tub is much cheaper to run than an automatic washing machine. The running cost of a gas tumble dryer is about a third that of an electric one. It costs around 16p a load to run an electric washing machine and 55p a cycle to run an electric tumble dryer. If you have cheap rate electricity over night, washing and drying during the cheap rate will cut your costs. If you do this, fit a smoke alarm near the machine. Obviously, don t use at night if the machine is prone to leaking or flooding. If you have a tumble dryer that is designed to be vented to the outside make sure it is connected properly. Condenser tumble dryers are a good choice where venting to the outside isn t an option. They collect the water that comes off the clothes in a plastic reservoir which is easy to empty. If you don t vent or collect this water it will cause condensation. Cool savings With the average household using their washing machine 5 times a week, there are savings to be made. Most washing powders now allow you to turn your dial to 30 C. This can reduce the energy used when doing your laundry by as much as 40%. Advanced detergents now wash effectively at temperatures as low as 15 C. For free, impartial, expert advice, contact the Affordable

11 EasySaves on your energy bills Tips Make sure you have a full load before starting the machine. If you need to do a half load use the half load or economy setting. Use low temperature washes most detergents will now work effectively at 30 C. Use short wash cycles when clothes aren t visibly dirty. Use the spin function to help dry washing before using a tumble dryer. Dry washing outside whenever you can. Select cycles that switch off automatically when the load is dry. Or, set short drying times and switch on again if necessary. A tumble dryer with a dryness sensor works best with same-fabric loads. Warmth Helpline on /

12 12 EasySaves on your energy bills Low-cost Lighting Follow our tips to cut your lighting costs In a bulb, electricity is converted into light, but also into heat. The efficiency of the bulb depends on how well the bulb converts electricity to light. Old-fashioned (tungsten/filament) bulbs Only about 5% of the electricity used by old-fashioned filament bulbs becomes light - the rest is lost as heat which can cause discolouration of light fittings, walls and ceilings. Dimming on an ordinary filament bulb to 50% of its full output will cut its energy use by about 40% and will also extend the life of the bulb. Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) Energy saving light bulbs, known as compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) use 75-80% less electricity than ordinary bulbs and last up to 12 times longer. A CFL replacement for a 100W bulb will save up to 60 of electricity over its lifetime. If typically used for 2 hours a day a CFL will pay for itself in under a year. There s a wide choice of CFLs today and more expensive ones will even work with some dimmer switches. But, do your homework and make sure you get a good match for your dimmer. Standard CFLs cannot be dimmed. Fluorescent Bulbs Fluorescent bulbs are about five times more efficient than filament bulbs because they convert more of the electricity to light and less to heat. If you switch a fluorescent light off and on very frequently you will reduce its lifespan. However, if you are leaving a room for more than a few minutes, it is better to switch it off than leave it on. LED Lighting The operating life of a light emitting diode (LED) is unaffected by turning them on and off, unlike fluorescent lamps as above. This characteristic gives LEDs several distinct advantages when it comes to operations. For example, LEDs have an advantage when used in conjunction with movement or daylight sensors that rely on on-off operations. Also in contrast to traditional technologies, LEDs turn on at full brightness almost instantly, with no delay. LEDs are also largely unaffected by vibration because they do not have filaments or glass enclosures. For free, impartial, expert advice, contact the Affordable

13 EasySaves on your energy bills 13 How one light can cost a fortune Controlling appliances is the key to controlling your bills. For example, a 1000W halogen security lamp left on for 1 hour will use 1 unit of energy (1kWh) costing perhaps 15p. If you leave it on overnight all year round, multiply that 15p by the hours of use - 15p x 10 hours x 365 days = 54750p or 550! 550 is a frightening bill, but could be reduced to next to nothing by fitting a movement sensor. With a sensor the security light will only switch on when someone approaches the house. This shows that controlling when your appliances are on, and for how long, is the key to controlling your bills Tips Switch lights off when they aren t needed. Use the lowest wattage bulb that gives the light you need. Make use of daylight, keep windows clean and keep furniture away from windows. Where lights are left on for long periods, and are not on a dimmer switch, fit energy saving light bulbs. A room decorated with pale colours needs a lower total lamp wattage to light it than a darkly coloured room. When buying a light fitting or shade check what wattage and shape of bulb it will take. Dimming an old fashioned filament bulb usually saves energy. A fluorescent strip light is cheaper to run than filament bulbs giving the same light. A 300W bulb in an outside halogen light may work fine. Try downsizing. Halogen floodlights should only be on for short bursts - if left on all night, they can cost a small fortune in electricity. Fit energy saving bulbs in outside lights that are on all night. Warmth Helpline on /

14 14 getting the most out of your heating Stay in control of your heating The controls for heating systems are getting more and more sophisticated. This is good because it gives us more power to control our heating, but often the possible benefits are lost because the controls seem too complicated. This section aims to help you get the most out of your heating controls so you can heat your home when, and only when, you want to. If you can stay in control of your heating system you can stay in control of your heating bills. Using your controls properly will: make your home more comfortable save you money help you make decisions about new controls when you are upgrading your system. If there is anything else you want to know about your heating system or other things you can do to cut your heating bills, contact the Affordable Warmth Helpline on and stay in control of your bills! The helpline will give free, independent and practical advice on how to cut your fuel bills and make your home more comfortable. Central heating see page 15 Immersion heaters see pages 19, 20 Storage heaters see page 20 Electric room heaters see page 22 Warm air systems see page 22 Solid fuel systems see page 22 For free, impartial, expert advice, contact the Affordable

15 Central Heating Introduction The first thing to do is identify what controls you have and where. A system in which hot water is pumped around radiators is commonly called a wet system. Old wet systems often have fewer controls than new ones, so you may find that only some of the list below applies to you. getting the most out of your heating 15 Setting temperatures see page 16 Setting times see page 18 Setting hot water see page 19 Overview of a typical central heating system Warmth Helpline on /

16 16 getting the most out of your heating Setting temperatures Boiler thermostat The boiler thermostat controls the temperature of the water going round the radiators and the heating coil in the hot water tank. It stops the boiler overheating. Setting the controls Where you have a room thermostat or thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) as well as the boiler thermostat, these should be used to control the house temperature. The boiler thermostat in such a case should be set at its maximum setting - this means that the boiler is operating most efficiently. 0 C 0 F Too Hot Warm Too Cool Too Cold If the boiler thermostat is the only control you have, set it on high (maximum) in the winter and on low (half way between maximum and minimum) in the summer. Unfortunately, if you don t have a thermostat on your hot water tank, setting your boiler thermostat on high will mean that you have very hot water - so it is important to have a very wellinsulated tank or get a tank thermostat. Room thermostat A room thermostat reacts to the temperature of the air around it. It is usually in the hall or living room. Only the air immediately around the thermostat influences it. For the thermostat to work properly it has to be in a room where the temperature is typical of the whole house. The thermostat works by switching the circulating pump and / or the boiler on and off, but it s best if it switches both. Modern electronic thermostats are more accurate than older versions. It is Room thermostat For free, impartial, expert advice, contact the Affordable

17 recommended that the thermostat be set at between 18ºC and 21ºC. You should set it as near to 18ºC as is comfortable, but stick to 21ºC if you are not very active. Each 1ºC reduction in setting within the 18-21ºC range can save you up to 10% on annual heating costs. getting the most out of your heating 17 Thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) TRVs allow you to keep different rooms at different temperatures. They are fitted to the radiators themselves and operate by reacting to the temperature of the air around them. They work by opening or closing the valve controlling the flow of hot water through the radiator. There should always be one radiator left without a TRV, this avoids damage to the circulating pump. A low setting on a TRV gives a low radiator temperature. When your heating system is switched off for a long time - such as over the summer- you should set your TRVs at their highest setting to stop them seizing closed. If you do not have thermostatic radiator valves you can still turn a radiator off by closing the ordinary radiator valve. Thermostatic Radiator Valve Trouble shooting If your radiators never get hot enough to heat your home adequately when turned on full and the temperature across each radiator is even, then your boiler thermostat is probably set too low. If your radiators are cold at the top then there is probably air trapped in them and you should bleed them. If they are cold at the bottom it suggests sludge that needs flushing out. Your local plumber can assist you with this, or call the Affordable Warmth Helpline to see if a local home improvement agency can assist you. Warmth Helpline on /

18 18 getting the most out of your heating Setting times Heating your home for half an hour more than is needed could add 6% to your heating bills. 24h/On Hot water or heating is on all the time. Once Hot water or Heating switches on at first time set and off at last time set, ignoring settings in between. Twice/All All on/off periods are followed. Off Hot water/heating switched off. Override Reverses the current setting until the next time setting is reached Timer/Programmer A timer or programmer allows you to set your heating system and hot water to switch on and off automatically at times that you have pre-set. Timers/Programmers vary in sophistication. Some only allow you to switch your water and heating systems, together, on and off twice a day. Others allow you to set up to three on/off periods each day for hot water and heating and different patterns for every day of the week. Setting the controls Check that the clock is telling the right time. You will have to remember to reset it every time the clocks change in the winter or summer, or after a power cut (if it doesn t have a battery back up, which most modern ones do).set your system to come on about half an hour before you want the house to be warm, and off at least an hour before you want it off completely. The house will remain warm for at least half an hour after the system switches off, considerably longer if well insulated. It is unlikely that you need your heating/hot water switched on all of the time - avoid using the 24h/On or Off. If you want to switch the heating/hot water on or off outside programmed times it is better to use the over-ride button than to switch to 24h/On. Digital programmer Analogue programmer Read the timer/programmer instructions carefully for details specific to your model. For free, impartial, expert advice, contact the Affordable

19 getting the most out of your heating 19 Setting hot water Hot water thermostat A hot water thermostat is fitted either to the hot water tank or is part of the Combi boiler if you don t have a tank. It stops the water heating up more than you want. The thermostat on the tank should be set at about 60ºC (140ºF) as setting it any lower may allow bacteria to breed. Hot water thermostat Immersion heater An immersion heater may be fitted in your hot water tank. This is an electric element immersed in the water in the hot tank which usually operates on on-peak electricity but can have two elements, one using Economy 7 and the other on-peak electricity. It is usually controlled by a simple on/off switch and probably, too, by a thermostat. It should only be used when the heating system is off, in which case it should only be switched on when it is needed: 15 to 30 minutes before the hot water is needed, and switched off again once the water has heated up. It is more expensive to use an immersion heater than to heat the water using your central heating boiler. You can fit a timer to your immersion heater which allows you to switch it on and off automatically at pre-set times. This should only be necessary if your only source of water heating is the immersion heater. Warmth Helpline on /

20 20 getting the most out of your heating Storage Heaters Storage heaters are insulated boxes containing bricks with electric elements running through them. When the elements are switched on the bricks heat up. This is called charging the heater. Storage heaters charge up on off-peak electricity. The insulation keeps most of this heat in the box. At the top of the box is a flap which can be opened to let the heat out. The more this flap is opened, the faster heat can escape from the heater into the room. Although storage heaters are insulated, quite a lot of heat leaks out and so it is not possible to stop a heater giving off heat once it has been charged up. Most storage heaters have two controls: an Input (sometimes called Charge or Auto-set control ) and an Output (sometimes called Boost or Room temp - erature ). You may have a combined storage heater plus on-peak convector heater, in which case be careful to identify which controls operate each part; the convector will have an on/off switch and a temperature control, and may also have a time clock. Input This controls how much heat is stored in the heater - and how much electricity it uses. A thermostat inside the heater measures the temperature of the bricks and turns off the electricity supply when the Storage heater Take advantage of off-peak water heating Most immersion heaters have a built-in thermostat which should be set at 60ºC (140F). The water heater should be connected to a timer and switch on whilst off-peak electricity is available in your home and off again when the off-peak period ends. The thermostat will stop the water overheating until the off-peak electricity stops being available. After that, if you use up the hot water in the tank you will have to heat any more using the boost switch which uses on-peak electricity. For free, impartial, expert advice, contact the Affordable

21 getting the most out of your heating 21 selected setting is reached. On its lowest setting a small amount of heat is stored in the heater - you may use this setting in the spring or early autumn or in a cool summer. On its highest setting the maximum amount of heat possible is stored. To stop the heater storing any heat, switch it off at the wall. Output This opens and closes the flap at the top of the heater. On its lowest setting heat leaves the heater slowly. On its highest setting heat leaves the heater quickly and so the heat stored is used up faster. Some heaters have an automatic output control - a thermostat controls the opening and closing of the damper flap. Some may have an electric fan which makes heat leave the heater quicker. Some electricity companies have a service where they can automatically charge your storage heaters rem - otely according to the weather forecast in your area. Output controls Tips Turn down the output control before you go to bed to stop heat being given out when you don t want it. If your room is cold, turn up the output control until the room warms up. When the room is warm, turn down the output control to save heat for later in the day. As the weather gets warmer and you need less heat, turn down the input control to store less in the heater. If your house is warm enough in the summer, turn the heaters off at the wall - and back on again when it starts to get cold. It should cost less to heat your home with storage heaters than by electric fires, as storage heaters use cheaper off-peak electricity. Warmth Helpline on /

22 22 getting the most out of your heating Other Heating Electric Room Heaters Some room heaters have a built-in thermostat which automatically switches the heater on and off to keep the room at a preset temperature. This is an improvement on the simple temperature knob. Others have a built-in timer which allows you to preset on and off times. If you are buying a new heater, look for one with these features. Warm Air Systems These usually have a room thermostat and a timer/programmer like a central heating system and they should be set in the same way. In addition, grilles in each room can be opened or closed manually to alter the heat distribution. Solid Fuel Systems Solid fuel systems are difficult to control. Nonetheless, they can have some controls: Thermostats on room heaters operate by opening and closing a damper to let in air - increasing the amount of air entering the heater will make the fire burn more fiercely. A room thermostat or manual switch switches the pump circulating water round the radiators on and off. Any surplus hot water is usually diverted to the hot water tank (which therefore does not have a thermostat) or to another heat sink, such as a spare radiator or towel rail, in which case there can be a hot water thermostat. The pump may also be controlled by a timer/programmer. A boiler thermostat operates the damper on the room heater or operates a fan which blows hot air into the room. Radiators can have simple valves or TRVs. For free, impartial, expert advice, contact the Affordable

23 Technology Technology within the home is a huge area of energy usage, and this is increasing with our expanding number of gadgets and appliances we have in the home. Modern products and appliances can use significantly less energy, as compared with older appliances, however when buying a new product you should be aware of the range of energy ratings that different products have. This has been covered in more detail within this booklet on page 4. technology savings 23 PowerDowns The TV PowerDown allows your TV and TV peripherals (such as DVD players, Set Top boxes, etc) to turn off completely when you press the standby button on your remote control. This saves you energy as it eliminates the standby setting, and is safer as appliances are completely powered off, in the same way as if you had unplugged them. When you come to turn your TV back on again, simply press the standby button and your TV and TV peripherals will power up again. There are also PowerDown units available for desktop computers. Warmth Helpline on /

24 24 technology savings TV and Computer Monitors Buying a new TV or computer monitor can be a major household outlay, but consider also the hidden long-term running costs. These can amount to 100 s, so is worth considering the long-term running costs when considering a new purchase. Obviously the size of the monitor dictates how much energy it uses: some of the largest, high resolution screens can use as much electricity as a standard, new refrigerator roughly 500 kwh, every year. Smaller screens are likely to consume less energy than large ones. If you are buying a new screen consider the size of screen you really need Tips Appliances left on standby can use as much as three quarters of the energy they use when they are fully switched on. Make sure items that are not in use are switched off at the wall rather than leaving them on standby, this could save around 40 per year on energy bills. Clear a space around plug sockets to make sure they are accessible, so they are easier to turn off at the mains (A PowerDown device can help you if sockets are difficult to reach). Put your digital recorder on a separate plug socket so you can turn off everything else at the mains but keep recording devices plugged in. If you are going on holiday, turn off your TV at the mains. Don t leave your mobile phone on charge all night; it only needs a couple of hours to fully charge. For free, impartial, expert advice, contact the Affordable

25 technology savings 25 Current Cost and Energy Monitors These systems show in real time what your energy usage is within your home. They also display how much you would spend if you continue consuming energy at that rate. For example when the energy monitor is in use and you switch on your kettle it would be using around 3kW, making the potential energy bill very high. However, once you switch off the kettle the energy usage will drop and so will the potential energy bill. These monitors are available across some council offices within the region and within the near future should be available for loan from certain libraries. Alternatively they are available for purchase. If you have access to an energy monitor one of the first things you should do is to try and get it to read zero watts, or as close to. This entails you going round your home turning off all appliances using electricity, and in so doing, finding which appliances are using what. If the monitor is not reading zero then it means there is an appliance within your home that is using electricity somewhere! Once the monitor is reading zero you know that only the appliances you plug in and want to use are the ones costing you energy. See how much your energy use is costing you in real time! Warmth Helpline on /

26 26 EasySaves on your energy bills Must do s Insulate your home You can reduce the amount of fuel used by your heating system by insulating your home. Fully insulating your home s loft and walls can prevent up to 40% of heat loss, enabling you to stay warmer whilst burning less fuel. The current recommended depth of loft insulation is 10.5 inches (270mm). The government s Green Deal scheme can help with the cost - see opposite. Switch Supplier Changing energy supplier can be one of the easiest ways to save money on your home energy bills. Call to find out more. Stay safe Remember that all gas appliances should be serviced once a year by a Gas Safe registered installer - this will ensure that they are safe and operating efficiently. Avoid condensation Black mould on walls is a sign of condensation. This is usually preventable Tips After a bath or shower, ventilate to the outside, not to the rest of the house. Opening a window (and closing the door) will help. Use your kitchen and bathroom extractor fans or get some fitted. They remove moisture effectively and cost very little to run. Reduce excess moisture at its source. Keep lids on pans when boiling food and dry clothes outdoors or in a ventilated space. For free, impartial, expert advice, contact the Affordable

27 The Green Deal Improve the efficiency of your home! The Green Deal 27 The Green Deal is a government scheme created under the Energy Act It provides a framework for householders to access energy saving measures at no up-front cost. So, what does this mean? Essentially, you d get an assessment to look at what you would most benefit from, and that fits within the Golden Rule more on this later. If you wished to install, for example, solid wall insulation and a new high efficiency boiler, then you d get a low-interest loan for the costs involved. The Golden Rule is that payback of this loan should come from savings that you make as a result of the improvements, and full payback must be made within 25 years (or earlier in the case of some technologies). The loan is attached to the electricity meter, so wouldn t need to be paid off when you sold your home, unless you choose to. Repayments of the loan are therefore collected by the electricity supplier. Some grants are still available through 'ECO funding' for eligible households, meaning that you wouldn't be required to pay it back. Contact us now for more advice and an easy referral route to access all available financial assistance. Warmth Helpline on /

28 28 EasySave Estimated savings from energy saving improvements Heating IMPROVEMENT/ANNUAL SAVING 1 Replace old G rated boiler with condensing boiler and full set of heating controls 310 Lighting Replace 100W bulb with energy saving bulb 2 6 A/A+ Rated Domestic Appliances Fridge Freezer 36 Upright/Chest Freezer 22 Fridge 12 Washing Machine 10 Dishwasher 12 Insulation Cavity Wall Insulation 115 Loft Insulation When no insulation to start with 150 Topped up to 270mm from existing 45 Draughtproofing 25 Hot water Tank Jacket 35 1 Savings estimated by Energy Saving Trust Based on a threebedroom semi-detached house with gas central heating. Assumes products bought in 1998 replaced with new Energy Saving Recommended models. 2 Up to 6 a year can be saved by replacing a 100W tungsten bulb with a 20W energy saving light bulb. This assumes the bulb is used for 770 hours a year. Photos on pages 6, 10, 12, 14, 26 and 28 courtesy of Energy Saving Trust Affordable Warmth Helpline /

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