Energy Advice

Energy Advice

Making sure that your homes are heated properly is vitality important. Cold can damage your health and your home.

We are committed to providing affordable, safe and energy efficient homes for all our customers.

There is lots of information about energy, heating and other advice to keep your home efficient on this page.

Energy guides

From understanding your energy bills better, getting to grips with meter readings, knowing how the heating at your home works or finding tips to save energy, we've made some guides that can give you the information and advice you need.

Understanding Kilowatt Hours Understanding your energy bills Saving energy on lighting Reading your energy meters Understanding central heating Immersion heaters and storage heaters Strange energy terms Cost to use home appliances

Energy Saving Tips

The best way to save money on your energy bills is to use less energy. Throughout your home there are things you can do to reduce how much energy you use. Take a look at our quick tips and see if you’re saving as much energy as you could be?

Around the home

  • Heat your home to the correct temperature (between 18 and 21°C)
  • Consider putting on extra clothing before turning up the heating
  • Always turn off the lights when you leave a room
  • Turn off appliances. Some appliances cost you money even when you are not using them.
  • Close internal doors to keep the heat in the rooms
  • Don’t block radiators with items like damp towels or clothing

In the living room

Living rooms are usually home to a wide range of appliances, from TVs to heaters and lights that all use up valuable energy. With a little planning you could save energy.

  • Clear a space around plug sockets to make it easy to turn items off at the mains. Make sure items that are not in use are unplugged or switched off at the wall.
  • Lower the brightness setting on your TV or check for an eco-setting. The brighter the TV is set, the more energy it uses. Factory settings are often too bright for home use.
  • Draw the curtains at dusk to keep the heat in.

In the bedroom

We spend a large proportion of our time at home in our bedrooms, so there are plenty of ways to save energy.

  • Cut down on heating bills by using the right duvet for the weather - low tog in summer and high tog in winter.
  • Make sure all the lights are turned off when you go to bed.
  • Don’t leave your mobile phone on charge all night – it still uses energy even when it’s finished.
  • Use draught excluders on bedroom doors to keep the heat in your room during the night.

In the bathroom

Although it isn’t the biggest room in the house, bathrooms still offer plenty of opportunities to save energy.

  • Unplug electronic devices such as a hair dryer, curling iron or electric razor when you’re finished with them. These devices can still draw electricity from the outlet, even when they are switched-off.
  • Take a short shower instead of a bath because they use much less water. You will save energy by not heating all that extra water.

In the kitchen

Kitchens contain many appliances which use lots of energy, so energy saving here can have massive impact on your energy bills.

  • When cooking, use the right sized hob ring for each pan.
  • Allow warm foods to cool before placing them in the fridge.
  • Defrost food in the fridge overnight rather than using the microwave.
  • Set your fridge and freezer to the right temperature, 5°C for fridges and -18°C for freezers.
  • Reduce your washing machine’s temperature to 30°C. This uses 40% less energy and still cleans your clothes.
  • Only boil the water you need in your kettle.
  • If you have a dishwasher, make sure you have a full load before using it.

In the hallway

External walls and doors mean that hallways are often parts of the home that loses a lot of heat. Combat this inefficiency by trying the following:

  • Fit draught excluders around the front door, over the letter box and over keyholes.
  • Consider putting a curtain over the front door to help keep the draught out.
  • Don’t leave the front door open more than necessary.

Using your thermostat

Using your thermostat to control your heating in a way that matches your lifestyle is one of the most effective ways of saving energy. When using your thermostat try to bear the following in mind:

  • Turn your thermostat down - the recommended temperature for your main living areas is 18 - 21°C. Reducing your room temperature by 1°C could cut your heating bills by up to 10% and save you around £80 per year.
  • If you are too hot, don’t just open your windows - try using your heating controls to turn the temperature down.
  • Ensure you only heat your home when you are in, otherwise you will be wasting heat. Use a programmer where possible to control your heating patterns.

Energy Efficiency Home Improvements

Energy efficient light bulbs­ - Low energy light bulbs are cheaper than ever, and they are just as bright. They last around 10 times longer than ordinary light bulbs, and each bulb could save around £50 over its lifetime.

Standby savers - ­These devices are used to save energy from electronic appliances that are on standby mode. They are available online or from any good electronic retailer and can help to reduce you energy bills by up to £50 per year.

Radiator foils - Radiator foils reflect the wasted heat energy radiated from the rear of a radiator back into your room. They’re easy to fit behind your radiator and could save you up to £40 per year.

Draught proofing­ - Draught excluders stop cold air from coming in while preventing warm air from escaping. These can be bought cheaply online or at home improvement stores and could save you up to £65 per year.

Chimney balloon ­- If you have an open fireplace you can seal it with a chimney balloon so that warm air won’t be leaving your home, and cold draughts won’t be coming in. Potentially saving up to £200 per year.

Timer switch - A timer switch is handy for charging mobile phones overnight. You can set it to be on for a couple of hours (enough time for your phone to be charged) and it will turn the plug off after the time has run out.

Look for the A rating -­ When buying new electrical appliances always look out for the A rating. A­-rated products are more energy efficient and therefore can cost considerably less to run.

Dealing with Fuel Debt

Fuel debt can be caused by a number of factors, rising fuel bills, energy inefficient homes, estimated meters readings that are too low and cold weather. If you find that you are struggling to pay your bills, it is important to take steps to address it as soon as possible. Fortunately there are plenty of ways to help you save money and keep on track with your payments.

Cut your energy bills - The best way to keep up with your energy bills is by paying less at the start. The links below show our top tips on how to use less energy in your home and information about how to save money by switching your supplier.

Speak with your energy supplier - If you are having problems paying your bills, check they are correct by taking a meter reading, then contact your energy company. They must give you an opportunity to pay based on how much you can afford. In addition your energy supplier must:

  • Give you information about how to avoid getting into debt
  • Give you advice on how to pay back any money that you owe
  • Offer a payment plan that takes into consideration how much you can afford to regularly pay
  • Only offer a prepayment meter as a last resort to disconnecting you

Warm Home Discount - The Warm Home Discount is a £140 rebate off electricity bills offered to certain groups of people, by some energy companies. For more information or to check your eligibility contact your energy supplier.
For more information about the scheme, visit the website.

Winter Fuel Payment - The Winter Fuel Payment is a tax free annual payment between £100 to £300 to help people with their heating costs during winter months. For more information visit the website.

Cold Weather Payment - For people on certain benefits in an area where a period of exceptionally cold weather has occurred or been forecast to occur, you can receive £25. For more information visit the website.

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