Do you want to cut heating costs? Here’s how!
Posted by: Vincent Wilkins: 28/04/2013
How can I reduce my heating bill?
Energy price hikes are rarely out the news these days it seems. With warnings of further price hikes to come due to the long winter we have endured its depressing news for all of us. Unless that is you have made the great leap of faith to renewable energy and released yourself from the tight grip of the energy companies.
One thing is certain our gas bills are not going to get any smaller, prices aren't going down any time in the near future and home and business owners need to take action if they are to manage their heating bills better.
So what can you do to help keep those rising heating costs down. At one end of the scale you could take a serious look at renewable heating technologies which offer a great alternative to heating your home with fossil fuel. My downloadable heating guide is a good place to start for an overview of the different options now available.
The down side is the initial cost of out lay for renewable heating systems but the upside is you’ll benefit from 20 years of government incentives through the Renewable Heat Incentive effectively slashing your heating bill.
Renewable heating can give you a great return on your investment. Additionally you’ll release yourself from the stranglehold of the energy companies and be less concerned about outrageous price hikes and headlines that the gas supplies are running out or the prospect of power cuts in the years ahead.
I often hear the word payback mentioned when people talk about renewable technologies. Whilst I understand to a degree why people might concern themselves with the notion of payback, I also think we should perhaps consider the wasteful way in which most of us as consumers purchase and dispose of goods that have devalued at alarming rates offering no pay back.
A car being the perfect example. In this consumer driven society of ours where many things we buy have such a limited shelf life most of us are guilty of buying into excessive consumerism, fashion, trends etc. Renewable heating offers a wise investment choice to those of you who are now looking towards a more sustainable way of life.
In my experience the older generations are generally the savvy consumers who are investing in either renewables or a modern A rated boilers and generally improving the efficiency of their heating system and home. This make do and mend generation are inclined to spend their money wisely and recognise the benefits of energy efficiency. We have a lot to learn of this group as careful as they may seem with their money.
At the other end of the scale if renewable heating is not an option its worth taking a good look at your heating controls (or lack of them) The right heating controls will let you keep your home at a comfortable temperature without wasting fuel or heat – so you’ll reduce your carbon dioxide emissions and spend less on heating bills.
To work at its optimum, your central heating system regardless of what fuel you use should ideally have a full set of controls ideally including a boiler thermostat, a timer or programmer, a room thermostat, cylinder thermostat and thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs). Without TRV’s for example your radiators are either ‘on’ or ‘off ‘so you may be heating rooms unnecessarily and you don't have any degree of control over the level of heat.
If yours is an older property and heating controls are lacking my advice would be don’t delay. Getting some modern heating controls fitted thus ensuring your heating system works efficiently and effectively. You can upgrade or install heating controls without replacing your boiler. With a huge array of controls with different features available there’s plenty to choose from, so it won’t be hard to find one that perfectly suits your requirements.
Even if you have heating controls fitted it may be worth considering if they are ready for upgrading particularly if they are over 12 years old. Room thermostats, for example, are much more accurate than they used to be. With a huge array of controls with different features available there’s plenty to choose from, so it won’t be hard to find one that perfectly suits your requirements.
Another important but often forgotten measure to take is ensuring all heating pipes are not left exposed regardless of if they are out of sight. Good quality pipe insulation will ensure you are not heating under the floor boards unnecessarily.
How much can you save?
Whatever the age of your boiler, the right controls will let you set your heating and hot water to come on and off when you need them, heat just the areas of your home you want, and decide how warm you want each area to be. The Energy Saving Trust offers further advice about heating controls and the potential savings you can make.
This Is Money financial website of the year gives some interesting and inspiring examples of the measures some home owners have taken in reducing their energy bills dramatically.