Energy Saving Measures
No Cost Savings
- Switch off electrical appliances, don’t leave them on standby. Don’t leave appliances on charge unnecessarily.
- Turn down your central heating thermostat by 1 degree C and reduce the time your heating is on.
- Wash your clothes at 30 degrees C, or less, and avoid using the tumble drier in the summer.
- If you have a modern mains gas fuelled condensing boiler on cold summer nights use the central heating not an individual fire. Even a modern gas fire is unlikely to be as efficient as the boiler.
- Block up any unused open fire place as up to 8% of the heat in a dwelling can be lost this way.
- If a dwelling includes a conservatory, always ensure the doors between the dwelling and the conservatory are kept closed at night and in the winter.
- Change your hot water timer to reduce the times you heat water when you don’t need it.
Low Cost Savings
- Increase the insulation thickness to your hot water cylinder and install a thermostat to the cylinder if one is not already fitted.
- Up to 30% of the heat can be lost through the roof of an un-insulated dwelling. Installing 270mm thickness of insulation will save in the order of £100.00/annum.
- Un- insulated cavity walls can lose up to 35% of a dwellings heat. Cavity wall insulation can reduce this drastically, giving a possible saving of over £200/annum.
- Seal draughts around skirtings and timber ground floors and use the thickest carpet underlay you can. This could save around £70/ year and improve comfort.
- Use low energy light bulbs where appropriate as they can save around £7.50 per bulb per year. However, these bulbs contain mercury, so advice from your local authority should be sought for the best means of disposal.
- Improve central heating controls. The recommended minimum is to have a programmer, at least one room thermostat and thermostatic control valves on most of the radiators.
Medium Cost Savings
- Replace your boiler with a new class A condensing boiler which should have an efficiency rating of more than 90%.
- Where expensive to run, electrical storage heating is installed, the running costs can be reduced by replacing manual control storage heaters with fan assisted storage heaters linked to a room thermostat. There should be automatic charge controls on these heaters to make sure the extent of charge is based on the ambient temperature. Also obtain an Economy 7 or 10 off peak supply.
High Cost Savings
- Wind turbines.
- Solar panels.
- Photovoltaic panels.
- Heat pumps.
- These can produce quite considerable savings on annual fuel costs.
Grants and Advice.
For local advice on energy efficiency saving measures contact The Dorset Energy Advice Centre, Tel: 0800 9750166 or, via www.deac.co.uk
Grants may be available for some improvements including;
- Roof and cavity wall insulation
- Central heating
- Wind turbines
- Solar panels
- Photovoltaic panels
- heat pumps
from local authorities, suppliers and the Government.
Check out the list at www.energysavingtrust.org.uk or ring 0800 512012
Bournemouth, Poole, East Dorset and Purbeck councils all have details of available grants and advice on their websites.
Other useful contacts:
Government Heating Grants. co.uk
The Warm Front Team; 0800 316 2814
Recently, Renewable Heat Incentives (RHI) have been announced and Electrical Financial Incentives (Feed In Tarrifs - FITs) are now available. These give in the order of 7 - 8 % APR annual return on capital, giving a rapid payback and considerable interest on capital cost. See Dept of Energy and Climate Change website: www.decc.gov.uk
Points Worth Knowing.
1. External Wall Area To Floor plan.
Energy ratings for dwellings are mainly influenced by the extent of external wall area compared to the dwelling floor plan. the greater the area of external wall compared to the floor plan the poorer the energy rating is likely to be assuming other factors are similar. This is why a detached bungalow with 4 external walls will always have a considerably lower rating than a flat with one external wall.
The insulation rating for single glazed windows is 20 times worse than that for an insulated cavity wall. Double glazing is still 10 times worse than an insulated cavity wall.
For the purposes of energy assessment a conservatory with external quality doors separating it from the main dwelling will be ignored.
If no such doors exist the conservatory will be included as part of the home, resulting in a considerably reduced efficiency rating due to the extensive area of glazing.