84% of home energy goes on heating and hot water

home energy consumptionThe national Heating Helpline urges households to take control of their heating systems as a priority for 2011.

20 December 2010 – With households facing spiraling fuel bills and suffering what might turn out to be one of the coldest ever winters, the national Heating Helpline, backed by the Heating and Ventilating Contractors’ Association (HVCA), is urging homeowners to take control of their heating systems to save money.

A staggering 84% of domestic energy consumption is used for heating and hot water with 60% used for heating alone. Taking control of your heating system is therefore a top priority in keeping energy use – and bills – down. According to the Energy Savings Trust, 80% of heating systems in UK homes don’t have controls mechanisms at all, with 8.5 million homes in the UK having no thermostat to control their central heating.

To help homeowners, the Heating Helpline has issued the top 5 tips for taking control of heating in your home:

  • Turning your room thermostat down by just 1ºC could save up to £100 a year and you will never notice the difference.

  • If you have an adjustable thermostat for your hot water you should set it to no hotter than 60°C (140°F). Any higher is a waste of energy and could scald; much lower and there may be a risk of harmful bacteria forming.

  • Turn down the radiators in any spare rooms; why pay for a warm space with nobody in it?

  • Replacing your old heating controls with a modern programmable electronic timer will provide far greater control over your home’s heat by giving you the ability to set precisely when the heating comes on and at what temperature.

  • Installing thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) to every radiator (they cost a few pounds each) means you will be able to manage the heat in each room.

To stay safe and avoid rogue traders, the Heating Helpline advises householders to always use reputable, qualified tradesmen. The easiest way to locate reputable, reliable tradespeople is to use the government backed TrustMark website. 

Using a TrustMark registered company means that:

- They have all signed up to a code of practice that includes insurance, good health and safety practices and customer care.

- Your deposits are protected, should the business fail.

- A standard or optional warranty is available.

- Should you have a problem or disagreement with the firm there will be a clear and user-friendly complaints procedure to help resolve the issue.

Further information on how to reduce energy bills, save energy and locate energy grants is available via the free Heating Helpline on 0800 840 4069 or at the website: http://www.heatinghelpline.org.uk.

Established in 1904, the HVCA is the premier organisation representing central heating contractors across the UK, and exists to promote fair dealing and the sound installation of heating systems. HVCA members all undergo third-party inspection and assessment of their technical competence and commercial capability every three years. This process is carried out by an independent certification body with an established industry reputation. HVCA members who undertake gas installations are registered with Gas Safe – the gas safety watchdog body – and are also members of TrustMark, the Government-endorsed scheme designed to direct customers towards reliable tradespeople. HVCA operates the Heating Helpline (http://www.heatinghelpline.org.uk) to provide consumers with free, impartial advice on every aspect of home heating.

Home Energy Consumption statistics: Supplied by the Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) formerly BERR. Energy consumption is now covered within the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

Home Energy usage statistics: Supplied by the Energy Saving Trust.

Source: Next Step Marketing Ltd on behalf of the HVC

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