Top 10 tips to keep energy bills down

Sound advice from the Heating Helpline to help homeowners cut their energy bills this winter.

thermostat 15 December 2010 – Utility companies are probably as unpopular as banks right now with new price increases announced by three out of the Big Six utility companies. These increases could not have come at a worse time for most households given the plummeting temperatures experienced across the UK, with severe winter weather arriving in November.

So what can consumers do in order to become more energy efficient and help keep their energy bills to a minimum? Some timely advice comes from the Heating Helpline.

Backed by the Heating and Ventilating Contractors’ Association (HVCA), the Heating Helpline provides essential information on energy saving in the home and the importance of regular heating maintenance, and offers dozens of money-saving solutions for homeowners.

This useful 10-point guide from the Heating Helpline will help homeowners keep bills down and reduce waste this winter.

1. Change energy provider – with major price hikes happening, everyone should review and compare prices. In particular people on standard tariffs should be switching to online tariffs cutting a home’s typical bill from £1,250 a year to £950.

2. Check to see what temperature your hot water cylinder thermostat is set at. It should be set at 60°C or 140°F. Any higher is a waste of energy and could lead to scalding, but any lower and there may be a risk of legionella.

3. Insulate the cylinder to avoid wasting energy. Fitting a jacket to the hot water tank that is at least 75mm thick could save more than £50 each year. Available from most plumbing suppliers and DIY stores.

4. ‘White’ appliances like fridges that are more than 10 years old are “energy hogs”. Replacing an old refrigerator or freezer with a modern appliance (energy efficient A or A+ models) could save you as much as £150 per year. Look out for a bargain in the January sales.

5. Set your system thermostat to no more than 21°C (70°F). Each degree centigrade below this temperature can save as much as 10% on your heating energy.

6. Consider fitting one of the new generation of programmable thermostats that let you choose the time you want your heating on and its temperature for all seven days of the week – it means saving energy by not heating your home unnecessarily.

7. By installing a condensing boiler and modern heating controls, you could save well over £200 a year on your fuel bill – even more if you are replacing an electric system. Since the changes to the Building Regulations in 2005, anyone installing a new domestic gas boiler in the UK has been required by law to use a high-efficiency option.

8. Unoccupied rooms don’t need to be heated but a little heat will prevent condensation. Thermostatic radiator valves let you control the temperature in each room. TRVs cost around £8.00 each.

9. Badly fitted doors and windows mean avoidable heat loss. Draught proofing doors and windows by sealing gaps will help save energy. Similarly a curtain at the front door and heavy, well-fitted curtains at the windows provide insulation and reduce draughts.

10. Heat rises and a great deal of heat can be lost through the roof, so upgraded insulation in the roof space can have a major impact on heat loss through the ceiling, typically paying back within two years. Ensure your insulation is at 27cm as this could save you up to £150 a year.

The Heating Helpline advises householders to use reputable, qualified tradesmen to avoid being ripped off or put at risk from rogue traders. The easiest way to locate reputable, reliable tradespeople is to use the government backed TrustMark website ( Using a company recognised by TrustMark gives a householder confidence that the company is operating to recognised and endorsed high standards including: insurance, good health and safety practices and customer care.

Further information on how to reduce energy bills and save energy is available via the free Heating Helpline on 0800 840 4069 or at the website:

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 ( to provide consumers with free, impartial advice on every aspect of home heating.

Source: HVCA by Next Step Marketing Ltd

This press release is presented without editing for your information only.

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