Energy Saving

Saving energy, money and the environment

Heat loss from British homes and offices is very high, and it is one of the main contributors to high energy bills.

High energy bills mean that lots of us sit shivering and cold, rather than turn up the thermostat on the central heating. But there are ways to make our homes warmer, to heat our water, and to use electrical appliances, efficiently and more cost effectively and reduce our carbon footprints.

To make your home more energy efficient, it is a good idea, to begin with, to assess your property and think carefully about what energy efficiency measures you should adopt to help achieve a warmer home and reduce your energy bills.

A good place to look for initial guidance on what you should do to improve your home is your Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). More in depth advice can be obtained by requesting a whole house assessment from a Retrofit Coordinator or other energy professional.

Cost effective measures

Some measures will pay for themselves in a very short time, through savings in heating or electricity bills. Others will increase warmth and comfort, but never repay the initial investment. And some will just not be viable for your property. 

Cost: free – £395;
Approx. saving per year: up to £250;
Time to pay for itself: immediately or from 1.5 years 

Carbon saved per year: Up to 1030kg 

Cost: free – £610;
Approx. savings per year: Up to £280;
Time to pay for itself: immediately or from 2.25years 

Carbon saved per year: Up to 1150kg3.     

Cost: £200 for a professional to proof the whole house, or you may choose to go down the DIY route for less.
Approx. savings per year: Up to £35 for draft proofing windows, doors and chimneys, but as draught proof homes are comfortable at lower temperatures, you may save more by turning down the thermostat.
Time to pay for itself: Up to 6 years

More costly options include solid wall insulation (if applicable), floor insulation and installing double glazing.

1. Make sure you have at least the basic controls including a timer, a room thermostat and thermostatic valves on each radiator. By turning your room thermostat down by one degree you can save around £60 a year and up to 310kg of carbon dioxide, and by using all devices correctly you can save around £75 a year and up to 320kg of carbon dioxide. You could also investigate installing radiator reflectors. 

2. You can also change the way you behave and play an active part in managing your heating. Turn down radiators in rooms that aren’t in use, and over-ride the timing controls: for example, if you turn the heating off when you are out for the evening you will use less fuel for heating. Having smart controls managed by an App will mean that you can do this even whilst you are away from home. 

More costly options include replacing your boiler with a new more efficient one or installing an air or ground source heat pump 

Low energy lighting 

By replacing a traditional,100w incandescent lightbulb with an LED bulb you can save up to £7 per bulb, per year. 

Replacing a 50w halogen downlighter with an LED bulb you will save up to £3 per bulb, per year. 

You should also remember to turn off lights when you are not in a room which can save the typical household around £15 per year. You can install timers to help with this. 

Other appliances  

When buying an electrical appliance look at its energy rating label (A+++ is best, though the scale is due to change) and consider the size of the appliance that you require. Don’t leave appliances on standby and use standby savers and timers to help. By not leaving appliances on standby the typical household can save up to £35 per year.  

A good place to start with the replacement of electrical appliances is with those that are used the most – typically fridges and freezers which are switched on 24 hours a day. 

Across Great Britain, there are several sources of financial support you can get to help you install energy efficiency measures. 


Some financial support to help you install energy efficiency measures may be available free from your energy suppliers such as through the Energy Company obligation (ECO). 

Contact Simple Energy Advice for more information on these schemes. 


Contact Home Energy Scotland for energy saving advice. 


Wales has the NEST Scheme

Northern Ireland 

Energy Saving Trust NI manages the Northern Ireland Sustainable Energy Programme (NISEP) which provides grants and further advice on energy efficiency. 

Northern Ireland also has the Affordable Warmth Scheme and the Boiler Replacement Scheme

You might also contact your Local Authority to see if they know of, or are offering, any local initiatives. 

Below is a list of the measures that are the most cost effective. All the costs are based on figures from the Energy Saving Trust, relevant in 2020.

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