Energy efficiency and affordable warmth
General energy efficiency advice is available from:
- the Energy Saving Trust website or by calling 0300 123 1234
- the Warm and Well Plus website or by calling 0800 500 3076
Advice is free and impartial and covers a wide range of topics such as the availability of financial assistance and the suitability of different energy efficiency measures.
Even small, no or low cost measures can save you significant amounts of money on your fuel bills:
- Turning your thermostat down by just 1°C can save you up to 10% on heating bills.
- Check your hot water temperature, it should be set at 60°C.
- Close your curtains at dusk to stop heat escaping.
- Turn off lights when they are not needed.
- Turn your television off at the switch don’t leave it on standby.
- Wait until you have a full load for your washing machine or use a half load button.
- Don’t overfill your kettle just boil the water you need.
- Fit low energy light bulbs - save up to £10 a year per bulb.
- Ensure your hot water tank has a thick jacket - save up to £20 per year.
- Insulate your hot water pipes to prevent heat loss - save £5-10 per year.
- Fit draught excluders to your exterior doors, letter box and keyhole.
- Fill gaps under your skirting boards with sealant.
- Make sure your windows are draught proofed. If you don’t have double glazing a temporary alternative is to fit polythene film across the windows, stocked by DIY shops.
Affordable Warmth is the ability to heat your home to an adequate level for household comfort and health, without developing a debt as a result. The lack of affordable warmth is known as fuel poverty.
- A fuel poor household is defined by the Government as one that needs to spend in excess of 10 per cent of its income on heating the home to an adequate level (this is generally accepted as 21oC in the main living area and 18oC in other occupied areas).
- The potential incidence of fuel poverty in the Cotswold District and Gloucestershire is revealed in research from the Centre for Sustainable Energy. Maps showing levels of fuel poverty can be viewed by clicking on the Fuel Poverty Indicator website.
- Fuel poverty can be tackled by ensuring people are getting the income they are entitled to and by improving the energy efficiency of their homes. The take-up of benefits such as Attendance Allowance and the Winter Fuel Payment is particularly important. Grants to help fuel poor households improve the energy efficiency of their homes may also available through the Energy Company Obligation.
- In March 2011 the Government commissioned a review of fuel poverty and the response to it. The review recommends a new definition of fuel poverty and highlights concerns that forthcoming changes in the way energy efficiency measures are financed will need to be more effective in order to significantly reduce or eliminate levels of fuel poverty.
- Further information on fuel poverty is also available from National Energy Action.