Using gas efficiently
There are lots of things that you can do to reduce the amount of gas that you use in your home. The lists below are just a summary – you can learn more by visiting the Energy Saving Trust website.
Significant savings can often be achieved by just spending a little of your time to increase your awareness and to take simple actions around your home. See below for some money-saving tips.
- trace and eliminate draughts;
- close doors and windows to keep heat where it is wanted;
- turn down your thermostat by one degree (but don’t keep doing this – staying warm enough is important to staying healthy, especially for the very young and the elderly);
- turn off your heating when it is not needed, using the heating’s timer if one is installed (but remember to maintain a “frost” setting during wintry weather, even if the property is empty, to avoid burst pipes);
- have your bath a little shallower or take a shorter shower, to use less hot water.
There are also a range of investments that you can make to reduce the heat lost from your home, to increase the proportion of the energy content of your gas that you actually use, or to direct heat to where you need it. See below.
- insulate your loft (or increase the thickness of the insulation);
- insulate your hot water tank if you have one;
- insulate heating and hot water pipes that run through cooler parts of your property;
- install double glazing;
- if your house has cavity walls, have them insulated;
- if you have an older boiler, consider replacing it with a modern efficient model;
- improve your heating controls by adding a timer and/or thermostat if you don’t already have these, and by installing thermostatic valves on your radiators.
Financial assistance is available, to those who qualify, for many of these measures – further information can be obtained by visiting the government’s energy grant calculator.
Advice about your gas supply
It’s easy to get free, independent advice so that you “Know your rights” as an energy consumer. You might want to get a better deal, find out how to make a complaint, get advice about the quality of your gas supply, or ask for help if you’re struggling to pay your bills. To “Know your rights” visit the Citizens Advice Bureau for up to date information or contact the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06.