Quality, Honesty & Safety

QHS Tips on How To Save Energy & Save Money

This is part six of a series of How-to-Guides put together by QHS to help the customers we serve, on behalf of our Clients, to help them save energy, save fuel and thereby save money. We also signpost where you can get free independent advice and how and where you may be able to get help to pay your energy bills.

Obviously, some of our energy saving suggestions do involve some initial upfront investment and/or actions you will need to take to cut down your energy usage, which in turn will help reduce your households carbon emissions. 

However, even if you only implement and stick with one or two of our suggestions (assuming you have not already done so!) you will save money on your energy bills, be they gas or electric or dual fuel.

In part six of this series of our "How To Guides", we try to help you save energy by giving you various different tips on how to save money on your fuel and energy bills.

  • Set your heating and/or hot water to come on only when required by using the timer on your gas or electric heating and/or hot water system (assuming there is one!). Did you know if you turn down your main thermostat by one degree, you can save about around 10% on your energy bill, while still making sure your home will be sufficiently warm enough during cold periods?

    If you have not got one, make sure you install a room thermostat, a programmer and thermostatic radiator valves, as using these controls efficiently could save you in the region of about £75 a year.

    Insulate your loft and wall cavities using whatever Government grants and offers you can benefit from or via energy suppliers who have contractually agreed with Goverment bodies that they will help reduce the UK's carbon emissions and assist their customers by subsidising carbon emission reduction and energy saving projects like insulation, air heat source pumps, solar power and wind turbines.

    Please make sure you turn your lights off when you’re not using them. If you switch a light off even for short periods, you will save more energy than it takes for the light to start up again. This will save you around £14 a year on your annual energy bills. Replace your light bulbs as and when you can with energy efficient modern LED’s – on average changing your light bulbs could save around £35 a year on bills.

    Check to see whether or not you are eligible for the Warm Home Discount. Energy suppliers can provide rebates to households on certain benefits.

    In addition, your energy supplier should be able to tell you what help may be available through the Energy Company Obligation. If you need a little extra help from your energy company - including large print bills or more support during a power cut - you can apply to be included on your electricity network priority services register.

    Use a bowl to wash-up rather than constantly running a tap, plus reduce your washing machine use by one cycle a week, and only fill the kettle with the water you need which could save you about £36 a year.

    Spend one minute less in the shower each day, as for example if a family of four each do this they could save £75 a year on their energy and water bills.

    A dripping tap can waste more than 5,300 litres of water a year, so make sure your taps are properly turned off and change washers promptly as and when taps start to drip.

    Did you know a running tap wastes more than 6 litres of water every minute, so turn off the tap while brushing your teeth, shaving, or washing your face.

    Replacing an inefficient shower head with a water efficient one could save a household of four people around £70 a year off gas bills and around £115 a year off water bills.

    By fully turning off your appliances rather than keeping them in standby mode can save you £30 a year, plus don’t leave laptops, shavers, mobile phones and other rechargeable devices on charge unnecessarily.

    Draught-proofing your windows and doors, plus also blocking cracks in floors and skirting boards can save around £20 a year on energy bills.

    As soon as it gets dark close your curtains to stop heat escaping through the windows and doors.

    If you plan to stay in the property you own, why not invest in it and improve your living environment by replacing any single glazed windows with A+ Energy Rated double glazed aluminium or UPVC windows (the latter being less expensive, but with slightly more chunky frames).

  • Here we provide some signposts to various websites and organisations where help paying energy bills is available and also where you will be able to get some sound free independent advice.  

    Switching Energy Providers

    The energy markets are being severely challenged driving high energy prices even higher through world events. It’s virtually impossible to find cheaper energy deals in the UK at the moment, but if you’re thinking about switching supplier, then comparison sites like: MoneySavingExpertUSwitch or MoneySuperMarket are a good place to start, as even if they cannot offer you better deals now you can register with them to get in touch with you when they can.

    Help To Pay Energy Bills

    Ofgem provide information which will help you to find out how you might be able to get help with your energy bills.

    About The Connect for Help Scheme

    The Warm Homes Fund’s free Connect for help scheme supports households throughout England to reduce their energy bills and check the benefits available to them. It also can provide links to you to support services, public services and charities in your area. You can contact them online via Connectforhelp or you can call them for free on 0800 029 4548

    Citizens Advice Bureau

    The Citizens Advice Bureau is another free resource that can provide advice on energy saving in your home, how to get help with paying bills and what to do if your energy supplier goes bust. 

    Winter Fuel Payment

    If you were born on or before 26 September 1955, and receive a Government state pension or another benefit, you may be eligible for the Winter fuel payment to help towards your heating bills. Payments, of between £100 and £300 (depending on your circumstances) are made automatically to those who qualify between November and December, usually by mid-January. To find out if you are eligible and how to claim Click here

    Warm Home Discount Scheme

    The Warm Home Discount is a one-off £140 deduction from your electricity bill between September and March. You may be able to get the discount on your gas bill, rather than your electricity bill, if your supplier provides both your gas and electricity. Click here to find out if you’re eligible and if your supplier supports this scheme.

    Check Out The Cold Weather Payments Checker

    You could receive £25 if the average temperature in your area drops below zero for 7 successive days in a row. You may be eligible if you claim certain means-tested benefits. Click here for more details.

  • As Autumn approaches each year remain get prepared for the colder weather by carrying out a few basic checks on your heating system. If you turned your heating system down or off during warmer Summer months, it may be that you notice a couple of problems when you turn it back up. Here are a few things you should do and look for;

    Remember to turn your boiler up for a short period every month, even in the summer!

    Doing this keeps water circulating around the boiler and prevents dust and sludge from building up inside the boiler.

    Ensure you check your radiators

    Whilst the boiler is on, check to see if the radiators are heating up properly. Radiators should be hot all over, with no cold patches. If you notice that a radiator has cold patches at the top, it may need bleeding. You can read our guide on bleeding your radiators here. If your radiator is not getting hot at all it may well need attention from a trained professional engineer.

    Only turn the heat up slowly

    When colder weather hits, it’s hard not to want to turn your heating up to maximum straight away. However, this is not the most efficient way to use your heating and might cause you to end up wasting money on your gas bill. Turn your heating up slowly to find a comfortable temperature. Remember that you can adjust the valves on each radiator to make the temperature of the radiator in each room warmer or cooler. Avoid the temptation to turn the heating up high as soon as it gets much colder. It won’t make your radiators heat up quicker, it will just heat them to a higher temperature.

    Do please keep the area around your boiler clear

    Boilers must be well ventilated to make sure that they don’t overheat. Keep the area around your boiler clear from items such as clothes, linen and luggage. If an engineer attends and finds a lot of clutter around your boiler, it will be very difficult for him or her to do their job. They may even need to come back another day when you have had time to tidy the clutter away.

    Ensure you set heating on a timer

    Keep your house warm by setting your timer to come on at the same times every day. This will maintain the warmth throughout the day and save energy. You might want to set your heating to come on half an hour before you are due to get up each day and go off after you have been up for a few hours. You could set your heating to come back on for a few hours in the evening, when it gets cooler.

    Elderly, disabled, very young and vulnerable tenants may need the heating to be on for longer. A room thermostat will help you to make sure that their room stays at a constant temperature. If you need help setting your timer and controls, consult your manual or call a professional heating company.

    Do look out for your neighbours

    Look out for elderly neighbours or neighbours with vulnerabilities or mobility problems. When colder and then the freezing and icy weather hits, they may have trouble getting to the shop to top-up their gas card or key. If you are fit and able, providing them with your contact number so they can ask for help is a kind gesture. Even those with family close by may face difficulties getting help when roads are icy.

    Here at QHS we will always try and reach vulnerable residents as a priority at all times. However, offering to help a neighbour with a simple task such as topping up their gas card will prevent the possibility that they run out of gas at all.

  • Do please look after yourself, loved ones, friends and neighbours

    Particularly if you or they are 65 or over, or in another high-risk group. If you or they feel unwell, it is important to get medical help as soon as you can for yourself or them. Physiological changes to our bodies as we all get older mean that cold weather and winter infections affect us more than they used to when we were younger and/or fitter.

    You may not have anyone nearby or your family may not be as near as you would like, or even be abroad. But regardless, please be assured that you can get help and advice from places like:

    Your Local GP – you may be able to speak to your own Doctor or a General Practitioner online or over the telephone, or go in for an appointment if they think you really need to.

    Your Local Pharmacy – pharmacists are trained to be able to give treatment advice for a range of minor illnesses and can tell you if you need to see a Doctor.

    NHS 111 – Visit www.111.nhs.uk or call 111 if you have an urgent medical problem and you’re not sure what to do next.

    If you would like up to date facts about UK vaccines, go to trustworthy websites you can rely on, like www.nhs.uk/wintervaccinations


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