If you’re concerned that you’re not able to heat your home enough and/or your energy costs are difficult to manage, please get in touch with your local community energy organisation with their experienced energy advisors. You may be eligible for a free home energy visit.
|Where||Organisation||Contact Number and Email|
|West Devon & S.E. Cornwall||Tamar Energy Community||0800-233-5414|
|South Hams||S. Dartmoor Community Energy||0800 112 3044|
|Plymouth||Plymouth Energy Community||01752 477 117|
|Exeter, Mid Devon, East Devon, Teignbridge, Torbay||Exeter Community Energy||0800 772 3617|
|North Devon and Torridge||361 Energy||01271 599361|
As the cold weather sets in there are a number of practical measures we can all take to make sure we stay well and warm through the winter.
Track your energy use and consider switching
It’s a good idea to track your energy use and understand how much you’re using at different times of the year. This can help in managing your energy bills (gas, electricity, LPG, oil, wood etc.).
Making sure you’re on a good deal is also important. Switching gas and electricity providers is much easier these days.
Warm Home Discount and Priority Services Register
Now is also the time to check if you’re eligible for the £140 annual Warm Home Discount and, if you’re of pensionable age or have any vulnerability (e.g. disability or ill health) to sign up for the Priority Services Register.
LED lights, slow cookers and microwave ovens
LED lights can help reduce your bills, particularly if you are still using halogen or old-fashioned light bulbs which can cost ten times as much as LEDs.
Using a slow cooker and a microwave can also reduce the cost of cooking.
Dealing with Damp
Dealing with damp is essential. Damp air takes longer to heat and will cost more, and mould is dangerous for your health. Always ventilate well. Seek advice if you think you have structural or plumbing problems causing damp.
Draughtbusting and insulating
Stopping your heat escaping is key to staying warm. Draught busting (e.g. door and window strips, thermal blinds, chimney balloons, floor board strips) can make a big difference.
Check that you have enough insulation in the loft, cavity walls are filled, pipes are lagged and radiators on external walls have reflectors. Underfloor and solid wall insulation could also be options. You may be eligible for help with insulation.
Efficient heating system
An efficient heating system and suitable heating controls that you understand are most important. Central heating boilers should also be serviced at least once every two years.
If you don’t have a central heating system, there may be a scheme available in your area to help with first time central heating as well as broken or very inefficient heating systems.
If your home is suitable, solar panels on the roof can help reduce electricity bills and can help with hot water with the right sort of tank and a solar diverter. Eligible households with electric heating may be able to get a system at a reduced cost system.
I’d like to discuss this further …
If you’d like to talk through any of the above points, and/or would like some help, you can get in touch with your local community energy organisation (see table above). We provide independent advice and support to help and guide you.