Energy Advice (Coldline Fact Sheet 5)

Energy Advice
(Coldline Fact
Sheet 5)
When you heat your home, some of the heat produced
finds its way outside through walls, ceilings, doors,
windows and roof. The rate at which you lose heat
determines how much it will cost to keep your home
warm. Heat loss can be slowed down by measures such
as draughtproofing and insulation.
Warm Front Grants –
The Government offers grants to make homes warmer,
more energy efficient and healthier to live in. However, to
obtain a grant you must be in receipt of a qualifying
benefit and be either an owner occupier or renting from a
private landlord. You can get information on Warm Front
grants from the Warm Front Team - Freephone: 0800 316
6011 or from Age Concern Hackney Coldline. If your
application is successful you could get help with:
Loft and pipe insulation.
Draughtproofing outside doors and windows.
Cavity wall insulation.
Hot water-tank jacket.
Gas central heating or gas room heaters or electric
storage heaters and timer controls for electric
space and water heaters.
Energy advice (including two low energy light
Using fuel efficiently
Use fuel efficiently for tasks such as heating, hot water
and light, and you will pay out less, especially in the
winter. Even where energy efficiency measures involve
an initial cost, you will soon recoup the money through
lower charges.
Coldline Fact
1. Eating Well
2. Cold Related
3. Keeping
4. Paying for
5. Energy Advice
6. Where to Get
Switching your Gas and Electricity
You can make savings on your gas and electricity by
switching your supplier. There are also social tariffs that
fuel providers can help with. However, if you are thinking
about changing your supplier you should get advice first.
Consumer Focus has lists of accredited comparison
websites. Consumer Direct has advice on changing
supplier 08454 04 05 06 or contact Age Concern
Hackney Coldline.
Appliance labeling
Energy efficient appliances use less electricity and cost
less to run, so when buying an appliance it is important to
look for the energy label. ‘A’ is the most energy efficient
and will use up to half the electricity of a similar ‘G’ rated
model. The amount of electricity consumed also depends
on how the appliance is used (how full a fridge or freezer
is, for example) and where it is located. A cold appliance,
such as a fridge, will use more electricity if it is sited near
a cooker or heater.
Priority Service Register
If you are a domestic consumer and are of pensionable
age, or have a disability, a long term illness, blind or have
visual impairment you can choose from a selection of free
services that are designed to make your life easier please
consult Consumer Focus and Consumer Direct 08454
040506 to find out what your fuel supplier can do. You
can register yourself on the Priority Service of your gas
and electricity company by calling them direct.
If you have a gas supply, gas should be your cheapest
option for heating, cooking and hot water. In your living
room, for example, a gas fire is cheaper than an electric
heater, open coal fire or bottled gas heater. Gas wall
convector heaters have the lowest running costs of any
kind of heater.
Many people regard gas central heating as expensive to
use, whereas it is a very efficient type of heating and is
easy to control. On your central heating system you
should have a programmer (or time switch), a room
thermostat and a hot water cylinder thermostat. You may
also have Thermostatic radiator valves to control the heat
on individual radiators. Try to ensure you use your
heating controls efficiently; otherwise running costs can
be high. You can get advice on this from Age Concern
Hackney Coldline - 0207 241 2299 or, if you live in
council or housing association property from your Estate
It is very important that all gas appliances are serviced
annually to ensure that they are running safely and
efficiently. Gas safety checks should always be carried
out by a qualified registered gas installer. If you are a
tenant, your landlord is legally required to arrange a gas
safety check on a yearly basis. If you are an
owner/occupier or live in private rented property you can
consult GasSafeRegister 0800 408 5500 or For gas emergency 0800
111 999
It is also important that chimneys are swept regularly (at
least once a year is recommended). For chimney
sweeping advice call either Age Concern Hackney
Coldline or the Chimney Sweeps in London from refresh
services on 0845 1080987 www
Electricity companies offer both standard and off-peak
tariffs. If you use electricity to heat your home, off-peak
tariffs (such as Economy 7), will help you reduce your
Fan heaters or bar fires using full price electricity
are the most expensive form of heating.
Storage heaters using off-peak electricity are the
cheapest form of electric heating – they are almost
as cheap as gas.
Solid fuel
Open fires make poor use of fuel. They are among
the most expensive forms of heating, unless they
have a back boiler.
An enclosed solid fuel heater, although expensive
to install, will make better use of the fuel.
Use of bottled gas appliances
Many people believe bottled gas to be an economic
method of heating but it is, in fact, one of the most
expensive fuels.
When using a bottled gas or paraffin heater you
must open the windows slightly to allow for some
ventilation, as these appliances give off fumes and
water vapour. This needs to escape, otherwise
poisonous fumes and condensation will build up in
the room.
When purchasing a new bottled gas appliance it is
important to check to see the British Standard
Label. This means the heater will be fitted with a
special safety devise that cuts off the gas supply if
the room gets too stuffy.
Electric water heating
If you use electricity to heat your hot water you
should be on an off-peak tariff
If your home is not wired for off-peak electricity do
not leave the immersion heater on all day, as this
is very expensive. Heat up the water for an hour or
two, just before you need it.
If you can afford to have a time switch fitted to your
immersion heater you will save money, as you will
be able to control when it comes on and off.
Ensure that your immersion tank is adequately
insulated and the thermostat is set to 60º C.
Money saving tips
You will find some ideas in your ‘Keep Warm, Keep Well’
booklet; or look on the government website www keepwarmkeepwell
Here are some other suggestions.
Use a low setting cycle on your washing machine
will reduce the amount of electricity it uses.
Use a low setting for a long time rather than a high
setting for a short time when using your heating. It
is cheaper and you will be more comfortable.
Draw the curtains when it gets dark but make sure
they do not hang in front of radiators.
Avoid putting furniture in front of radiators or
heaters as this will reduce the heat given out.
Turn off heating in rooms that are not being used
for long periods and close the door.
When using a kettle ensure you only put in enough
water for what you need.
If you are unsure about any of the advice contained it this
fact sheet, contact Age Concern Hackney Coldline - Tel:
020 7241 2299 and ask for one of its trained energy
advisors to help you.
Registered charity 1061633 / Registered company 3346199