Tips to cut your energy use and help you stay warm this winter

With energy bills rising, many of us are looking at ways to reduce our costs and keep our homes warm at the same time.

The Citizens Advice and the Energy Saving Trust are sharing useful advice about keeping warm this winter. Here are some simple steps that could save you money and reduce the amount of energy you are using, which, in turn, will also reduce your personal carbon footprint.

  • Only fill and boil the kettle with as much water as you need. The most energy-saving kettles have a low minimum-fill line, and switch off quickly after boiling.
  • Cutting your shower time by just one minute could make you savings. If everyone in a four-person household with a water meter did this, you could save £50 a year.
  • By turning your appliances off instead of leaving them on standby, you could save £40 a year and cut your carbon footprint.
  • If it’s time to replace a lightbulb, switch to a light emitting diodes (LEDs) lightbulb and save up to £9 per year, compared to a 100 watt incandescent bulb.
  • Draught proofing your home could save you £30 a year on your bills and will help to keep your home warmer. For tips on reducing home heat loss, visit the Energy Saving Trusts website.
  • Installing a chimney draught excluder could save you around £20 a year on your bills and make your home feel more comfortable.
  • Try turning your room thermostat down by just one degree and you could save around £65 a year on your energy bill.
  • Drawing the blinds at dusk can reduce heat loss by 13-14 per cent and curtains from 15-17 per cent.

Staying healthy this winter

The NHS, Age UK and British Heart Foundation have a good range of information on keeping warm and safe in winter.

  • Have regular hot drinks and food such as porridge, soups and stews. Eating regularly helps keep you warm.
  • Keep as active as possible to boost your circulation. Move around at least once an hour and avoid sitting still for long periods. Even light exercise will help keep you warm.
  • When you do sit down, put your feet up as it’s coldest nearest the ground.
  • Dress in layers and wear a hat, gloves and scarf when you go out. When inside wear warm socks and slippers to keep feet warm.

Grants and payments

  • Green Homes Grant – If you have an annual combined household income of £30,000 (gross) or less and your property has an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of E, F or G you could benefit from the Council’s Green Homes Grant, which offers funding for a variety of energy efficient measures for your home. These include wall, loft and underfloor insulation, and low-carbon heating such as air source heat pumps, solar panels, heating controls and replacement doors and windows. These measures will help reduce costly energy bills, whilst also lowering energy use and associated carbon emissions. Find out more about the scheme and how to apply.
  • Winter Fuel Payment - If you were born on or before 26 September 1955, you could be entitled to the Winter Fuel Payment - an annual one-off payment to help you pay for heating during the winter. Find out more and how to apply on GOV.UK.
  • Warm Home Discount Scheme - If you are on a low income or you get the guarantee credit part of Pension Credit, you might be able to get £140 off your electricity bill or a £140 voucher for your prepayment meter through the Warm Home Discount Scheme. Find out more and how to apply on GOV.UK.


Energy efficient heating

If you are interested in making your home heating system more energy efficient, saving money on your fuel bills, as well as reducing your carbon emissions, the Energy Saving Trust has a useful guide on heating your home. This includes information on air source heat pumps, biomass and solar water heating.

Further support

The Council has worked with a range of partner organisations to develop a package of support for those most in need, supporting what we already have in place to help vulnerable households and individuals. More information about this can be found on the Council website.

Source:

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information used in all climate emergency articles is accurate. All information used to inform the articles has been taken from reputable sources and those sources are given at the end of each article.

We are aware, however, that data will change over time and that some information across the internet and printed matters can be contradictory. If you have any questions or comments about any articles please email: climatechange3@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk
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