WCAG Homes & Energy – money-saving tips this winter (and beyond)
There is a host of free advice, support and resources available online to help you save energy and money says, Kate Brown
With the cost of living and climate crises colliding, you’ll have seen many energy and cost-saving tips being published recently. Advice on how to change our habits and make different choices can help reduce energy bills and help us become greener. After all, the greenest energy is the energy we don’t use in the first place!
This month, Watlington Climate Action Group’s Homes & Energy team has gathered together advice from a variety of sources, bringing together valuable resources in one place.
Starting with home heating, for those of you with gas boilers; a single, simple change to your boiler settings can save you £££ this winter without affecting how your heating works. The Money Saving Boiler Challenge provides a step-by-step guide and only takes a few minutes. For more information, visit www.moneysavingboilerchallenge.com.
For those of you working at home, the best advice to keep heating bills down is to use your heating only at the beginning and end of the day, and for times when there’s just one room occupied, use a small space heater (ideally a fan heater) to heat you rather than the room. This isn’t a good way to heat a whole house all the time, but it’s much more efficient than keeping unused rooms heated all day.
Before you drive, check your tyre pressures as low pressure decreases fuel economy, costing you money. Esso has advice on how to check and adjust your tyre pressures, here: www.esso.co.uk/en-gb/tyrepressure
Money Saving Expert (MSE) publishes money-saving advice across lots of subjects, from energy bills to what to do about changing mortgage rates. At the time of writing (Monday 17th Oct), the Energy Price Guarantee policy is under review by the government due to its sheer cost and untargeted nature.
This will change the planned price cap from next spring, which was due to be in place for two years. Find up-to-date information on how to choose or fix your energy tariffs in the months ahead on the MSE website: www.moneysavingexpert.com/energy/(check ‘news’ in the site’s main header for the very latest analysis and advice).
While the landscape of government support is changing so rapidly, make sure you are receiving all the support you’re entitled to by checking the government’s Help for Households website: https://helpforhouseholds.campaign.gov.uk/help-with-your-bills/.
From buying electric blankets and air fryers to checking your loft insulation or making a draught excluder, you’ll find lots of great advice on the One Home website – their mission is to ‘help UK households adapt to a low cost, low carbon lifestyle’, see: www.onehome.org.uk/.
And finally, one of our sister organisations, Low Carbon Oxford North, has made a series of seven short, helpful films (2-4 minutes long) on how to make energy-saving upgrades in your home, from wall insulation to heat pumps and help with financing work, see: https://lcon.org.uk/2022/10/03/energy-saving-homes-bite-size-films-launched/.
Watlington Climate Action Group publishes energy-saving tips and news on our Facebook group, so join for the latest advice if you’re not already a member: www.facebook.com/groups/WatlingtonClimateAction.