Big Energy Saving Week (20th to 26th January), organised each year by Citizens Advice, provides information and practical guidance on saving energy, money and the environment through becoming more energy efficient.It follows recent provisional figures* which reveal a 2.8% increase in emissions caused by residential energy use in 2018 compared to the previous year, totalling 65.9 million tonnes of carbon.
OFTEC, which represents the oil heating industry and is an official partner of Big Energy Saving Week, is encouraging households to think about their current energy consumption as well as offering money saving advice. This includes:
- Adjust your heating timers and thermostats
- If you set your heating to come on more regularly over the Christmas period, remember to readjust your timers to ensure the house only warms up when you need it to. Nudging down your thermostat can also save you money over the long term but don’t lower it too much as living in a cold home can be bad for your health.
- Upgrade your heating controls
- Many homes have a simple thermostat which sets one temperature for the whole house. Installing a more advanced system can enable you to set different temperatures for each room throughout the day. You can even control your heating remotely, saving money by turning off the heating when you’re not at home.
- Bleed your radiators
- It’s recommended you regularly bleed your radiators, particularly if you notice they are not warming up as quickly as they usually do. This will ensure they are working at maximum efficiency whilst also keeping your house warmer.
- Don’t ignore your boiler
- It’s easy to forget about your boiler but regular maintenance is important to ensure it is working efficiently. We recommend having it serviced at least once a year by a GasSafe (for mains gas) or OFTEC (for oil or solid fuel) registered technician. They are fully qualified and will complete the work safely and to the highest standard.
- Consider an upgrade
- Modern, condensing boilers are typically smaller, quieter and more efficient. So, installing a new boiler will help reduce your fuel consumption, emissions and fuel bills. For the oil heated households, the good news is that oil remains by far the cheapest off-grid fuel. And, with a ‘drop-in’ renewable liquid fuel currently being developed, you can have peace of mind that your new boiler will help the planet in the future.
Malcolm Farrow, from OFTEC, commented: “The focus on reducing our energy usage to help lower fuels bills and combat climate change has rightly taken centre stage in recent months. Through Big Energy Saving Week we hope to raise awareness of the simple steps we can all take and the changes we can make to become more efficient.
“It’s also important to remember that the cost of energy is a real concern for many struggling households, particularly in rural parts of the country. This means they can often not afford the high costs of installing a new heating system. The good news for homes on heating oil is that a renewable liquid fuel alternative will be available over the coming years which will help to significantly reduce emissions without the expense of having to replace the whole heating system.”
*Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – 2018 UK Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Provisional Figures 2018