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More household tips
How to save money and energy in your home.
Here are some tips that may help:
- Draught proofing
- Prepayment meters
If your appliances are on standby — they look turned off, but often there is still a light on — they are still using electricity. And you are still paying for them. Some appliances use almost as much electricity while on standby as when they’re on.
There’s a simple solution: turn off appliances at the wall before you go to bed. You’ll notice the difference in your electricity bills pretty quickly.
Receiving benefits or Pension Credit? You may be able to claim extra help towards the cost of your energy bills. Visit the links below (all go to the government's gov.uk website) to find out more:
Curtains and blinds are really good at forming a barrier to heat escaping. As soon as it starts to get dark outside, close the curtains and lower the blinds to help keep heat in.
You can stop heat leaking out of your home by fitting draught proofing or draught excluders to your doors and windows.
Spotlights, often used in kitchen ceilings, are often expensive to use. Try switching to LED spotlights. They cost a little bit more, but last about 10 years and use far less electricity — saving you money on your bills.
Older radiators have valves which let you turn the radiator on and off. If a radiator is too hot, turn the valve clockwise. If the radiator's too cold, turn the valve anti-clockwise.
Newer radiators, or ones that have been serviced recently, will have "TRVs" – Thermostatic Radiator Valves (pictured right). They have numbers on, usually 1–6. The valve shuts off once a room is at a certain temperature, depending on the number set.
How do you know which number to set the TRV to? Here’s our handy guide, which assumes that your TRV goes from 1 to 6:
- Bathrooms — set to 6
Bathrooms have a lot of moisture, which can cause damp and mould. Keep your bathroom warm to stop the moisture settling, and ventilate it properly to stop mould building up.
- Living room — 5 or 6
This is where you spend most of your time, and usually where your thermostat is found.
- Bedrooms — about 3
We tend to sleep better when in cooler rooms because our bodies cool down when we sleep, and we’re often covered in blankets/duvets.
- Unused rooms — 1 or * (frost protection)
Keep doors closed so they don’t take in heat, and set the TRV to the frost-protection setting, shown as a *, or to 1.
- Kitchens – 1–3
Your cooking will warm the kitchen.
- Hallways – 1–3
You might need to experiment a little bit with the settings.
Energy companies have many tariffs showing different gas and electricity prices; it can be confusing trying to find the best one.
We recommend using an OFGEM recommended energy comparison site.
A list can be found here:
Make sure you have your fuel statements with you when you contact the energy providers. You'll need three things:
- Tariff name
- Annual usage information (how many kWh's of energy you've used in the year).
The thermostat controls the maximum temperature in your home. It might look like a round dial attached to the wall, or a digital read-out if you have a newer boiler.
If your property is always very warm, and the boiler on constantly, you might find the thermostat is set very high, which means your energy bills, and energy usage, is also very high.
We recommend 21°C to maintain a warm home at a reasonable price. When the room reaches the required temperature, the thermostat automatically turns off your heating.
Finally, if you pay your bills by a prepayment meter, you may find these videos from Islington Council helpful (though please refer any questions to Peabody Direct):