There are many different ways to save on energy costs. Below the Cost Breakdown is a 4 point plan of things you can do to save energy. The items at the top yield immediate gains and no upfront investment and therefore should be done with priority straight away. The items at bottom require more time and investment into upgrades. Remember that things should only be replaced if the energy saving outweighs the initial investment or if broken.
The biggest mantra in energy saving is ‘Waste Not,Want not ‘ . This simply means switching off things that are not needed, or reducing to lower levels at times not needed and overall reducing usage without impacting on your comfort.
The costs involved in heating your home comfortably can be broken into 3 components. Initial capital costs , Energy cost and Maintenance costs.
Initial capital costs are the costs of the equipment.
Energy cost is what you pay in terms of gas and electric usage.
Maintenance costs is what you pay to keep the system running efficiently and for replacing broken parts.
Overall the largest cost will always usually end up being the energy costs unless you are able to have very high efficiency and energy saving equipment.
These three components are all interlinked to produce the lifetime running costs. Your goal is usually to have the lowest lifetime costs, unless you are trying to be environmentally friendly by accounting for costs to health due to certain equipment being more damaging to the environment and health. This is an indirect cost and is out of the scope of this article so you must draw your own limit or criteria of what else you may want achieve.
Finding a energy supplier with the best tariff is will have the biggest impact if you are on a standard tariff and also if your usage is very high. Selecting fixed tariffs can be very good for making sure your bills do not vary too much.
There are 3 user profiles of energy usage.
Low Consumption: Smaller 1 to 2 bedroom homes or flats with low occupancy. Approximate usage is 1800 kWh of electricity, 8000 of gas.
Medium Consumption: 2 to 3 bedroom homes with medium occupancy. Approximate usage is 2900 kWh of electricity, 12000 of gas.
high Consumption: 4 bedrooms or more homes with low occupancy. Approximate usage is 4300 kWh of electricity, 17000 of gas.
Your actual usage may vary.
Set your heating schedules and controls correctly. If you don’t have controls make sure to install basic controls ie programmer and room thermostat. The lower the room thermostat the more the savings. Try to wear warmer clothes
Turn off or reduce TRV temperatures in rooms that are not being used. It is advisable to switch these on a regular basis so that things do not seize up.
If your boiler supports modulating controls, these can save extra energy and produce more comfort levels compare to standard controls.
Make sure your boiler flow temperatures and power rating if adjustable are correctly set. Making sure your boiler and heating system is clean will increase efficiency and reduce maintenance costs. Keeping a system clean is one of the most important things that can be done. Make sure inhibitor levels are always correct.
High Efficiency Equipment
Energy costs can be brought down further by installing products which are more efficient or make use of renewable energy, although in some cases you may never recoup the investment into some of these products on a cost basis. Some of these products being installed may bring the value of the property up thereby providing you with an indirect gain, although this is speculative in nature. Some of these products are best installed when your current equipment is beyond economical repair.