Big Energy Saving Week: How to educate homeowners

Baxi has compiled its list of top tips for educating homeowners in managing their energy usage and minimising utility costs, to mark Big Energy Saving Week (17-23 January).

As homeowners crank up the heating and keep the lights on for longer during the winter season, these increases in usage can have a significant impact on monthly costs, which are only exacerbated as UK energy prices continue to soar.

Here are the ten top tips:

  • Boiler replacement: If the boiler in a home is more than 10 years old, it’s likely to have reduced energy-saving performance. While the initial cost of a more efficient replacement must be considered, it should be pointed out that the long-term savings on energy bills make it a worthwhile investment.
  • Regular boiler servicing: It’s important for occupants to know that regular servicing is integral to their boiler running as efficiently as possible. Offering a thorough MOT of their appliance is another way to give customers extra peace of mind during the colder months.
  • Smart meter installation: Installing a smart meter is a simple measure to track energy usage and reduce consumption on a daily basis.
  • Condensate pipe insulation: With plummeting temperatures around this time of year, there is greater risk of the condensate pipe freezing, which leads to the boiler shutting down to protect itself. Make sure your customers’ condensate pipes are properly insulated and that they know how to thaw them if they do freeze.
  • Radiator checks: Sometimes, radiators can have cold patches because air is trapped in the central heating system. Although your customers can bleed the radiators for themselves, if that doesn’t solve the problem, it could be a problem with sludge. Flushing the system, then treating with a chemical inhibitor and installing a magnetic filter can solve this. What’s more, having healthy system water can reduce energy bills by up to £80 a year and reduce carbon emissions by 7%.
  • Thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs): Fitting TRVs means your customers can be comfortable in rooms they need to be warmer and can turn the heating right down or off completely in rooms they don’t use, saving them money on their fuel bills.
  • Draft exclusion: Installers can point out the advantages of draft proofing external doors and openable windows, as well as unused chimneys left open to the elements. This way, dwellings can benefit from more efficient space heating. The Energy Savings Trust has worked out that by treating problem areas in the home, the average household could expect to save around £43 per year.
  • Loft insulation: Fitting loft insulation into a home can greatly help in reducing heat loss and minimising energy consumption. Plus, some properties can claim grants for insulation if they come under certain categories – so it’s always worth advising customers about taking this measure.
  • Efficient appliances: Just like a boiler, other older appliances in a household can end up costing excessive amounts to run. Informing homeowners on the energy-saving benefits of water-efficient shower heads, LED bulbs and other A-rated efficiency appliances can help them to save significant money on bills.
  • Smart controls: With the advancements in smart technology, homes can now greatly enhance their energy-saving performance. Smart controls, like Baxi’s uSense, use intelligent technology to regulate heating in a more energy efficient way, compared to regular thermostats. The Energy Savings Trust estimates that smart controls could help reduce annual bills by £70 – an investment that certainly balances out when the long-term savings are considered.