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How to save money on heating your house

Image of coins on a radiator

Energy prices are starting to fall. We spoke to the experts to find out how to keep the cold out, the heat in and the bills down

Earlier this year, Ofgem reported that April’s energy price cap would reduce annual gas and electricity costs in England, Wales and Scotland by around 12% and they’ve since confirmed that July’s price cap will save a further £122, on average. While this was welcome news, the Energy Saving Trust predicts that energy bills will remain high for the next decade and may well rise again this autumn. With consumers at the mercy of fluctuating wholesale prices, we took a closer look at our homes’ energy efficiency with the aim of lowering our individual energy costs.

To find out what’s possible, we spoke to the experts: Ben Gallizzi from, Jennifer Warren from Energy Guide and Stephen Day from iHeat.

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Keep the heat in

One of the best ways to improve the energy efficiency of your home is to ensure you aren’t losing heat through your roof, walls or windows from a lack of insulation. “An uninsulated home can lose up to one-third of its heat through the roof”, says Jennifer Warren from Energy Guide. “Depending on your home type and the existing insulation, you could save between £240 to £445 annually on your energy bills. These savings are particularly significant for detached houses, which can save up to £445 per year.”

Many home insulation tasks can be completed as DIY projects, helping to keep labour costs down. For example, draught excluder tape can easily be installed to close any gaps between your windows and their frames or your doors, and hanging thermal curtains can also help to insulate your windows, keeping the heat out during the summer and warmth in during the winter.

You should also look at your appliances and their efficiency. The Energy Saving Trust suggests topping up the insulation on your hot water cylinder by switching an original, loose 25mm jacket for an 80mm British Standard Jacket, saving you up to £40 per year. You can also attach reflector foil to the backs of your radiators to help bounce heat back into the room, reducing the overall amount of energy needed to heat your home.

Consider government insulation grants

While some home insulation tweaks are relatively cheap, it’s worth taking a look at the government’s Great British Insulation Scheme to see if you qualify for financial support. You are typically eligible for the scheme if:

  • Your home has an energy performance certificate (EPC) of D to G
  • You live in an area with a council tax band of A to D in England, or A to E in Scotland and Wales

The grants may differ based on your financial status and any benefits you receive, but you may be able to get assistance with:

  • Cavity wall insulation
  • Solid wall insulation
  • Loft insulation
  • Underfloor insulation

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Control your heating

The Energy Saving Trust advise that lowering your thermostat by just one degree can save up to 10% on your energy bill.

Stephen Day, director of operations at iHeat, weighs in on this: “With the average 2-3 person home using around 11,500kWh of gas per year, this could save you around £100 per year – a big saving for a second of work that you’ll likely never notice.”

Smart thermostats are great for ensuring you aren’t needlessly heating an empty house, essentially removing the need for scheduling by using geofencing technology – via an app on your phone – to identify when you’re home and then turning off the heating when you’re away. And, if you disable this feature, you can still control your heating remotely through the app, and turn it off if you accidentally leave it on when you go out.

A woman uses a thermostat in her living room

You can score another quick win by adjusting your boiler’s flow temperature. Most boilers need to be set at 60°C to run effectively, but many are installed between 70°C and 80°C as default, leading to needlessly high energy bills. As Stephen Day confirms: “By turning your flow temperature down from 80°C to 60°C you could save about 9% on your energy bills and still feel toasty and warm, giving you an average saving of £90 a year.”

Taking a look at your home’s radiators can also offer welcome energy savings: making sure your furniture isn’t blocking them will help to improve heat distribution; ensuring they are bled and balanced will optimise hot water flow; and you might opt to turn radiators down, or even off, in rooms you don’t use as much.

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Optimise your tariff

With a volatile energy market, it can be hard to know if you should switch energy suppliers, change your tariff or stick with what you’ve already got locked in. Ben Gallizzi, from, shares some guidance:

“Competition is returning to the energy market, and some deals available are the lowest we’ve seen since late 2021 – including options below the latest predicted price cap.” The best course of action is to keep an eye on what industry experts are predicting, as changes in the price cap can be an early indication of price hikes or falls.

“Many consumers haven’t thought about fixing or switching since the energy crisis but, as the price cap remains uncertain, standard variable tariffs can go up or down every three months. Fixing at a cheaper rate is a good option if you want to lock in price certainty.”

You should always try to balance any potential savings you may make from switching suppliers against any early exit fees your current supplier may impose, as these penalties could negate the benefits, and leave you in the same financial position – or worse – once everything has been calculated.

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