Hot Topic

Sharing tips and advice to keep energy bills down this winter

  • 24 September 2021
  • 57 replies
  • 293 views

  • Community Manager
  • 1153 replies

Colder weather is on the horizon as we head into the last few months of the year. In preparation of the winter to come we wanted to share some of our best energy saving tips - and would love to hear your best tips, too. 

VxztJKLPq6Z5Dyywk6D3AD9DJrsFcU5XNb_CLJmHyvaUNrnZC4MeJ8Dmrp_nwRInByGS5EBNRfZoaGa0xJqQhBNfxn0mFr0rlq6UVbLRIVfUPK9R6sTaRsMJbj30ZYD1D6DWY0nY=s0

  1. Switch off your devices at the plug

You can save around £35 a year from your energy bill by turning your appliances off at the plug - as opposed to leaving them on standby. I know I am guilty of charging my phone overnight, so it’ll be a nice test to see how this affects my energy bills. 

  1. Turning down the thermostat

If you can, turning your thermostat down by just one degree this winter can lead to savings of around £60 and decrease your carbon footprint by 310kg of carbon dioxide a year. Kind to the planet and your pocket- a win win! 

  1. Close your curtains 

A nice and easy one, and a fab way to stop draughts coming into your home this winter. Every evening when the sun sets close your curtains and blinds, and when the sun is up in the morning open them wide to allow the sunlight to naturally warm your home.

  1. Give your boiler some TLC 

An efficient boiler will make a big difference to your energy bill. It’s good to get your boiler serviced once a year, in fact doing this at the end of summer can be the best time to do this in preparation for the winter months. If you have an older boiler, replacing your boiler’s heating controls can also help to save money, as new heating controls can be much more accurate, such as new programmers that let you set different times and temperatures for different days of the week. 

To find out some more useful tips or ways to get extra support this winter check out our latest Pure Planet blog. 

The Community is a fantastic place to share advice - do you have any tips on saving energy this winter? Let’s chat about them together in the replies below. :blush:


57 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +11

I definitely embrace the wearing of layers to keep warm, rather than constantly turning the heating up. I always prefer natural warmth anyway, so if I can keep warm in thick cosy layers, I do. If anything, I get sooooo toasted that I end up removing layers. 

Most here know, I bought a Selkbag with my PP Amazon vouchers a few years back, which is basically a wearable sleeping bag, often used for camping, so very very warm as designed for outdoors. It truly is soooo toastie and used daily thru autumn and winter, so can safely say one of my best purchases ever for sure. 

Couple years back, also ordered a quality gravity blanket from Amazon, again using PP reward vouchers. Again, another of my best purchases ever. It is a weighted blanket, which goes under the duvet, so directly over your body. The weight helps give a weighted, but not constricted, feel, to give you extra warmth and comfort, takes a few weeks tbh to fully get accustomed to it, but wouldn’t be without it now. Truly love it. 

This week, I also made a makeshift curtain, to pop up alongside my blinds. It’s only a tall, narrow side lounge window, but the additional cover keeps it much warmer, and private. 

Lots of indoor moving too. It’s not always easy to get outside for some people. Often it’s too easy to sit still and get cold. I adore doing my “hall runs” 🤣, gently jogging, or you could walk of course, up and down the hall way. Of course, you could easily do the same on stairs or just around a room. It’s just about moving to increase the circulation and get warmed up. Surprising what a difference a few minutes of doing that, makes. 

@Bev my mum’s motto has always been ‘get ya thermals on’. So I tend to keep the heating off as much as possible and instead I pile on the layers. 

Just googled the Selkbag - what a fantastic invention, I bet with the right accessories it could be quite the piece for a winter wardrobe :wink:

You’re so right @Bev - sometimes I wake up so cold, but if I do a little bit of yoga it warms up all of my muscles. My new place has stairs so I can get some winter steps in that way haha!

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +11

You’re soooo on my wavelength, seriously Mads, especially re the exercises first thing, or whenever really, to improve circulation. Gets the blood moving. 

The Selkbag is purely for evenings. Simply cosying up in it, it really is sooooooo insulating. I love it our Mads, truly great purchase. Had purple at first but it was huge so had to get yellow. Love it! 

Stairs be great for getting ya steps up indeed. Adore my hall runs, and really is a Godsend to have all the space, no clutter. Space is key for me as sooooo love moving, dancing, exercising. 

Got plenty of thermals I’m with your mum Mads for sure. Passes down tho, as you say, to generations. Tiny simple things like that tho, make sooooooo much difference to ones overall health and wallet. Great thread, Mads 👍

Determined to keep the heating off @Bev - although the new house is a little chilly! So I have my fluffy socks and slippers on, my thermals, my super cosy fleece and another jumper layered on top. Safe to say Mads 1- 0 Boiler. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +11

Hee hee hee, our Mads, bless you! See how it goes as obvs every house different, and being as just moved in, you may want to give it a surge of heat. But I think layers is best, rather than full on heat. Fleecy cosy attire is sooooo my thing. Also our Mads, with this second PP fab challenge, I’m doing more evening running, introducing the lounge to it now 🤣🤣🤣not just the hall. Figures of eight whilst watching TV. 🤣🤣🤣. Certainly keeps me toastie warm doing that! 😅👍🏃‍♀️🤸‍♀️

@Bev that’s absolutely brilliant, I’ll be nipping out for a lunch time walk soon to try and up the step count! I’ll be pacing the streets with a good podcast in my ears!

Userlevel 7
Badge +11

Can I ask if you have airpods our Mads and what you think of them, if you don’t mind, as I am considering them, and not in any rush yet, but really like idea of them. Enjoy your walk, Mads, I know you will 👍🏃‍♀️

@Bev i am immediately heading to google Selkbags!!  I am working from home now in my shed …. I was going to get an oil filled radiator but I’m honestly too worried to now!

Agree with moving more, and early nights 🙈

Userlevel 7
Badge +11

Ah bless you so much Jen, working in your shed. The Selkbag is an initial expense, but they’re sooooooo warm Jen, and soon pay for themselves. You can always return it if it’s not for you, but I’m sure you’ll love it. 

Don't suffer tho Jen, don’t make yourself ill. I’ll try find the thread that provides help if struggling financially. I know you’re not requiring that, but it’s there if ever you were to need it. 

I actually bought a no oil radiator, as additional heat, but I honestly actually prefer my Selkbag, layers, and moving round to generate natural heat Jen, and that’s the truth. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +11

PP started working with Step Change two years ago, Jen, and that’s still happening. 

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +11

And a little Q and A with Rachel from Stepchange

 

Userlevel 5

Awwww, it is so interesting reading all your posts, Mads, Bev & Jenny, I’m now going on the search !!

I snuggle in the evenings under my snuggle blanket, really soft and huge, I wrap it round me and Chloe snuggles right underneath, it’s a wonder she can breath, but she loves it...I have loads of soft fluffy warm socks too….try to keep all doors closed to stop any draughts coming through…. I also have a Vibrapower Infinity, I try to use it every day, its an exercise machine, strengthens all your muscles.. (I call it my Vibrator) :joy: 🤣🤣🤣 …. as it vibrates the whole body, so a little time spent on that and I am so toasty warm...sometimes I have it on too long and I can hardly walk down the stairs 🤣🤣🤣  (hoping it will help build up my leg muscle as the bones in my left foot have collapsed)..hope they operate soon !!

Take care everyone….so much help given here. Thank you xx

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

On the subject of giving your boiler some TLC, when getting the boiler serviced ask the engineer to check the settings  I recently had my boiler serviced and while chatting I remembered a comment made by @G4RHL  about  the heat settings not being set correctly. It only took him a minute to check and he reduced the setting to 18kw, it was set at 24. Hopefully it will reduce my gas usage especially now.

Also I currently have a water leak somewhere on the system but nowhere visable, someone is coming tomorrow to check it out but advised putting some system cleaner in and turning on to circulate, after an hour the rads were too hot to touch where before you could hold your hand on it. It will have to be flushed out once the leak is sorted and more inhibitor put in, but that should also increase the efficiency of the heating.

It's worth considering if you have a system that's quite old and you are capable of carrying out the task

I reduced my setting in the boiler for central heating to just over 12kW. No problems. Many will find around 7kW is fine.

Last year, when I started my research into whether to get a new boiler or go electric, I came across one or two experts who said they had found about 90% or more of central heating installers don’t set the boiler up correctly, such that it does not run at the efficiency it should. One company, completely independent, they don’t install, but advise, after through research, placed the percentage at 97%.

I went for a new boiler despite electricity being far more efficient, easy to install (DIY) and maintain simply because I could not afford the running costs of electricity. That was February this year. I bought the boiler myself from the approver supplier. I engaged an authorised installer, authorised and approved by the manufacturer, but he knew nothing about the heat settings. He left the boiler at its default setting of 19kW and set the flow temperature to 75C. He did not even check the mains water pressure. Makes you wonder what training is given. He knew nothing about the temperature water condenses at and where it needs to be for the boiler to run at over 90%. Yet he was full of praise for the boiler saying they are well over 90% efficient (err the law says they must be I think!); he was a pleasant and tidy workman, services boilers regularly but knew nothing about the optimum settings. He does now!

I gradually dropped the setting to 12.4kw, and the flow temperature to 65c. I also disabled Eco mode. That was set to operate by default. It’s only purpose is to keep a small amount of water hot in the system so you don’t have to wait for hot water to come from the tap. You could hear it fire up in the middle of the night. With it disabled there is little difference in how long it takes, yes you have to wait a few more seconds for some taps but that is not problem.

Answer, or steps to take - make sure the boiler is properly set up, insulate, don’t use a thermostat in the hall but make each room controllable on its own.

An additional point is we may need to insulate our bodies a little more this Winter as prices go up!

@Bev sorry I’ve only just seen this re airpods! I was so against getting them for ages because they’re not cheap - but now I absolutely love them.

They’re so handy to be hands free with. I love them for exercising, because even if you’re sprinting they stay in. They’re also really good quality for music and you can have a silent disco bogey without disturbing the neighbours:joy: . I quite like the fact that they can also drown out my singing, so that I really think I am Mariah Carey - not sure that point is a plus for the neighbours though. (They’re moving in a week, I wonder why :thinking: ). 

They charge up quick and I take them pretty much everywhere. Great for hands free calling too - I always seem to end up on the phone in supermarkets, so they sure come in handy then!

@Barbrajean snuggles with Chloe sounds so wonderful! My aunt has one of those vibrator things, it’s a bloomin’ workout and a half, good on you Babs!:muscle:

Userlevel 7
Badge +11

I think with Apple our Nads, you truly do get what you pay for, so know they’ll be worth it, but just wanted a few more views. I too had totally forgotten I’d asked 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣, the joys of being 94 😉🤣😉

I love how you find they stay in for running, hee hee hee re the neighbours. Neighbours are a ruddy nuisance anyway, mine will be to block them out too 🤭🤣🤣🤣🤣JK (not kidding 🤣🤣🤣🤣).

Oooooooh yes I’d forgotten that re calls, ooooh yes that would be handy. Splendid. It’s like everything, until you have them, you don’t realise everything they do. I am certain I’ll love them too. Thanks our Mads 👏👍👍👍

”one of those vibrator things” 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣Did make me chuckle out loud! Where IS our ruddy Barb @Barbrajean anyway! 😳🤣🤷‍♀️

@Bev ”one of those vibrator things” This time I was very good and refrained from comment.

Userlevel 7
Badge +11

Bless you our Rich, proud of ya lad 🤣🤣🤣🤣😉😉😉😉😉😉😉😉

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

Bless you our Rich, proud of ya lad 🤣🤣🤣🤣😉😉😉😉😉😉😉😉

Give him time, the temptation will become too much

@Duppy  I am holding back.

Userlevel 7
Badge +11

I was gonna say bet it’s hard, but something stopped me. Something stopped me right there! 😳🙄😁🤭😉

Userlevel 7
Badge +11

Lined curtains is my handy energy saving tip - handy for blocking the cold (and the neighbours when you’re using your “vibrator”)

 

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +11

Bought these the last three winters from Morrisons, they’re an absolute Godsend thru the winter with the ole onesie and selkybag. Every pair of 👣needs these! 👏👍🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣and price hasn’t changed in two years 😳😳😳😳👍👍👍👍👍👍

 

Must knit a willy warmer.

Userlevel 7
Badge +11

🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

How much wool do you require?! 

Rhetorical! Rhetorical! 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣😉😉😉😉

Reply