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Save Energy and Money

money-savingThe National Energy Trust states…

“In a typical UK household, more than half the money spent on energy bills goes towards providing heating and hot water. And as fuel costs rise, having an efficient and cost effective heating system is vital. It’s one of the main steps you can take to reduce your carbon dioxide emissions and reduce energy costs.”

 

Using your Easytherm can deliver great savings on your current heating and hot water costs. With the market demonstrating savings of up to £150 per year or up to 31% of your annual energy costs, it is critical that homeowners take control and make the simple, but necessary changes to control and manage their energy costs. Easytherm can see you make savings of up to 30% on your specific heating bills based on the trials we undertook with a pilot group.

And these savings are significant, particularly if you consider the average household spends over £1,300 per year on energy.

But, and there is a but, like all of these products, it is how you use them that makes the biggest difference – simply by installing any of these products, savings ‘don’t just happen’. When you install your Easytherm you set up and help configure it to your needs. And then, by simple adjustments, you can ‘tweak’ your settings, either how long you have your heating on for or to what temperature you feel comfortable with will, and in turn, you will begin to generate the savings stated over a period of time.

 

But before you can start saving money you need to understand a little more about two things:

Firstly; your own heating and hot water system and Secondly; your specific needs and your home.

  1. Firstly having a well insulated home means that the heat you create stays with you for longer and reaching your desired temperature is quicker and easier to maintain.
  2. If you live in an older property or you suffer from draughts in your home then you will be losing heat around doors and windows, or through the chimney. Effective draught proofing can save between £25 to £35 a year

 

Typically you will have a boiler that heats up radiators and generates your hot water, either instantly or heats it up and stores it in a cylinder. With these type of systems it is important to start with the basics:

  • Have your boiler regularly serviced. An unserviced boiler burns less efficiently meaning it has to burn harder and longer to generate the same heat as a well maintained boiler (if your boiler is over 10 years old, it may be worth considering replacing as newer boilers offer much smarter and efficient ways of heating your home and providing you with the hot water you need)
  • As well as servicing your boiler make sure you top up and flush out your water system in your radiators (do at the same time as commissioning your boiler). Corrosion deposits in an older central heating system can cause a substantial reduction in the effectiveness of the radiators, and the system as a whole – up to a 15 per cent reduction. The build-up of scale in heating circuits and on boiler components can cause a reduction in efficiency too. Using an effective chemical inhibitor can decrease the corrosion rate and prevent the build-up of sludge and scale – preventing system deterioration and helping to maintain efficiency. Typically, it can increase boiler efficiency by approximately 3 per cent.
  • If you have thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) fitted make sure you have them set correctly in each room based on how often you use them and what level of ‘comfort’ is required in each different environment, from a lounge to a kitchen, broom, home office/study etc. Each room should be ideally set by the level you feel comfortable in and the amount of time you spend in it. For example, if you live your life in the kitchen, then why heat your lounge to the max. Similarly, if you live in a three bedroom house and only use one room – why heat all three? By turning down, the temperatures in the two rooms you rarely use you will save a considerable amount of energy. You can always turn up temporarily, therefore raising the temperature when you do use them thus only warming the room(s) when required.
  • Likewise, by using your easytherm app when you want your heating to come off and on during the day you can continually ‘tweak’ and make small changes to when you want your heating to come on and go off. The objective is to make as little difference to your ‘comfort levels’ but each incremental change, and with Easytherm you can change by minute increments, will make a significant % difference to the length of time your boiler is firing and therefore your energy bill.
  • If you have radiator valves throughout your home it is worth regularly checking your comfort levels and adjusting accordingly. A good rule of thumb is to use British Summer Time (BST). So, when the clocks go forwards and backwards use this as a prompt to adjust your room temperatures. By setting the temperature in each room the way you like it you will avoid wasting money on heating rooms more than you need to. It is obvious that you will need less heating in spring than autumn so make sure you adjust accordingly. Remember your Easytherm will adjust your off and on times automatically so you won’t have to change any of your settings on your Easytherm unit itself.

The Energy Savings trust state…

“Turning down your room thermostat by just one degree, if it’s too warm inside, can save between £85 to £90 per year.”

 

Become an energy savings ‘guru’

What we advise, and it has been a constant theme throughout any feedback we have received from users of Easytherm is to ‘get obsessed with your heating and hot water requirements’.

It sounds strange but it’s true – We suggest that you only have to be ‘obsessed’ for a short period of time; 2 weeks maximum will see you understand your requirements and set your times and your levels perfectly.

  • If you have a regular pattern of use at home then make sure you set your heating and hot water exactly to fit. By ‘tweaking’ your on and off times and by adjusting your temperature levels ever so slightly you will again, make a difference to your energy costs. There’s no need to heat a home when nobody is in, or to have it 1 degree warmer than it needs to be. All of these adjustments are making demonstrable savings on your utility bills.
  • Alternatively, if you have a very irregular pattern of movement, not knowing when you will be home from one day to the next or indeed often, through no fault of your own, you find yourself returning home much earlier or later than expected then the app will help you save enormously as you will be able to change your heating and hot water settings at the stroke of your fingertips. This will mean that you won’t be heating a home that is empty or coming home to a cold house with no hot water.
  • Test how long it takes to get your home up to the desired temperature. Smaller homes or homes that are well insulated will heat up and retain their heat longer. There’s no need to set your heating to come on an hour before you get up or come home if it only takes 20 minutes to get it up to temperature.

 

This goes the same for hot water

  • If you have a stored water facility, ie a cylinder, the first thing to do is make sure it is well insulated. There’s no point in heating up your hot water only for it to cool too quickly do to inadequate insulation.
  • Secondly – make sure the water temperature is set to your comfort levels. Again, overheating water is a waste of energy and you will only add cold water to cool. Set to 60 degrees and see if that is ok. Again every 1 degree cooler without compromising comfort is a demonstrable % saving on your bill.
  • Also, a well insulated cylinder may give you adequate hot water for your evening requirements. Again, it will only be through trial and error that you will set your optimum settings.

And as with your heating you can make instant, temporary changes to your schedule without having to change and of your scheduled settings by using the boost or override facilities. So if you need water heating quickly simply boost your water channel or if you are coming home a little earlier then boost your heating.

 

Other Top Tips for reducing your heating and hot water bills

Bath or shower – You decide

Typically a bath uses 80 litres of of water compared to 35 litres of an average 5 minute shower. That is more than 50% less water used – Not only saving on hot water bills but also, if you are on metered water then there are further savings to be had. This is obviously dependent upon the type of shower and the length of time one spends in the shower. On way of reducing the amount of water is to look at replacing the shower head. If you’ve got a shower that takes hot water straight from your boiler or hot water tank (rather than an electric shower), then you may be able to fit a water efficient shower head. This can reduce your hot water usage whilst retaining the sensation of a powerful shower.

Some water companies are giving shower heads away for free. Contact your water company to see if you are eligible (this is not available in Scotland). By installing a water efficient shower head, a family of four could save around £67 a year on gas for water heating, as well as a further £100 on water bills if they have a water meter.

The calculation is based on the assumption that the family takes just under 20 showers a week and replaces a 13 litre/minute power-shower head with a 7.7 litre / min water efficient shower head, and the family are charged £3.01 per cubic meter of water used (includes sewage charge).

 

So there you have it.

There are so many ways in which you can save energy. There is so much advice available whether through your Local Authority, Energy Provider or indeed on the World Wide Web. The Energy Savings Trust; USwitch; Carbon Trust to name but a few.

Easytherm is one of the tools in your kitbag to combat the ever increasing cost of energy. Whilst there will always be fluctuations in the price of energy and by switching you can always save a little more, one thing is for certain, over the long-term energy costs have continued to rise and become an increased hit on ones available income.

 

However, one final thought:

When looking at how much you can actually save take a minute to consider:

  • How much you have to actually earn to make that payment
  • Look at what you could actually be spending those savings on; it could be more essentials, some luxuries, longer term investments for the future for you or for your family.
  • Finally think of the ‘good’ you are doing in reducing your energy consumption and indeed your carbon footprint. Reducing the amount of water you use means that less has to be created or less has to be processed. Less heating up and and for less time, again means less energy goes into generating wasted heat and energy, again reducing the pressures on those that work to create the means to generate your heat. Millions of people saving a little means we collectively begin to save a lot.