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Energy efficiency tips

Updated: Mar 4

How to save energy at home, without spending a fortune.

Above all else, make sure you're warm and well

First off, if you're struggling with the cost of living, please seek help. Depending on where you live, Stroud District Council and South Gloucestershire Council both have support and advice for anyone struggling with household bills. This includes grants and funds, food and fuel vouchers. If you're not sure where to start, contact the Keepers Community Hub on Symn Lane, GL12 7BD (

  • Stroud District Council:

  • South Gloucestershire Council:

  • The Keepers Community Hub:

  • Warm and Well advice (0800 500 3076):

Gloucestershire-based sustainability charity, Severn Wye Energy Agency, also offer a wide variety of services and support, including energy advice and grant funding.

  • Their ‘Warm and Well’ website and free advice line (0800 500 3076) provide advice and help with grant funding for anyone living in Gloucestershire or South Gloucestershire.

  • They also offer paid-for specialist energy surveys, assessments and carbon-saving roadmaps for householders and landlords.

Things you can do NOW for nothing, or very low cost

Think of this like a slow trickle of small things you can do - they all add up

  • Cook with lids on pans - boil the kettle to heat the water first

  • Microwaving food is cheaper than using the oven/hob

  • When using the oven to cook food, throw in a few potatoes or extra veg to roast

  • Batch cook using a pressure cooker or slow cooker and freeze portions

  • Wash clothes at 30-degrees and dry them outside whenever possible

During cooler months:​

  • Look for draughts and remedy them where you can with draft excluders, cushions or rolled up fabric

  • Install lined curtains and consider using them over doorways too

  • If you have trickle vents in your window frames, keep them open to allow for ventilation (this will help avoid too much moisture in the air and black mould)

  • If you’re working from home during cooler months, try to heat just the room you work in

  • Close the curtains before it goes dark, it helps to keep warmth in

  • Install specially designed radiator reflector foil behind radiators

Medium to long term actions to lower your carbon emissions and save money

1. Increase insulation and lower the heating thermostat 1-2 degrees

If you are able to, lowering the thermostat by a degree can help save on bills and your carbon footprint. Adding insulation and draught excluders to your home can also help retain warmth for longer.

If you're considering a heating controller or renewing your heating system, look for something that is not simply "on/off" but has proportional and integral (PI) control. PI control effectively learns how long it takes your home to heat up and cool down and then trickles heat in small bursts, rather than long blasts. Doing this will consume less energy than allowing the home to cool down significantly and then warm it up again.

  • Ensure you have sufficient loft insulation (Severn Wye Energy Agency offer free, independent and local home energy advice and access to funding initiatives that can help you improve your home for less)

  • If you have a combi condensing gas boiler, reduce the flow temperature of the boiler (it's not the same as the thermostat). It can help save around 6-8% on the average gas bill, and will mean your boiler is working more efficiently​

​2. Get a smart meter from your energy provider

Many of our supporters and core team tell us how surprised they are to see which activities within the home use most energy and how to save energy without making big changes. A smart meter can also help you identify 'energy vampires' - white goods that aren't using energy as efficiently as they could be.

"Get a smart meter to help you work out which activities use more energy and how you can reduce that. Cleaning our air source heat pump filter has saved us £1-£2 per day [according to the smart meter]." - Jenny, Tresham
3. Switch to a truly green energy provider

Not all energy providers have the same green credentials when you check their small print. Luckily, Which? have done the hard work for us:

4. Run high energy consuming devices (eg: dishwasher, washing machine, charging EV) at off-peak times

The national grid's carbon intensity varies greatly. Sometimes the grid uses more renewables, other times we need to resort to burning fossil fuels. If you happen to be a night owl, you may want to switch to a tariff that's cheaper off peak (eg: at night). That way you can run high energy consuming appliances at times when demand on the grid is lower and energy being generated is likely to be greener. If you're interested, you can see the daily grid carbon intensity on the GreenTime app.

5. Switch to LED lightbulbs and remember to turn lights off when you don't need them

6. Look into retrofitting your home to make it more energy efficient

If you have plans to make your home more energy efficient you might find our articles on retrofit, solar panels and air source heat pumps useful. Severn Wye Energy agency also have heaps of useful guides for households, grant and funding information, and you can talk to one of their Warm & Well advisors one-to-one.


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