Energy savings: how to reduce my energy bills?

It can be scary to see your energy bills going up. Even with the new price cap announced by the government in September, the average energy bill has gone from an average household* paying £1277 in October 2021 to £2500 from October 2022, an increase of almost 100%. 

With 80%¹ of energy bills made up from heating your home and providing hot water, here are our top tips for optimising your heating system whilst maintaining a comfortable and warm home.

Set or install a programmable thermostat – potential saving of 10-12%¹ on your gas bill

A thermostat is there to both keep your house at a comfortable temperature and to optimise how many times your boiler needs to ‘fire up’. A boiler is similar to a car engine in that driving at a consistent speed of 50MPH will make the most of the fuel in your tank. If you have to keep changing from 30 to 70 to 30 to 70 the constant increases in speed will use the fuel over a shorter distance. The same is true of your boiler, it is more energy efficient to have a constant temperature than to allow your house to heat up to the desired temperature, turn off the heating and then when the temperature drops to fire up the boiler again, as it is the firing up that uses the most energy.Setting your thermostat (and leaving it) will optimise your heating system and allows for better control of how many times the boiler fires, improving the overall running efficiency. If you want your house to be 21℃, whether it’s 1 or 10℃ outside, know that your thermostat will ensure a consistent indoor temperature. Turning your thermostat up to 25℃ won’t make your house get to 21℃ any quicker, instead you will end up over heating your home and wasting energy. If you get up at 7am and leave the house at 8am, setting your heating to come on at 6.30-7am will ensure that the house is warm when you wake up until you leave. Having the heating on until 8 just causes your home to be warm when no one is there.Fitting a smart thermostat which you can control from your phone shows a further 6%* on average can be saved. A smart thermostat is one that you can control from your phone, this allows you to turn the heating off when you’ve gone on holiday or gone out for the day, it also means that you can turn it back on when you’re 30 minutes away so that the house is warm when you get home.  

Turn your thermostat down by 1℃ – potential saving of £802

Do you think you would notice a 1℃ difference in your house? With the potential to save you £80 a year, lowering the thermostat from 22 to 21℃ makes a significant difference.

Changing the settings on your combi boiler – potential saving of 13-18% on your gas bill³

A combi boiler is a favourite amongst UK households as it offers a continuous supply of hot water. If however you could save hundreds of pounds each year on your bills would you be prepared to run the tap for a few moments before it becomes hot? Most combi boilers run a preheat function by default – keeping a reserve of hot water ready to go, whether you use it immediately or not. Turning this off alone could save 5-10% on the average gas bill. Since 2005, it has become mandatory to install a condensing boiler if a boiler needs to be replaced. Before condensing boilers, up to 30% of a boiler’s heat was essentially wasted, being sent straight out of the flue pipe in the form of hot gases & steam. However, condensing boilers have been designed to recycle the heat going up the flue, by letting the steam condense back into water, which runs back into the the boiler and using this heat rather than wasting it. This makes condensing boilers much more efficient. This recycling of heat or ‘condensing mode’ only works when the flow temperature of your boiler is below the default often set during installation (70-80℃). If you can set your flow temperature to 60℃ or less your condensing boiler should actually start condensing and using the heat to cut your energy consumption.

NB – reducing the flow temperature does not reduce the temperature of your home. This is set by the thermostat, the flow temperature just changes how your home gets there.

The Heating Hub talks you through how to lower the flow temperature on your combi boiler in this video and turn off the preheat function here.

Fitting TRV’s to your radiators can reduce your gas bill by up to 18%¹

TRV’s (thermostatic radiator valves) independently monitor the temperature of a room and automatically adjust the radiators’ heat output to maintain a comfortable temperature. You can also more effectively control the radiators turning them down to a frost setting in rooms you’re not using or using TRV’s to have lower temperatures in bedrooms and higher temperatures in communal spaces like a living room.

Draft excluders – potential savings of £35
Our housing stock in the UK is notoriously leaky. You can buy draft excluder kits for doors, line your letterbox and if you don’t currently have double glazing you can buy plastic lining for your windows to lock in the heat during the coldest months.

Insulate your loft – potential savings of £135
You can lose 25%(4) of heat through an uninsulated roof, so without insulation in your loft to keep that heat trapped in, you are actually heating the sky above your house. This is something that you can do yourself, with insulation readily available from DIY stores, but you may choose to hire a professional as it can be messy.

Leaving the oven door open after cooking
Although there isn’t a potential saving around this you are re-purposing energy which you’ve already paid for in heating up your oven. It sounds like such a small thing but it makes such a difference to the kitchen and surrounding area.

Whether you’re a homeowner or you’re renting, the rise in energy bills is affecting us all. By understanding how your current boiler and heating controls work you can start to save money today. We have put together some useful links below with more information:



² USwitch
³ The Heating Hub
⁴ The Energy Savings Trust

*Although it is called a cap on energy bills it is actually a cap on the price of electricity and gas per kWh. This means that if you use more than the average amount your bills will be higher and if you use less than the average amount your bills will be lower.