Sponsored Post – Brits bad habits driving up household bills

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With the start of the colder weather we are all turning up our heating and in turn seeing our heating bills soar.  However if we took some simple steps to control our heating proparly we could cut our bills.  There are some things we all do by habit which we shouldn’t do and it’s these bad habit that add to our bills. 

New research out today shows that the average UK family of four could be saving hundreds of pounds a year from being more energy smart and savvy in the home. Not having efficient heating controls and choosing wasteful ways to heat our homes are sending energy bills rocketing, with many people simply unaware that their boiler is by far the largest consumer of energy in the home.

The survey which was carried out by controlyourhome.org.uk[i], shows the shocking fact that more than 45% of people are not controlling their heating properly and many are adopting bad habits that are adding £100s to their energy bills.  The overall cost to UK householders is estimated to be nearly £2bn[ii]each year on our fuel bills.

Despite the importance of controls, 45% of UK families revealed they don’t have any form of room thermostat fitted and 50% have no thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) to control the temperature of indi of energy in the home.
Shockingly, only 1 in 10 people identified the boiler as the largest consumer of energy in the home even though it is responsible for over 80% of a typical home’s consumption.  Three times as many homeowners named the tumble drier as the most energy intensive household appliance, closely followed by the dishwasher and washing machine when in reality, the boiler uses between four and eight times more energy than a tumble drier when in use.
This might explain why people are choosing to heat their homes in wasteful ways, focussing on energy-saving actions to take such as turning the lights and the TV off, which actually have far less impact on their overall energy use.
Over 40% of homeowners say that they leave their heating on when no-one is in the house, a habit that can add over £200 to your annual bills but is commonly thought to be more economical.  And more than a third of families deliberately leave the heating on all night in order to wake up to a warm house the following morning, something which even if only done in the coldest winter months can still add £175 to your bills.
Wanting a summer lifestyle in the depths of a British winter can also prove costly. 39% of households like to keep the house warm enough to comfortably wear a T-shirt but may not realise that their bills could be over £100 lower if they kept the thermostat  at the recommended 21oC. 
Colin Timmins from the controlyourhome.org.ukcampaign comments: “These findings reveal how changing the behaviour of consumers can go a long way to help drive their bills down, particularly in the current economic climate.  The stats which outline the lack of knowledge about a home’s heating system are particularly worrying. The first step for homeowners is to make sure their heating system has a good set of controls to operate it efficiently. These on their own can save £160** a year which can go a long way to alleviate the pressures on the purse strings, but they should also provide the tools to allow bad habits to be altered and consumers to take control of their bills.”
The survey also shows that most consumers are unaware that fitting efficient heating controls can deliver such instant savings, paying for themselves in less than two years.
Colin added:  “How your heating system operates is fundamental to the cost of your energy bills so you need to make sure that you only provide heating where and when it is needed. The technology is simple and cost effective to install, and allied to better habits in how you heat yourhome can deliver some of the largest savings available on household energy bills.  We’d like to see a real change so that millions of homes don’t continue to miss out on these savings.”
 www.controlyourhome.org.ukhas a complete guide to how you could improve your controls and use them effectively to cut your heating bills.
How you could be wasting money on your heating  system[iii]                                                              
Extra Cost
Poor system efficiency from not having basic controls
Additional costs of bad habits when using your system[iv]
Having windows open when the heating is on
Keeping the temperature high enough to wear a T-shirt indoors all year round
Keeping the heating on overnight in the coldest winter months so that it’s warm when you get up
Leaving the heating on when you’re out at work


[1] Controlyourhome.org.uk is an initiative from the heating controls association (TACMA) of BEAMA, the trade body representing manufacturers of electro-technical products.
[1] Overall extra cost of £2bn based on estimated extra cost of each measure or behaviour multiplied by the percentage of people reporting that action in the survey.
[1] Extra cost of poor system efficiency is based on gas central heating without a room thermostat, thermostatic radiator valves or cylinder thermostat. Savings taken from OFGEM, CERT spread-sheet savings figures derived from the SAP calculation methodology plus data from the Energy saving trust website. Conversion figures from Carbon Trust and Energy Saving Trust website.
[1] Extra cost of bad habits when using the heating system based on estimated variations to the typical heating pattern in the Standard Assessment Procedure methodology (BRE) related to the average domestic gas bill in 2011 taken from the Quarterly Energy Prices, Sept 2012 (DECC)
This is a sponsored post on behalf of Control Your Home

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