Did you know that 45% of the energy consumed in the UK is used to heat buildings*?

With the majority of heating still coming from natural gas, that makes it one of the country’s biggest sources of carbon emissions. And the same goes for the average home with a gas boiler, where heating adds up to a third of your household carbon footprint.

Energy saving is on many of our minds at the moment, so here are some ideas for making your home warmer and greener this winter.

1- Keep the heat in

A large proportion of homes in the UK are old and draughty, with plenty of ways for heat to escape. On average, around a quarter will seep out through the roof and a third through walls and gaps around doors and windows.

Insulation and draught proofing is essential for making sure heat generated doesn’t go to waste. From thermal wallpaper and curtains to draught excluders for gaps under doors, there are plenty of lower cost and DIY options for making your home cosier.

A warm, green home

If you’re not sure where to start, think about getting an energy performance assessment. Go to Energy Saving Trust for independent advice and more tips for making your home energy efficient.

2- Invest in renewable heating

The Government’s Boiler Upgrade Scheme will provide £7,500 heat pump grants towards the cost of getting a heat pump. This low carbon heating technology draws natural, renewable heat from either the air or ground, which can then be used for heating and hot water.

Heat pumps are highly efficient, producing around 3.5 times more heat energy per kwh than the electricity it takes to power them; and they work effectively in temperatures down to -15C. Paired with good home insulation, they’re a crucial technology for supporting UK homes on the journey to zero carbon emissions. 

Find out more about getting a heat pump installed with Good Energy today.

3- Thermostat down, layer up

Familiar advice but worth repeating, wear some warm layers so the heating doesn’t have to do all the hard work.

The recommended indoor temperature range is 18-21ºC, depending on your health and age. If you’re an adult without health conditions, then keeping the thermostat at the lower end of the scale will help you use less energy.  

If you’re working from home, sitting at a desk for hours is a recipe for getting cold, even with an extra layer or two. Do your circulation (and back) a favour and set regular reminders to walk around and stretch to warm up.

Getting up to speed with how to use different types of heating controls could also help you make sure none of the energy you use to heat your home goes to waste. Read advice from the Energy Saving Trust about using different types of thermostat, setting timers on your boiler and more.

4- Look after your boiler

Two cups of tea, made sustainably

Even with a drive to transition to low carbon heating, gas boilers will still be around for some time yet. So the less gas we use to keep our homes warm, the better (even if it’s green gas, like ours).

One way to reduce what you use is to make sure your boiler is working as efficiently as possible with an annual boiler service.

We’ve partnered with boiler and home cover company Hometree to make this simple for our customers. Take a look at our recent blog to read more about why we’ve partnered with Hometree.

Support with your energy bills

If you’re struggling with your energy bills, make sure you talk to your supplier so they can help you find an affordable solution. You can also contact Citizen’s Advice for free, independent advice about energy.

Make sure you’re getting all the financial support you’re entitled to. Government support schemes include:

  • Energy Price Guarantee – a discount on gas and electricity unit rates.
  • Energy Bills Support Scheme – discount of £400, paid to all properties with a domestic electricity supply in six instalments, from October 2022-March 2023.
  • Warm Homes Discount – £150 payment for people on certain benefits. The government will write to you if you’re eligible.

*The Energy Saving Trust, referencing a 2019 report from Policy Connect entitled Uncomfortable Home Truths: why Britain Urgently Needs a Low Carbon Heat Strategy.