Practical Home Energy Saving
Updated: 19-Aug-2014
Central Heating Radiator

How to save money on your heating bills at the same time as saving the environment by saving gas and oil ....

Oil Use Down 32%

4.9 Tons Of CO2 Saved

Tip Of The Day: Make sure the loft has at least 350mm of insulation (or the equivalent)

As the cost of heating a home continues to rise it becomes more and more economic to invest money so save on heating costs. In some cases grants or cost reductions are available from local councils and utilities for various forms of insulation. While the results here were obtained with oil fired central heating systems most of the ideas and tips are applicable to other forms of heating. After several years of reductions in oil use in our original house we reached the point where the scope for saving without major investment became more and more limited Since moving in November 2009 we have started doing all the easy thing we learnt from last time round and have now implemented all the simple things saving considerably on the bills. Plans are now afoot to achieve larger savings which cost significant amounts of money with payback times of around five years..

The pages in this area are split into two main sections: General Information including energy saving information and the process used to identify and implement savings plus a summary of the results which are updated as information becomes available.

While following the simple tips will save money, to achieve the biggest saving a methodical approach works best. To get an idea of what can be done in each room of the house take a look at saving heat room by room for colour coded tips. It is difficult to compare savings year on year since the outside temperature is not constant. This means small savings can be swamped by annual temperature variations, it is still worth persevering with these since the effect of many small savings is cumulative and will become noticeable over time as can be seen from the cost and use information. Check out the miscellaneous section for information on measuring electricity, gas and oil use. Check out the miscellaneous section for information on measuring electricity, gas and oil use.

Before embarking on expensive measures to reduce costs make sure all the simple and easy to implement changes have been done, the savings obtained may make the expensive changes uneconomic since the pay back time of big changes may be longer than the expected life of the equipment.

Up until 2006 heating was the area where least work had been done to save energy with only ad-hoc changes being made until the middle of 2006 although this did include a lot of the simple tips. These changes made quite a difference despite the addition of two rooms to the heating system with a new radiator in each. During 2006 and 2007 some more structured changes were made to the system which led to even bigger savings. This included a major upgrade to the loft insulation and pipe insulation in the loft which is where most of the wasted heat was to be going.

In November 2009 we moved to a new house on the Welsh border so the whole project started all over again with new challenges and opportunities for saving heat and money. Since moving we have been busy implementing all the low cost tips plus a significant upgrade to the loft insulation which badly needed doing. The changes have made a noticeable difference to the warmth of the house..

Unfortunately although oil use has dropped the cost has still risen due to oil prices more than doubling over the period. One area of heating costs that we never fully quantified in our original house was the use of a wood burning stove in the lounge on an occasional basis. During 2008 and 2009 we used this much more. The savings quoted at the top of this page all refer to our original house and are relative to our 2003 bills. Information on the costs for the current house will be coming during 2013.

To ease the workload of managing use and costs JSutils has produced two calculators to aid energy use monitoring, an oil use and cost calculator and a gas use and cost calculator.


Caution: Before reducing or eliminating draughts make sure boilers are adequately ventilated and properly serviced. If in doubt consult a competent person.

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