Energy saving tips

There are simple things you can do around your home to reduce your energy costs, as the diagram below shows.

Saving energy in your home
Image: This infographic shows a cross-section of a house with 3 floors. Each floor has 2 rooms. At the top of the house there is also a roof space. In the roof space, there is text advising you to insulate your roof to stop heat escaping from the house, and that you may be eligible for free loft insulation. Insulating your floors can also help to keep heat in. In the top-left room, there is an image of a light bulb. This indicates that you should use energy-saving light bulbs and turn lights off when leaving a room. In the top-right room, there is an image of a sink with a toothbrush in a cup. This advises you to turn off the tap while brushing your teeth. In the middle-left room, there is a bath with a shower attachment. Water is sprinkling from the shower head. This tells us to use a water efficient shower head, which some water companies may offer for free. In the middle-right room, there is an image of a door. This tells you to shut doors and windows to keep the heat in, and to seal gaps around doors with draught excluders. In the bottom-left room, there is a teapot and 2 mugs on a kitchen surface. Next to them is an image of a thermometer. This indicates that you should only boil the amount of water you need when using a kettle. It says to wait until your dishwasher and washing machine are full before using them. It also says to wash your clothes at a slightly lower temperature and air dry them instead of using the tumble dryer. In the bottom-right room, there is a computer. This advises you to turn off computers, TVs and other electrical items when not using them, and not to leave them on standby.

Insulation and draught-proofing

Fitting insulation into your home is a big step but could help you save money. The better a home is insulated, the less money you will spend heating it.

You could consider:

  • insulating your loft and walls
  • closing gaps around doors with draught excluders
  • putting in double-glazed windows or using draught-proofing strips for your existing windows
  • sealing any cracks in floors, lining your letterbox and blocking an unused chimney.

All the main fuel companies provide free or discounted insulation if you meet their criteria. This may depend on your situation and the type of property you live in.

Heating controls

Installing heating controls in your home can help you save money. These may include:

  • a thermostat, which measures the temperature in your room and adjusts the boiler
  • a smart thermostat, which allows you to manage your central heating from outside your home using the internet, a smartphone or a tablet
  • a programmer, which allows you to set when you would like the heating to turn on and off each day
  • thermostatic radiator valves, which let you control the temperature of individual radiators.

Energy saving schemes

There are lots of schemes from energy companies and the government to help you make your home more energy efficient.

Energy Company Obligation

The Energy Company Obligation is a government programme that means large energy companies must help households save energy. It aims to help vulnerable people and those on a low income make energy-saving improvements to their homes.

You can ask your energy company if they offer help under the Energy Company Obligation programme. This is also called the Affordable Warmth Obligation.

You may qualify for an energy grant if you:

  • get certain benefits and own or privately rent your home
  • are a council or housing association tenant and your home is not energy efficient.

An assessor visits your home to decide what energy-saving improvements you need. You may get help with the cost of:

  • insulation work – for example, to your loft or cavity walls (2 separate walls in the building with a space between them)
  • repairing or replacing your boiler
  • other upgrades to your heating system.

Sometimes you may need to contribute towards the cost of the work. For example, this could be the cost of scaffolding. The assessor will explain if there may be a cost to you before the work starts.

You do not have to be a customer of an energy company to get help from their scheme. If your energy company is part of the Energy Company Obligation programme, they should explain what help they offer on their website. For more information, visit

  • Home Energy Efficiency Programmes (Scotland)

    This is a package of schemes for people in Scotland. Depending on your situation, you may get:

    • a free home energy check
    • free advice on benefits
    • free home improvements to save energy, such as a new boiler or insulation.

    For more information, call Home Energy Scotland free on 0808 808 2282 or visit

  • Nest (Wales)

    This government scheme gives advice about:

    • saving energy
    • managing money
    • making sure you are on the best tariff
    • claiming benefits.

    You may also get free home improvements to help save energy, such as:

    • a new boiler
    • central heating
    • insulation.

    An assessor visits your home to decide what improvements you need. You can call Nest free on 0808 808 22 44 or visit

  • Affordable Warmth Scheme and Boiler Replacement Scheme (Northern Ireland)

    The Affordable Warmth Scheme can help you make your home more energy efficient if you are on a low income.

    You may qualify for help if:

    • you own or privately rent your home
    • your annual household income is less than £23,000.

    For more information, visit or contact your local council.

    The Boiler Replacement Scheme can help you replace a boiler that is over 15 years old with a new energy-efficient model. You may also want to change from oil to gas or to a wood pellet boiler.

    You may qualify for help if:

    • you own your home
    • your annual household income is less than £40,000.

    For more information, call 03448 920 900 or visit

    You can register for the scheme by email at

Energy efficiency ratings

If you are replacing your boiler or buying a new household appliance such as a kettle, fridge-freezer or washing machine, check the energy rating label. Products have an energy rating on a coloured label from A (very efficient) to G (inefficient). Some products can have a rating of A+, A++ and A+++.

It is a good idea to choose the most energy-efficient model for the size you need.

Checking your energy bill

Here are some tips for making sure your energy bill is accurate:

  • Check that all the details on the bill are correct and that you are on the right tariff.
  • If you think your bill is incorrect, contact your energy supplier and ask them to explain how they calculated it.
  • Give your supplier regular meter readings. This means you can get accurate bills rather than estimates. You will only pay for the energy you use.
  • If you are worried you have paid too much, take a meter reading. You can ask your energy supplier for a credit refund at any time. If you have a fixed payment plan, you can still ask for a refund. But be aware that this credit may be calculated into your annual payment arrangement. Asking for credit back during your billing cycle could cause your energy provider to recalculate your payments. This might mean your monthly amount increases.

Smart meters

Smart meters are a newer type of gas and electricity meter. As well as measuring the energy you use, they also:

  • tell you when you have used this energy and how much it costs
  • let your energy supplier take meter readings without you contacting them.

With a smart meter, you get an In-Home Display (IHD) unit. This allows you see how much gas and electricity you are using. Smart meters mean you no longer get estimated bills. They can also show you where you could save money.

If you get a smart credit (non-prepayment) meter, these can be remotely converted to prepayment meters if you fall behind with your payments.

The government has planned for every home in the UK to eventually have a smart meter. Your energy supplier may contact you to arrange this. There is no charge for having a smart meter fitted. Some properties are unable to have smart meters due to the location of their meters. If you want more information, you can ask your energy supplier.

More tips on saving energy at home

For more information on how to save energy in your home:

In some parts of the UK, there are independent advice centres that give advice about making your home warmer. They may be able to visit you at home. Your local council can tell you if there is an energy efficiency advice centre in your area.

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Date reviewed

Reviewed: 01 November 2022
Next review: 01 November 2025
Trusted Information Creator - Patient Information Forum
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