Warmer Derby and Derbyshire: Free phone line to help residents stay warm at home

A new free phone line has been launched to give people living in Derbyshire impartial advice on how to stay warm at home and cut their energy bills. You can call for advice about:

  • energy bills
  • switching tariff
  • how to make their homes more energy efficient
  • how to apply for grants for heating systems and insulation

Call 0800 677 1332 and you won’t be charged a penny for the call. Home visits are also available to those who need more help.

There is a range of advice on the government’s new website called Simple Energy Advice, which the government has designed following a national review. The government has designed this website following extensive research with customers and has created a comprehensive, easy-to-navigate website with tailored advice and local information. It is also contactable on 0800 444 202. The advisers only have access to information which is already on the website; they are there to help people navigate the website if they are struggling and also to look up information for residents who don’t have access to the internet. 

There are other organisations that can help guide people to make choices about how to stay independent as they get older, such as FirstStop Advice; an independent, impartial and free service offering advice and information to older people, their families and carers about housing and care options for later life. The service is provided by Elderly Accommodation Counsel (EAC) in partnership with a number of other national and local organisations.

Derbyshire County Council operates an Independent Living Service for adults aged 55 and over across Derbyshire. More information can be found in this leaflet on the Derbyshire County Council website.

Energy efficiency in the home

Domestic appliances

Being energy efficient is about making the best use of the energy resources we have by reducing the amount of energy we need for heating, lighting and running appliances in the home.For a home that is behaving badly by wasting energy, there are a number of solutions to reduce that waste and make your home more efficient and cheaper to run.The number and type of appliances we have in the home has greatly increased over the last decade but new energy efficient household appliances with an energy rating of A - C use less energy to run than older less efficient models. Retailers are required to show the European Union Energy label by law, to display their energy rating. 

Insulation

Loft and cavity wall insulation can keep valuable heat in by reducing heat loss through your roof and walls. You may find you can turn down the room thermostat and other heating controls as a result and use less gas or electricity to heat your home.

For solid wall properties, insulation can either be applied inside or outside the wall. Fitting thermal board (plaster board with a layer of polystyrene insulation) onto the inside of external walls is the most popular way of reducing heat loss from solid brick walls. Insulating this wall type is on the whole more expensive than insulating cavity type walls.

Control your heating 

High efficiency condensing gas boilers can achieve seasonal efficiencies of up to 90%. In comparison, a standard gas boiler will achieve 75/80% seasonal efficiency, which means a condensing boiler is able to provide more heat for the same amount of fuel burnt compared with a standard boiler.

A Combination type of condensing or standard boiler provides instantaneous hot water direct from the boiler and removes the need for a hot water tank. A heating system can still be efficient with a tank, as modern hot water tanks are available that hold less water. This means less water is stored because the water can be heated more quickly to meet demand.

Having adequate controls on your heating system (with an efficient boiler to match) such as a programmer/timer on the boiler and thermostatic radiator valves, will allow you to control how much you need to use in different rooms and at different times of the day and ultimately how much you will spend on heating your home.

Tips:

  • If you replace an old boiler with a high efficiency gas boiler, you can expect to save up to 30 per cent on your annual gas bill.

  • If you turn your central heating thermostat down by 1°C it could cut your heating bills by up to 10 per cent.

  • Set your hot water cylinder thermostat to 60°C/140°F. This temperature should be adequate for your hot water needs.

  • Close your curtains at dusk to stop heat escaping through the windows.

  • Always turn lights off when you leave a room.

  • Don't leave appliances on standby.

  • Don't leave the fridge door open for longer than necessary.

  • When using a washing machine always try to wash a full load and use a low temperature when possible.

  • Keep lids on saucepans when cooking - this tip will cook the food evenly and the heat can be turned down.

  • Only heat the amount of water you need when using the kettle.

  • Repair those dripping taps to avoid wasting water.

Low cost!

  • Fit energy-saving light bulbs in your home and use a fraction of the electricity. They will last up to 12 times longer.

  • You can eliminate draughts and wasted heat by using easy-to-fix brush or PVC seal to exterior doors.

  • Insulate your hot water tank and the hot water pipes. You will cut heat loss and get your money back within a year!

  • Have more showers than baths to reduce the amount of hot water you use.

Some cost!

  • Insulate cavity walls and reduce the heat loss of your home by 35 per cent. It's not as expensive as you may think with plenty of low cost insulation schemes to choose from.

  • 25 per cent of the heat is lost from the roof space so fitting 10 inches/250mm of loft insulation will stop valuable heat escaping and save money on your heating bill.

  • Replace an old boiler with a high efficiency gas-condensing boiler and fit heating controls such as thermostatic radiator valves to control the temperature in each room. You could reduce your heating bills by 30 per cent if replacing an old heating system.

  • Make sure windows are draught proofed to cut those uncomfortable draughts. (Double-glazing is not cost effective in terms of energy efficiency but will cut heat loss and those troublesome draughts).

  • When buying a new fridge or washing machine, buy an energy efficient 'A' rated appliance.

  • Ensure you have adequate ventilation for your boiler and your heating system is regularly serviced. This will ensure your system is safe and will remain efficient for as long as possible.

For further information relating to home energy efficiency you can contact

Housing Renewal Team

Tel: 0115 931 6060

Email: environmentalhealth@erewash.gov.uk 

Home Energy Conservation Act 1995 (HECA)

The Government has recognised that local councils are in a unique position to support the delivery of energy efficiency and to help tackle fuel poverty.  After the Government issued new guidance on the Home Energy Conservation Act 1995, councils are now required to publish a document setting out how they aim to support the Government's own targets.  This had to be done in March 2013 and subsequently every two years.

Erewash Borough Council is a member of the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Local Authority Energy Partnership (LAEP) which has produced a report providing an overview of the situation across the two counties and adds context to Erewash Borough Council's own report.

Please see the following links to documents for further information:

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