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UK homeowners waste £2bn a year on domestic energy

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26/11/2012
The average UK family of four could save hundreds of pounds every year by adopting simple methods to control their heating and other energy use.

An initiative called controlyourhome.org.uk revealed that 45% of us do not control our heating properly, resulting in our using more than £2bn worth of energy a year unnecessarily.

Only one in 10 respondents correctly identified the boiler as the largest consumer of energy in the home, although it is responsible for 80% of a typical home’s energy use.

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 actually the boiler uses between four and eight times more energy than a tumble drier when in use.

Over 40% leave the heating on when the house is empty, 33% leave it on all night, 39% heat their house to a temperature that allows them to wear a t-shirt inside in the depths of winter, and a quarter keep their windows open when the heating is on.

Colin Timmins from the controlyourhome.org.uk campaign 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.”

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 individual rooms.

Keeping the thermostat at the recommended 21 degrees or lower could save the typical billpayer more than £100 a year.

www.controlyourhome.org.uk has a complete guide to how you could improve your controls and use them effectively to cut your heating bills.

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