Top tips: save energy, stay warm

Terry the Energy Doctor

Terry the Energy Doctor shares his expert advice to see you through the winter

Simple habits like setting your thermostat to a constant temperature can save you lots of money and reduce your carbon emissions. Most households can set the thermostat to 18°C for a comfortable heat throughout the day but if you suffer from any illnesses that are impacted by the cold, set it to 21°C. Be sure to turn off radiators in rooms you aren’t using.

If you rent or own your home and are on a low income and/or receiving benefits, it is possible that you’re eligible for an Energy Company Obligation (ECO) Grant. This can be for whatever your home might need, like loft or wall insulation, replacement heating systems, or window glazing.

Price comparison sites like Uswitch are a great way to find better energy deals. When submitting comparisons, you should always input your current usage in kilowatt hours (kWh), rather than how much you pay at the moment, to find the best deal. You can find your annual estimated usage in kWh on your most recent energy bill. If you currently get the ‘warm home’ discount, make sure the new supplier also offers this, as not all of them do. Check Trust Pilot for recent customers’ reviews of any new suppliers, too.

You might be able to get £140 off your electricity bills in winter with the ‘warm home discount’. This scheme is for low income households. Contact your supplier to find out if you’re eligible.

Don’t forget to bleed your radiators when your heating comes back on this winter. Check if the top part of the radiator is as warm as the bottom when the heating is on. If it’s cold, that means water is not circulating properly. Use a simple radiator key and open to bleed until water comes out, then close. Your radiator will now be hot throughout.

For more low-cost and no-cost energy saving ideas please visit the Greener Together website.

Islington Council’s Seasonal Health Intervention Network (SHINE) is available to help you understand your bills and heating systems, and can offer extra support for vulnerable people on low incomes. Visit the council website to find out more. Contact SHINE on 0207 527 2121 or email

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