While Brits have been contending with the cost-of-living crisis for the best part of a year, the full effects are not expected to be felt until the third quarter of 2023.
Despite this, the forecast for this year seems to be more positive with prices predicted to be lower than initially expected.
However, bills are still set to remain higher than pre-pandemic levels with Ofgem’s energy price cap set to increase by 21% from April, bringing a typical bill for an average household to £3,000 a year. To help homeowners prepare before the price cap is applied, property expert and CEO of Livlet – the UK’s first intelligent home management platform – Dasha Klyachko, outlines how to keep heating costs to a minimum whilst also staying warm.
Short-term solutions that can be more cost-effective include:
Using a space heater: These portable heaters are relatively inexpensive and can be used to heat a small to medium-sized room. Just be sure to use in short periods and to heat small-medium sized areas, using portable heaters as a day-round solution to heating can prove to be much more expensive than central heating. For cost-effectiveness, something else to bear in mind is to switch off the heating whilst you use it, and that the heated space is less than 1/3rd of the area covered by a boiler or heat pump heating system.
Draft stoppers: If your room is losing heat due to drafts, consider using draft stoppers to block the gaps around doors and windows. This will help to keep the warm air inside and the cold air out.
Insulating your home: Proper insulation can help to keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer, reducing your heating and cooling costs. Using indicative installation costs and bill saving data from Energy Saving Trust, cavity insulation and loft insulation have a payback period of <3.5 and <2.15 years respectively based on December 2022 data.
Using a programmable thermostat: A programmable thermostat allows you to set the temperature in your home to automatically adjust when you are not there, so you are not heating an empty house. Smart thermostatic radiator valves are also a good bet if your property has radiators, combining a programmer, thermostat and local temperature control to achieve the right temperature per space and only heat the rooms you want to. They’ll typically be accompanied by an app or each radiator can be programmed manually.
For those looking long-term:
One of the best long-term solutions to keeping heating costs to a minimum is by updating your home heating system which in turn increases efficiency and reduces energy costs. An outdated heating system can be inefficient, using more energy and costing more to operate than a newer, more efficient model. By upgrading to a newer, high-efficiency system, you can potentially save hundreds of pounds per year on your energy bills. Additionally, many utility companies offer rebates and incentives for homeowners who upgrade to energy-efficient heating systems, which can help to offset the initial cost of the upgrade.
Below is a list of incentives programs available to Brits looking to upgrade their heating systems to more sustainable and efficient alternatives:
The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI): This is a government-run scheme that provides financial incentives to homeowners who install renewable heating systems, such as biomass boilers and solar thermal systems.
There are several tax credits and deductions available in the UK for energy-efficient home improvements, such as the Landlord’s Energy Saving Allowance and the Renewable Heat Premium Payment.
The Green Homes Grant: This grant, which has been extended to March 31st 2022, provides funding to help homeowners pay for energy-saving improvements to their homes, such as insulation, low-carbon heating systems, and double glazing.
The Energy Company Obligation (ECO): This is a government-run scheme that provides funding to energy companies to help them improve the energy efficiency of homes in the UK. The funding is used to pay for energy-saving measures, such as insulation and heating system upgrades.
Livlet is a web-based digital home management tool that simplifies homeownership. Livlet uses technology to connect all the details about a home in an intelligent way that helps homeowners proactively manage every aspect of homeownership so that they can make smart and timely decisions that increase home efficiency, save money and reduce their carbon footprint to improve their quality of life and property value.
Livlet was founded by Dasha Klyachko, an entrepreneur who was finding that managing her home was complex, time-consuming and stressful. She saw an opportunity to change the way we manage our homes. And so Livlet was born in 2020. Dasha has a strong business background having founded a consulting services business in 2000 that tested financial applications for banks, brokerages, and tools providers which she grew to 1,000 employees.