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AFFORDABLE WARMTH Energy saving advice for tenants

SAVE ENERGY SAVE MONEY Becoming more energy efficient is not only for those of us who want to save the environment. It can also really help your wallet. Regardless of your reasons, cutting back on your energy usage at home has many benefits. Some energy-efficient changes are one-time investments. Others are small things you can do every day. Whether it is something as big as installing solar panels, or insulating your loft, to something as small as turning off the lights; when you’re more energy conscious, you save money. The average house uses 37% of its energy in the winter, compared to 13% in the summer; nearly three times as much. For example, if you spend £1,400 per year on energy, this equates to approximately £43 per week in the winter months compared to £15 per week in the summer months.



Low household income

Poor energy efficiency in your home

High fuel prices and energy bills

Not enough money to pay energy bills, or late in payments

Not enough money to heat the whole house

Indoor temperatures constantly too low

Mould and damp condensation

Not sure how to save energy and cut down costs

020 8835 3535


Your Housing Association and Housing Manager/Landlord want you to stay warm throughout the year, affordably.

Find out if you’re elligible for a grant:



Government health guidance recommends a minimum indoor temperature of 18°c. For older people and those with pre-existing medical conditions, this may need to be warmer. The Government-funded Affordable Warmth Scheme makes this achieveable for everyone. They offer free boiler, lofts and cavity wall insulation grants for low-income households. The aim is to: •

Increase the warmth in your home

Reduce your energy bills

Help you reduce your carbon footprint

A new measure was developed in 2013 to calculate the overlap between low income in a household and higher-than-usual energy costs. This is called the Low Income High Cost (LIHC) indicator. The LIHC indicator measures the extent of fuel poverty, when people have fuel costs above average, taking them below the poverty line. It also measures the depth of the problem (how far people’s energy needs exceed reasonable cost), known as the fuel poverty gap.


Use APPLIANCES efficiently

Upgrade your heating system

Apply for improvement grants and loans

Wash full loads of clothes and dishes each time

Insulate loft and cavity walls to reduce heat loss

Replace old appliances with low energy alternatives

Buy low energy light bulbs

• •

Shop around and switch your energy supplier 020 8835 3535




Save money on your heating bill with our top 10 heat-saving tips 1. Set your heating and hot water timer If you’re out at work for most of the day, set it for a few hours in the morning and evening, while you’re in the house. 2. Set boiler thermostat to 60oc/140oF 3. Move furniture away from radiators Valuable heat is absorbed by furniture in front of radiators, making rooms feeling colder. 4. Close internal doors to retain heat in the rooms you are using 5. Use your curtains Draw them at dusk and hang one across your front door to keep draughts out. Lined or thick curtains are the best for the job. 6. Use thermostatic radiator valves 7. Turn the central heating thermostat down to control room temperatures 8. Reduce the temperature in rooms you rarely use, to lower overall usage 9. Tint your windows to retain heat While you may not think that tinted windows on the front of your house looks very attractive, you can always do it to the back windows. 10. If you have a pre-payment meter, it is advisable to top it up with a little extra money in the summer months to build up credit for the colder winter months


020 8835 3535


If your radiators are cold at the top, but hot at the bottom, try bleeding them to release the trapped air


See if you qualify for a grant:


BOILER EFFICIENCY Modern central heating boilers provide hot water more efficiently than older ones. They save energy and money by using less coal, oil or gas wto power them. Homeowners and private tenants in the UK can apply for a grant to replace their old, inefficient gas boiler with a brand new A-rated boiler, under the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme. Do you qualify for a boiler grant? If you have a low household income, are in receipt of benefits or if you are a pensioner receiving benefits, you may be eligible for a grant to replace your boiler. Your existing boiler must be more than five years old or have an existing fault, which is uneconomical to repair. Why not...? Switch to a high efficiency on-demand water heater? They only fire-up when you use the hot tap. It heats up quickly-and then quits burning fuel when demand stops. An added bonus is the they are really easy to maintain.

020 8835 3535




Minimise use Turn appliances off when you’re not using them. Appliances on standby still use energy. Alternatively, use a standby saver mode, if your appliance is equipped with it. Avoid charging electrical goods such as your mobile phone unnecessarily. When making hot drinks, only boil the amount of water you need, rather than completely filling the kettle. Or, invest in an instant/eco kettle. If you are only having one or two cups consider using the stove to heat the water. Since your refrigerator is the one appliance in your home that’s always on, maximize its efficiency by turning the temperature to the energy-efficient setting or to 3oc and -18oc for your freezer. Choose low energy appliances When it’s time to replace your kitchen appliances (the washer, dryer, water heater, or boiler), research the various models and features so you’ll know which ones are the most energy efficient. When shopping, look for models that are labeled as Energy Star Certified to ensure you’re getting an energy (and money) saving appliance. This will go a long way towards saving energy and lowering your electric bills. Always consider the efficiency rating (the AG colour scale), when you purchase new electrical items. The ratings are designed to help you identify those items that will cost you least to use. A is the most efficient, least expensive to use. G is the least efficient, most expensive to use. Get low-flow fixtures and appliances as they can save a lot of water and energy. For example, low-flow toilets, shower heads, and washing machines. 9

020 8835 3535


The average household leaves 10-15 items on standby Each item on standby costs about £10 per year


Fully load your washing machine and dishwasher when using them



Be energy-smart when doing laundry or washing the dishes •

Always fill-up your washing machine, tumble dryer and dishwasher One full load uses less energy than two half loads.

Washing at 60oc? Turn down to 30oc Washing at clothes at 30oc reduces energy use by up to 40%.

Dry clothes outside whenever possible Tumble driers cost around 45p an hour to run. If you have to do it in indoors (due to the Great British weather!), use a well-ventilated room. Try not to rely on a radiator to dry clothes as this can cause damp and mould in your house. If in doubt, make sure a window is slightly open to release the damp air.

020 8835 3535



INSULATE TO OPTIMISE Insulate your home, especially your loft and wall cavities A quarter of a typical home’s heat is lost through the roof and around a third is lost through the walls. Insulating the loft and wall cavities (if you have them) is one of the best things you can do to keep the heat in and reduce your bills. Draught-proof your windows and doors using caulking or weather stripping. Make sure they are properly sealed to prevent cold drafts and air leaks, helping to keep warm air inside during the winter. When the weather heats up, these same improvements will help trap cooler air inside. Even if you have some insulation in your loft you may need a top-up. The recommended depth for mineral wool insulation, the most common material, is 270mm (about 1ft). Check out loft insulation and cavity wall insulation grants as you may be eligible for non-repayable home-improvement grants (see p.10 for links). Optimise your temperature The recommended temperature for all rooms is 18°C during both day and night time. However, for people 65 years and over, or with pre-existing medical conditions, temperatures slightly above this threshold may be beneficial for health. If you cannot afford to heat the whole house, keep at least your living room warm and heat your bedroom before going to bed. If it is very cold, do not leave the bedroom window open at night.

For more information go to:


020 8835 3535



Let the sunshine in, it’s FREE!

LEDs use 90% less energy than a traditional light bulb

Turn the lights off in rooms you aren’t using



Lighting accounts for 7% of a typical household’s energy bill Cutting down on your use of electric lighting is one of the easiest ways to save money on bills. Start by turning all lights off when leaving a room, even if it is only for a short time.

Open the blinds, turn the lights off and let some sunshine in Lighting your house with sunlight is 100% FREE.

Save by switching to LED light bulbs or fitted spotlights LEDs use 90% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs, they last a long time and they give out light instantly. You can make savings of £55 per year or even more.

Fluorescent light bulbs last 8-12 times longer than incandescent bulbs Although compact fluorescent bulbs cost more initially, the end result is considerable savings.

020 8835 3535




Shop around and switch your energy supplier

Compare energy tariffs and suppliers Consider switching companies to get the best possible deal. When you fix your tariff, it can also help safeguard against future price rises.

Use Ofgem’s Go Energy Shopping guide and website to compare They provide simpler and clearer way to compare and switch with four core tariffs for both electricity and gas.

For more information go to:


020 8835 3535


Consumers who have never switched could save ÂŁ300 per year on their energy bills (Ofgem, August 2016)

GRANT ELIGIBILITY CHECK ONLINE The Affordable Warmth website has all the grant information you require. Copy and paste the links below to the end of the URL and search in your browser, e.g. Government grants /government-grants Warm Front Scheme /grants/warm-front-scheme.htm Renewable heat /renewable-heat-incentive Heating grants /info-heating-grants Central heating grants /heating-grants/info-central-heating-grants Home improvement /info-home-improvement-grants Insulation grants /info-insulation-grants Boiler grants /info-grant-boilers Solar panel grants /info-solar-grants Double glazing grants /info-double-glazing-grants Warm Home Discount Disabled facilities grant Winter fuel payment Cold weather payment Pension credit The British Gas Energy Trust EDF Energy Trust


FURTHER INFO WEBSITES AND NUMBERS Benefits Calculator HM Revenue & Customs Tax credit helpline 0345 300 3900 Pensions Credit Citizens Advice 0845 404 0506 Energy Saving Advice Service England and Wales 0300 123 1234 (national rate call) Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm Home Energy Scotland 0808 808 2282 Mon-Fri, 8am to 8pm Saturday, 9am to 5pm Energy Savings Trust UK Home Helpline Energy Shopping and Switching Find a Green Deal company Green Deal Oversight & Registration Body green-deal-participant-register Home Energy Team 0800 082 2234 (free to call from a a landline) 20


We are the longest-running independent energy consultancy in the UK.

Since 1987 we have helped social landlords and housing managers ensure homes across Britain have heat and power, without tenants having to spend too much for it.

Our success is built upon the comfort and satisfaction of our customers’ tenants. Affordable Warmth advice is just one of many free additional services we provide.

more than 300

we work with

UK housing associations

trusted by the sector

since 1987

2,200 social housing

smart meters installed

A small selection of our valued housing association clients

This guide was created by the Monarch Partnership. THE MONARCH PARTNERSHIP MONARCH HOUSE 7-9 STAFFORD ROAD WALLINGTON, SURREY SM6 9AN T: 020 8835 3535 F: 020 8835 3536

Media enquiries: The Monarch Partnership Ltd registered in England (Reg No 4346309) VAT Reg No: 793 6132 10

Monarch Affordable Warmth Guide  

Affordable warmth guide for housing association tenants to reduce fuel poverty in the UK.

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