When it comes to saving money, knowing how to reduce your gas consumption and understanding the rates that come with it can be an afterthought. Because if you’re busy with work and life. Your meter will tick along quietly, taking more and more money from you.
Here are a few tips to help you reduce your gas consumption. Limiting your consumption can also save you hundreds, if not thousands of pounds per year!
A lot of the suggested points below include one off prices, and they may seem steep at first. Bare in mind that these are long term investments to help you save money in the grand scheme of things. We also know that there are a lot of points here. But don’t feel overwhelmed. Take it one step at a time. Because a few learned habits and smart investments can having a hugely positive impact on your bills. The environment, your business and your life!
Suppliers are known to gradually increase their rates if you’ve been with them over a long period of time. This results in you paying over the odds for your gas. Here at Bright Utilities, you can compare gas prices in 60 seconds and find a cheaper supplier to switch to. Through us, we’ll do all of the leg work to act on behalf of you and oversee the switch to a cheaper supplier.
As well as this, we are proud partners with the International Tree Foundation. Who will plant ten trees in the name of you or your company if you were to switch suppliers through us. Start a quote today and see what you can save!
Service or replace your boiler
Boiler repair and replacement isn’t the cheapest or most appealing of utility tasks. We’re well aware of this. But it’s essential that you keep your boiler in good condition to avoid any further issues in the future. A lot of suppliers have an annual service policy for your boiler. This is the recommended amount of time that you should leave in between checks. We would also advise arranging your check during the summer, so that any issues can be rectified, standing you in good stead for winter. Frequent checks will also ensure the safety of your premises, as boilers come with small risks of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Making sure that the engineer conducting the checks is Gas Safe regulated is always important.
Turn down your thermostat
Turning down your thermostat between 7-10 degrees Fahrenheit for around 8 hours a day can save you up to 10% on your gas bill yearly. You can schedule your thermostat to change temperature throughout the day. If you think that you would be able to manage on a reduced gas rate, it is highly recommended that you give it a try during periods of the day where you don’t need it as much, as this will help your reduce gas consumption.
It is also important to consider where in the premises you place your thermostat. Make sure that it is not in the line of direct sunlight, and is not in a draughty area. These amongst other factors can all contribute to a “ghost-reading”. The best ways to prevent a ghost-reading include installing your thermostat 5 feet above the ground in a frequently used room so that you can assess and manage the temperature yourself.
Another benefit of turning down your thermostat is that your fridge and other appliances won’t have to work as hard on a lower gas reading either, meaning that it will have a longer lifespan and require less maintenance, as well as allowing you to reduce your gas consumption.
Wear more clothing layers when cold
This might seem like an obvious one, but investing in more indoor layers throughout the day will help manage your temperature as opposed to relying on central heating. Because sometimes all that you have to do to save money is throw your favourite jumper on!
Here is some more information on different clothes layers:
- Base Layers include t-shirts, vests or tops. These are the first layers that give that initial thin layer of warmth. The longer the sleeves, the more heat that you retain!
- Mid Layers are typically a fleece, thin jacket or over-shirt that can provide more warmth, but still keeps its breathability.
- Accessories like hats, scarves or gloves are useful small additions that help to maintain warmth, particularly in those winter months.
Reduce the temperature of your water
Different premises have different water temperatures. While extremely hot water may be essential based on the facilities requirements (i.e kitchens or car washes), some can manage with a reduced temperature of water. For example schools and nurseries may need reduced water to prevent the risk of scalding, or some may also be looking to save on their gas bill.
When looking to change your water temperature, it is important to first acquire an accurate reading of your water. By accurate, it doesn’t mean to run the water on your hand to decide if it’s too hot or not. Instead, you should run your sink for at least 20 seconds and fill a glass with it. Use a thermometer and note down the reading.
Typically you can expect to have one of two types of boiler. A combi-boiler or a heat only boiler.
With a combi-boiler, the hot water goes straight to the sink via the boiler. There is also no need for a water tank and cylinder within your premises.
A heat-only boiler warms up the fresh water as and when it’s required. This also means that the hot water can run out if it’s used up, and you will need to wait for it to reheat. However, you will also need space in your premises for a water tank and a cylinder.
Combi-boilers are the most popular, but heat-only boilers are still fairly frequent in the UK.
To adjust your combi-boiler, there is usually a dial or a digital panel that allows you to easily turn the heat down. It can be wirelessly controlled in more modern boilers from more accessible areas of the premises. Instruction manuals on the various different layouts will always be provided, and your installer should also give you a tutorial.
It can be slightly more complicated to adjust your heat-only boiler as the dials will be attached to the boiler itself – potentially behind a panel. Although once you have found the control, you may need to use a screwdriver to adjust the setting, or it may be a knob that will make it slightly easier to adjust.
Insulate your premises
The benefits of insulating your premises are vast and immediate. Whilst the initial cost of a professional installation can set you back, the returns on gas use reductions will quickly help you break even on your bills.
Insulation is proven to protect your premises from condensation and mould, as well as saving you money on your gas bills. It also has fire protection qualities. As well as being a more environmentally friendly approach to warming up your premises, insulation can also double up as great sound proofing for any noisy neighbours or construction work.
Draught-proof your premises
A great method used to reduce your gas consumption rates is draught proofing.
It involves controlled ventilation and blockage of gaps in the building that let a draught in such as doors or skirting boards.
Professional draught proofing on an average sized premises can cost around £200. If you are quite DIY savvy however, you should have no problem with installing the required materials yourself.
It is worth baring in mind though that not every gap in the building needs blocking up. This is because ventilation is an essential part of a buildings structure to keep the air inside it fresh and healthy. So when draught-proofing, leave any extractor fans, underfloor grilles or wall vents undisturbed.
Invest in pipe insulation
This is a task that would probably have never even crossed your mind if nobody told you about it. However, it is a great way to further insulate your premises in environmentally friendly ways whilst also reducing your gas consumption.
Further benefits of pipe insulation include the prevention of pipes freezing in cold weather, which can result in costly cracks and leaks. On the other hand, it also prevents the pipe sweating in humid conditions; which can result in condensation, damp and rot.
There are four different types of pipe insulation:
- Polyethylene foam pipe is one of the most popular forms of pipe insulation. It has great all round performance at a low cost.
- Rubber pipe is a good insulation option for pipe sweating prevention as it has great water resistance.
- Self-seal pipe is easier to install than other pipes as the self-adhesive strips will work in hard to reach areas.
- Pipe wrap is different in that it is wrapped around the pipe as opposed to being slotted on. A commonly used material for pipe wrap is a foil faced bubble wrap. This is great for preventing pipe freezing.
Invest in the right type of flooring
There are plenty types of flooring out there available, and while some may look really stylish, they could be negatively effecting the temperature of your premises. Below are the different types of flooring, and how they could either benefit or hinder you with regards to temperature and in turn your gas consumption.
- Carpets are, as you’d imagine the warmest type of flooring available. They also come in a huge variety of styles and thickness, from office carpet squares to woollier tufts, meaning that you won’t be stuck for choice from a stylistic point of view.
- Wood is still warmer than other types of flooring due to its thickness, however it can get cold, particularly in the winter months.
- Laminate flooring isn’t too insulated. However, it can be installed with underfloor heating and this provides you with the style of a wooden floor while maintaining the luxury of floor warmth.
- Stone and ceramic floors hold onto the cold, so are the worst option for maintaining temperature within your premises. Your building could really suffer from cold and ceramic flooring; particularly in colder climates.
- Rugs can further insulate as well as decorate your premises, so it could be useful to invest in one to go on top of whichever floor type you have.
Triple glaze your windows
Having dated double glazed windows can play a factor in up to 20% of the heat lost within your premises, as the gap in between the two pieces of glass will lose its effectiveness after a while. While brand new triple glazing may come with a significant upscale in price when compared to double glazing, it is a worth while investment that will provide more insulation and in turn reduce your gas consumption. It also has noise proof and security benefits as the glass will be stronger and more durable.
It’s ok to ask for help to reduce your gas consumption
If you are struggling to pay for your gas or any other bills for that matter, then help is available. The first thing that you should do is inform your supplier of your situation. It is their obligation to assist you with your issue. They will usually be very helpful and work together with you in order to find a solution. They could help you set up a payment plan. This allows you to pay what you can afford over a set period of time.
It is important to inform your supplier. If you miss payments without contacting them then you may have a pre payment meter installed. In more extreme cases – your gas allowance may be removed.
If you are on benefits, you may be able to pay for your bills via a fixed amount of your allowance via the Fuel Direct Scheme.
If you feel that you may have been overcharged for your gas bill, you can complain and seek a refund. However it is important to be sure that you have been overcharged, and so it is recommended that you have a recent self taken gas meter reading available as proof to back up your case.
It is also possible to apply for utility grants to assist with paying your gas bills. Below are some of the grant schemes available:
- Winter Fuel Payment is available for people who were born before October 5th 1954.
- Grants from various reputable energy companies are available. Contact your individual supplier to see if this is possible.
- Cold Weather Payments
Further advice is available at gov.uk
In the modern day world, efficiency over consumption is without a doubt the way forward. The more that you do to apply a more sustainable means of energy can only provide more positive results.
Many of the points mentioned above may or may not apply to your personal situation. Conduct an Energy Audit in order to identify which areas of your premises need the most treatment, and what type of treatment it may need. It is possible to conduct these audits yourself, or to hire a professional from an energy company who will provide you with an in depth report.
It’s never too late to take action to reduce your gas consumption, and there is no better time than now! Save money, improve your health and contribute to a better environment by applying these gradual changes. You’ll soon begin to see the benefits within your day to day life – this we can promise.