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Energy saving campaign kicks off to help households reduce fuel bills

By David Porter

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A week-long campaign has launched in Scotland to help reduce energy consumption and fuel bills as households continue to waste money on unnecessary energy usage.

OFTEC's Malcolm Farrow
OFTEC's Malcolm Farrow

Big Energy Saving Week which runs till January 26 is organised each year by Citizens Advice and provides information and practical guidance on saving energy, money and the environment through becoming more energy efficient.

It follows recent provisional figures which reveal a 2.8 per cent increase in emissions caused by residential energy use in 2018 compared to the previous year, totalling 65.9 million tonnes of carbon.

OFTEC, which represents the oil heating industry and is an official partner of Big Energy Saving Week, is encouraging households in Scotland to think about their current energy consumption as well as offering money saving advice.

This includes:

Adjusting your heating timers and thermostats - If you set your heating to come on more regularly over the Christmas period, remember to readjust your timers to ensure the house only warms up when you need it to.

Nudging down your thermostat can also save you money over the long term but don’t lower it too much as living in a cold home can be bad for your health.

Upgrading your heating controls - Many homes have a simple thermostat which sets one temperature for the whole house.

Installing a more advanced system can enable you to set different temperatures for each room throughout the day.

You can even control your heating remotely, saving money by turning off the heating when you’re not at home.

Bleed your radiators - It’s recommended you regularly bleed your radiators, particularly if you notice they are not warming up as quickly as they usually do.

This will ensure they are working at maximum efficiency whilst also keeping your house warmer.

Don’t ignore your boiler - It’s easy to forget about your boiler but regular maintenance is important to ensure it is working efficiently.

It should be serviced at least once a year by a GasSafe (for mains gas) or OFTEC (for oil or solid fuel) registered technician.

Consider an upgrade - Modern, condensing boilers are typically smaller, quieter and more efficient.

So, installing a new boiler will help reduce your fuel consumption, emissions and fuel bills.

For the 135,000 oil heated households in Scotland the good news is that oil remains by far the cheapest off-grid fuel.

Malcolm Farrow, from OFTEC, commented: “The focus on reducing our energy usage to help lower fuels bills and combat climate change has rightly taken centre stage in recent months.

“Through Big Energy Saving Week we hope to raise awareness of the simple steps we can all take and the changes we can make to become more efficient.

“It’s also important to remember that the cost of energy is a real concern for many struggling households, particularly in rural parts of Scotland.

“This means they can often not afford the high costs of installing a new heating system. “The good news for the 135,000 homes in Scotland on heating oil is that a renewable liquid fuel alternative will be available over the coming years which will help to significantly reduce emissions without the expense of having to replace the whole heating system.”

For more information and advice, visit www.oftec.org.

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