Home energy improvements can save you money and today we are launching a series of tips from npower – with the chance for Sheffield homeowners to win up to £10,000 of energy efficiency measures, writes digital editor Graham Walker.
Making small changes can make your house more energy efficient, helping to keep the heat in and costs down.
That’s why The Star has teamed up with energy supplier npower to provide you with these top energy-saving tips you can try at home.
And we’re also giving four readers the chance to each win up to £10,000 of npower home energy efficiency measures.
Thanks to a new scheme from the government, householders in Sheffield who are in receipt of certain benefits could receive a range of energy-saving improvements free of charge from npower.
To see if your home is eligible for free improvements visit www.npower.com/wecanhelpwiththat or call 0800 980 3355.
Here are some top tips from npower:
* Improve your loft insulation – in the same way that we all lose most of our body heat through our head, houses lose most of their heat from their lofts, so make sure you’re keeping the heat in with the right thickness of loft insulation. Not only will this keep you warm in the winter months, but it will also keep your home cool in the summer.
* Upgrade your boiler – older boilers, particularly those over ten years old, are less efficient and are at a higher risk of breaking down. Consider installing a new A-rated boiler to help save money on your bills.
* Fill in the gaps – adding draught excluders to your doors and windows will make regulating the heat in your home easier, bringing down your bills and saving you money.
* Warm your hot water tank – fitting a British Standard ‘Jacket’ around your cylinder will cut heat loss by over 75%, helping to keep your water hotter for longer.
* Switch off standby – appliances left on standby, like laptops and mobile phone chargers, still use energy to keep them powered down. Simply switching off and unplugging items could save you around £30 a year.
* Saving in the shower – an energy-efficient shower head costs around £27 and could save you £75 each year on the cost of heating water and a further £90 on your water bills. Swapping baths for showers also helps to save energy.
* Drop the temperature – washing clothes at 30C rather than at higher temperatures uses around 40% less energy. Try a cooler programme every now and again to help save money on your bills.
* Love your radiators – give your radiators some TLC and bleed them to remove any air bubbles that have sprung up during the winter. Ensure furniture is not blocking them as this reduces their effectiveness. Installing thermostatic radiator valves also ensures you only heat the rooms you are using.
* Adjusting the thermostats and setting the boiler – hopefully you won’t need to use your heating at all over the summer months. As the weather gets warmer adjust your thermostat to heat the house to an appropriate level.
* Insulate condensing boilers – use the warmer weather as a chance to install lagging around your condensate pipe to insulate it and prevent it from freezing. A professional can fit this for you or you can purchase yourself from a DIY or home improvement store.
* Arrange your annual boiler check and service – an annual service will ensure your boiler is operating both efficiently and safely, and can help to spot if it is on the verge of a breakdown, helping you save money on costly repairs.
* Generate your own energy – with the days getting longer and warmer, now is the perfect time to be thinking about installing solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on your home. You will benefit from making your own electricity for years to come while reducing your carbon footprint.
* Source: Energy Saving Trust, 2013.
HOW TO ENTER: FOUR LUCKY READERS TO EACH WIN UP TO £10,000 OF HOME ENERGY IMROVEMENTS WITH NPOWER
The Star has teamed up with energy company npower to offer £40,000 worth of energy saving home improvements.
Four winners will each receive up to £10,000 of energy efficiency measures, so enter now to win a home energy makeover!
A new boiler, cavity wall insulation and draught proofing are just some of the measures that winners could receive. npower will create a recommended package of improvements for each winning home up to the value of £10,000. The competition is only open to homeowners living in Sheffield.
Energy saving improvements will keep the winners’ homes warmer and costs down, so use the form below to enter for your chance to win.
This is a free draw – for a chance to win, complete and send us the entry form you will find it today’s Star (Thursday, May 16), or download the entry form with a web token attached below.
You need to attach three of the six tokens we are publishing in The Star, between now and May 22. No photocopied tokens allowed.
DOWNLOAD WEB TOKEN & ENTRY FORM HERE: You can use one web token, which we’ve attached to the entry form - CLICK HERE.
Entry deadline is Monday, May 27, 2013.
Ten completed entries will be selected at random and then four winner will be selected by readers of The Star to win up to £10,000 worth of energy efficiency measures.
Please read the entry details terms and conditions, printed on the entry coupon. SNL rules, terms and conditions also apply.