LPG

Big Energy Saving Week: Households given fuel bill saving advice

Households across the United Kingdom are being encouraged to take steps to reduce their energy usage and save money on their fuel bills as part of a nationwide campaign.

Big Energy Saving Week (21st - 27th January), organised each year by Citizens Advice, aims to raise awareness of the simple steps we can all take to lower our energy bills through being more energy efficient.

OFTEC, which represents the oil heating industry, and the Federation of Petroleum Suppliers (FPS), the trade association for oil distributers, are official partners of Big Energy Saving Week and are encouraging oil households in the UK to think about their current energy consumption as well as offering money saving advice. 

Despite recent small increases in price, oil heated households in the UK continue to enjoy the cheapest fuel bills of all the main off-grid heating systems and are paying on average nearly £500 less than homes using LPG and over £800 less than those with electric storage heaters.

However, in the cold winter months, there are still ways households can reduce their spending costs even further, without having to turn down the heating.

As part of Big Energy Saving Week, OFTEC and FPS are urging households to consider:

  1. When was the last time I bled my radiator?

    • Bleeding your radiators will help to increase heating efficiency during cold weather.

  2. How old is my thermostat?

    • Many homes have a simple thermostat which sets one temperature for the whole house. Installing a more advanced system will enable you to set different temperatures for each room throughout the day and even control your heating remotely, saving money by only heating those you use.

  3. When was the last time I had my boiler serviced?

    • It is important that you service your boiler at least once a year, in particular during colder months and use an OFTEC (for oil and solid fuel) or GasSafe (for mains gas) registered technician. This will ensure it is working efficiently and help you avoid potential costly breakdowns.

  4. How much oil is left in the tank?

    • Make sure you check the level of oil in your tank on a regular basis as you may be using more in winter. We recommend that you plan in advance and tell your local FPS accredited heating oil supplier when you are running low; this will ensure you are prioritised by your supplier and that your tank is topped up in good time. If you are considering joining an oil buying group the FPS has a pros and cons guide which can be found at www.oilsave.org.uk

  5. Is my boiler the most efficient?

    • One out of three households still rely on an old, less efficient boiler. By purchasing a modern, condensing model you could potentially reduce your fuel bills by over 20%.

Malcolm Farrow, from OFTEC commented: "Households in the UK who use heating oil to keep warm have been making huge savings on their fuel bills over the past year due to the low price of oil. Despite recent increases, we expect this trend to continue throughout 2019.

"However, many households, particularly in more rural parts of the UK live in older homes which are often less energy efficient. Whilst not everybody can afford upgrading to the latest boiler technology, we hope that by encouraging consumers to think about their heating efficiency and take a few simple steps, they can enjoy further savings on their heating bills this winter."

FPS Technical Manager Tony Brown adds: "The cost of energy is a worry for many households and this week-long campaign points out all the many positive steps people can take to better manage their energy and reduce costs, as well as receive all the help they’re entitled to when it comes to grants and benefits such as Winter Fuel Allowance.

"Alongside general advice for consumers, such as comparing the prices of various energy suppliers and turning the thermostat down by just one degree to make a big 10 percent saving, there is a wealth of support specifically for the 1.5million UK off-grid energy users."

Households in England and Wales are urged to check on vulnerable neighbours and relatives following cold festive season

Following the cold festive period, households in England and Wales are being reminded to regularly visit vulnerable relatives, neighbours and friends to check they are keeping warm and well.

The warning comes after 50,100 excess winter deaths were recorded in England and Wales  during 2017/18*.

Those living in rural parts of England and Wales are more likely to struggle to keep warm during the winter season because their houses tend to be older and less well insulated, making them harder to heat effectively.

People living within these households are often at greater risk of developing health problems, such as respiratory conditions, which are made worse by cold temperatures. 

In response OFTEC, which represents the oil heating industry, is encouraging people to regularly check on older relatives and friends to ensure they are taking care of themselves over the colder months.

OFTEC has shared five top tips on things to look out for which could potentially save a life, as part of a free 'Keeping warm this winter’ guide. 

  1. Ensure main rooms are heated to at least 21C with other commonly used rooms kept to at least 18C

  2. Make sure the heating comes on at the correct time and radiators are turned off in unused rooms. You may also want to adjust the heating timers to match the weather conditions

  3. Check that nothing is blocking radiators as this reduces effectiveness

  4. If you use heating oil make sure there is plenty of oil in the tank. If it needs topping up, use a firm which is a member of the Federation of Petroleum Suppliers

  5. Check the boiler has recently been serviced by an OFTEC (for oil or solid fuel) or GasSafe (for mains gas) registered technician who has checked it is working correctly and efficiently. If it does breakdown over winter, visit www.oftec.org.uk to find the nearest local registered technician


Malcolm Farrow from OFTEC, commented: "This time of year can be a real struggle for many people, especially following the expensive festive period.  As a result, some households resort to turning down their heating in an effort to save money.

"However, this puts people at greater risk of developing health complications, especially if they are older and more vulnerable. This is reflected in the large number of excess winter deaths seen in England and Wales over recent years.

"With a high number of older and vulnerable people living in rural areas , it is more important than ever that we look out for our relatives, friends and neighbours to check they are keeping warm and their heating system is working correctly. This could be a regular visit or phone call to make sure they are ok."

More information and advice can be found at www.oftec.org and the 'Keeping warm this winter guide can be downloaded at http://bit.ly/KeepingWarmThisWinter. 



*Excess Winter Mortality Data, ONS November 2018

Myths about your central heating

Myths about your central heating

Did you know you could save yourself £250 a year just by switching off your lights and heating when they’re not in use? Oftec have released a list of mysthbusting facts to help you save money this winter.

7 reasons you should get an Aga.

An aga has been an iconic centrepiece in the British kitchen since their invention in 1922. An Aga is a cast iron cooker. Each Aga is built to order but there are staple elements in any Aga. These include the simmering oven, roasting oven and at least one hot plate. 

You can buy Electric, Gas and oil Agas, but Agas don't come cheap so is it worth it?

1. Food Just tastes better.

The cast Iron nature of the aga means it uses radiant heat compared to the drying heat of an ordinary fan oven. The radiant heat ensures plenty of delicious moist roasts and solidarity with the forgetful cook who leaves things in the oven a little too long. 

2. Warmth

Agas were originally designed to never be turned off so they could warm old farmhouses. This means there is seldom reason to have both the radiators and the aga on at the same time, especially with modern housing insulation. 

This constant heat could be problematic in the past but now with the new generation Agas you are able to pick and chose which ovens you have on, and when. 

3. Design

Whilst Agas are still a main feature in quintessentially British kitchens, due to the Aga's flexibility in colours and size they can suit any style of kitchen. 

Agas come in a variety of colours from duck egg blue to heather and sizes from the small Aga Module to the 5 oven Aga. 

4. It is multiple appliances in one 

The aga has different ovens and hot plates at different temperatures making it a good all-round kitchen appliance. It can take the job of a toaster, a slow cooker and a rice maker among other things. 

you can also use the floor of the roasting plate as a pizza stone, the simmering over as a rice cooker, the hot plates as a toastie maker and you can even make fried eggs, pancakes and drop scones directly on to the hot plate. 

5. Made in the UK.

Agas have been made in Shropshire since 1940s with generations of families working side by side in the factory. Unfortunately, the Coalbrookdale foundry closed in November 2017

6. Long  lasting

Agas are well documented for their longevity. The average lifespan of the aga is nearly 40 years, much longer than an ordinary oven. This is due to the quality of the materials used in an aga. the cast iron casing and enamel finish are built to last. 

Aga ran a competition recently to find the oldest working Aga in England. The award went to the Hett family in Sussex who were still using their 1932 long barrel D aga. The Hett aga has been in use for 80 years. 

7. They are an investment

The City-60 Models can be bought on 0% finance, with £465 deposit meaning Agas are becoming more affordable for everyone. Furthermore, the new designs of the Aga mean they can be transported much easier so if you move house it can easily come too. 

 

Abbey Boilers service oil, gas and LPG Agas for £87.33-£93.60 plus VATand for those of you without an Aga, yet, Abbey Boilers installs range cookers too so you can always have your deliciously cooked food. Click here for more information. 

 

 

7 reasons an annual boiler service is a good idea.

Is there any point? Is it necessary? Is it worth the money? These are all common questions people ask themselves when considering getting a boiler service.  Getting your boiler serviced is just one of those chores that people often put off or neglect and as a result, your boiler doesn’t get the attention it needs. But your boiler shouldn’t get overlooked and here are 7 reasons why.

1.    Save money on your energy bills.

Part of a boiler service will include checking the boiler is running efficiently, which, in turn, can save you money over time.

Naturally, the model and age of a boiler are factors in its energy efficiency. However, maintaining a healthy boiler system, you are putting your boiler under less stress and so are using less energy to run, which reduces fuel costs.

2.    You can catch your boiler problems early.

The adage, prevention is better, and cheaper, than cure can be applied to your boiler. Your boiler is in constant use all year round, not just in the winter. It is your boiler that allows you to have those nice warm showers. However, most people only notice a problem with their boiler in the winter when they are using it more frequently. By this time, the problem has often escalated to a more severe, and thus, more expensive problem.

3.    A service is cheaper than replacing a boiler.

A service probably costs less than you think. At Abbey Boilers a service costs as little as £65.45, whereas a new boiler can run into the thousands. A boiler service is intended to keep your boiler running properly and to pick up on any minor issues. They ensure these small problems are picked up quickly before they grow into problems big enough to require a new boiler.

A well-maintained boiler should last longer than one that is not regularly services, so you are limiting the risk of prematurely needing a new boiler.

4.    You can rest easy knowing your boiler is safe.

Getting a boiler service means checking your boiler is running safely. Around 4,000 people go to A&E for Carbon Monoxide poisoning every year because of leaking boilers. Carbon Monoxide poisoning is so dangerous because the symptoms are like those of common illness, including dizziness, headaches, and fatigue, so It can be hard to distinguish between the two.

Having your boiler serviced means you can relax knowing you and your family are safe from harmful fumes.

5.    Keeping your warranty valid.

Most boilers only remain under their warranty if they are serviced annually. Most warranties and maintenance agreements require your boiler to be serviced every year for the above reasons. Failure to do so can result in your warranty being negated. This means that if your boiler does break down you won’t be covered, costing you a lot more money.

6.    It can cut your carbon footprint.

Just like getting your boiler serviced can save you money, it can also help reduce your carbon footprint. Depending on its age, a serviced boiler will run at its optimum energy efficiency because it isn’t overcompensating for any problems the boiler may have. When a boiler is running at its peak efficiency it means it requires less energy, thus less fuel, saving both the planet and your bank balance.

7.    For landlords and businesses, it is compulsory.

Every tenanted property and business must receive a gas safety certificate that needs to be renewed every year. The only way to receive the certificate is to have all the gas appliances on the property serviced properly by a gas safe engineer. This includes boilers but also other gas appliances such as gas stoves and fires. Abbey boilers offer Gas safety checks from just £65.45.

Has your boiler been serviced in the last 12 months?

Abbey boilers services Oil, Gas and LPG boilers and AGA cookers. Click here to see our other services.

To get in contact please click here.