Energy Saving FAQs

We get loads of comments left on our blogs every day, asking a huge range of questions. However, there are some that crop up time and time again. We picked out a few of these in the hope that they might be helpful!

Can I switch energy supplier if I have had a smart meter installed?

In theory, yes! In reality, we have had several stories from people having trouble changing suppliers if they have had their smart meter installed by a different energy company. It turns out that some of the current generation of meters are not so ‘smart’, and switching supplier can force them into ‘dumb’ mode, meaning their digital functionality is turned off. We would recommend making sure you get a SMETs (second generation) meter from your energy company – and if they haven’t introduced them yet, wait until they have before taking the plunge!

Can I get free loft insulation?

Nationwide grants are pretty hard to come by these days. However, some energy companies provide free loft insulation through the government’s ECO (Energy Companies Obligation) scheme – check with them directly to see if you are eligible.

Why has my house gone damp/mouldy since installing more insulation?

Insulation has the benefit of helping to keep your house warm, but the more airtight the property gets, the more prone it will be to humidity. Insulation can cause a dew point if you’re not careful during installation. Warm, moist air can condense on cold external surfaces, potentially settling and causing damp or mould.  Make sure to ventilate your house sufficiently, and don’t block air vents when upping your insulation. Most insulation materials are not easy to dry out once they have got wet, so if it has got to this point, you may unfortunately have no other option than to remove it all and start again!

I have been told I need to move my boiler flue. Is this true?

Unfortunately, this is probably true if you’ve been told by an installer that they’d need to do the work. It’s always worth getting a second opinion though! Building regulations re gas boilers are much tighter than they used to be, and with good reason – they’re all designed to keep you safe, so it would probably be unwise to break them!

Can I use recycled greywater for showering?

No – greywater comes from laundry, bathing and washing dishes, and can be recycled to be used for flushing toilets. It is treated (often with chemicals or UV light) to kill germs. However, some bacteria remains after it is treated, (depending on the level of treatment), and this can multiply when it is stored. The bottom line is that greywater is only clean enough for flushing toilets – not for washing in!

How can I make my house warmer?

If your heating system isn’t working properly, it might be worth looking into a new boiler, heaters or smart controls. However, there are quite a few easy and cheap things you can try in the meantime to keep your house warm. You should start by draught proofing as many areas as possible, buying some radiator reflectors and topping up your loft insulation.

Does insulation really make a difference?

Yes! Almost half of the heat lost from most homes escapes through the walls and loft, so insulating these as much as possible should be top of your list when it comes to energy saving – it often doesn’t cost much. You should also draught-proof as much as possible, and bear in mind that poorly-fitting window frames and single glazing will also leak heat. Insulation will help keep you warm, save you money on your energy bills, and reduce your impact on the planet!