Experts have warned that with arctic blasts expected to sweep across the country, temperatures in millions of UK households could fall to dangerous levels with people fearing high heating bills.
With the mercury set to plummet below zero and snow predicted for large parts of the UK, the Energy Saving Trust has said it has concerns over a study that shows 42 per cent of householders across the country avoid putting the heating on during cold spells due to concerns about high bills.
A study by Public Health England found that indoor temperatures below 18 degrees can have an impact on health, and the Energy Saving Trust is now urging people not to take risks and ensure instead that their homes are able to cope with the conditions.
David Weatherall, head of policy at the Energy Saving Trust, said: “People could be jeopardising their health because they feel they don’t want to face a large bill – but help is available to prevent that situation.
If unheated, the internal temperature of a home can drop quite quickly and, if the heat is left off long enough, indoor temperatures can even match conditions outside.
“The coming cold snap could be putting people at risk – but with more cold weather ahead, we’d urge people, both tenants and homeowners alike, to get in touch with us and find out what help is available.”
Public Health England’s study revealed that temperatures of 18 degrees pose minimal health risk to a sedentary person wearing suitable clothing. At lower temperatures, negative health effects may occur, such as increases in blood pressure and the risk of blood clots which can lead to strokes and heart attacks.
Meanwhile, the Energy Saving Trust’s Pulse study of UK household energy habits also found that more than a third of us also find it difficult to keep our homes as warm as we’d like.
Mr Weatherall said: “Homeowners or renters in receipt of benefits may get some help towards the cost of fitting insulation or a new boiler, so it’s worth checking.
The best place to start is by calling the Energy Saving Advice Service on 0300 123 1234 or by looking at our website.
“Tenants who have major problems with cold and damp and whose landlord won’t help should contact their local authority housing health and safety team.
“Perhaps the easiest way to make heating your home cheaper is to consider switching energy supplier. Many can save £300, and checking how much you can reduce your bills by only takes a few minutes.
“With the cold weather set to continue for many weeks, acting quickly can mean escaping the worst of the winter chills.”
The Energy Saving Trust says seven simple tips can make your home easier to heat:
- Draught-proof your home
Improving seals on windows and doors reduces creeping chills and save you up to £35 per year.
- Insulate your pipes
Adding foam insulating tubes to water pipes is a great way to prevent unnecessary heat loss and can save you £10 per year.
- Upgrade heating controls
Got no temperature control valves on your radiators? Adding them gives you more power to save – add a thermostat too and you could pocket anything from £75 to £155 per year in extra cash.
- Get a new boiler
If your boiler is more than 10 years old, upgrading can significantly reduce your household’s running costs.
- Top up hot-water cylinder insulation
A hot water cylinder jacket can cost just £16, but can save you £25 to £35 per year.
- Top up loft insulation
Adding an extra layer of insulation to your loft is a quick way to reduce heating bills by £15 per year.
- Insulate your walls
Preventing warm air escaping through your walls by insulating your walls can reduce heating bills from £155 to £260 per year depending on your home.
Household efficiency information and advice can be found on the Energy Saving Trust website, on www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/shiver. To contact the Energy Saving Advice Service phone 0300 123 1234.
A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon
Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.
There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.
1. The Rise Of Smart Windows
When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.
If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.
2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs
If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.
Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.
3. Low-E Windows Taking Over
It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.
They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.
4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges
Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.
The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.
5. Improving Our Current LEDs
Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.
That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.
Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too
Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.
ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244
IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”
IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.
Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.
Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.
Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:
“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.
We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.
There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.
We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”