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Slash energy bills by £112 a year with quick combi boiler change

Changing a single setting on a combination boiler can quickly reduce bills and save 1.7 million tonnes of carbon emissions.

Consumers are being encouraged to reset the flow temperature on their boiler to 60C or below. Research from innovation agency Nesta found that this measure saved more money than fitting a smart thermostat, which saves a typical household £64 a year.

This could cut £1billion from energy bills, cutting carbon emissions by the equivalent of six million transatlantic flights.

The simple change could save more money than other free measures, such as closing curtains at night, which saves £10 a year, and placing foil behind radiators, which saves £3 to £11 a year.

The cost-saving measure is one of the most effective free energy-saving options, according to the Nesta research.

Flow temperature refers to the temperature that a boiler heats water up to before it circulates around the radiators in a home.

Britons could slash their energy bills with a simple change to their combi boiler (Image: GETTY)
Combination boilers work most efficiently if the flow temperature is set to 60C or below, but boilers are often set much higher than that.

A consumer changing their flow temperature is different to changing the temperature on a thermostat, which saves energy just by lowering overall room temperatures.

Reducing the flow temperature for a home saves energy as the boiler will run more efficiently, resulting in rooms being heated more slowly, with only a slight temperature drop for homes with poorer insulation.

Nesta is launching a step-by-step online tool to help guide people through how to turn down their combi flow temperature.

The tool is backed by campaign partners Which?, Energy UK, EDF, E.ON and Octopus Energy.

Madeleine Gabriel, Director of Sustainable Future at Nesta, said: “While the Energy Price Guarantee is helping millions to avoid financial ruin from high energy bills, the actual amount people pay still depends on their energy use, so it is important that anyone needing to keep costs as low as possible this winter feels confident taking action.

“Many people are already doing as much as they can to save money on energy bills but there are hidden tricks that people can take themselves that don’t affect their comfort.

“We have found people can save £112 a year just by making one change to their combination boiler to make it more efficient – a much bigger saving than many better-known energy-saving tips.

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“To help as many people as possible save money and reduce carbon emissions, we have designed a tool to guide anyone through this step by step.”

The Energy Price Guarantee is a Government-mandated cap on the unit price that households can be charged for energy, with typical annual bills rising this month to £2,500.

Nesta worked with Salford University to test how much gas is saved by lowering flow temperatures in a real-world environment.

These showed that reducing flow temperature from 80C to 60C can save nine percent of total gas use, or £112 for an average home.

A Nesta survey found that two-thirds of people (67 percent) said they would wear warm clothes instead of turning on the heating

More than half said they would keep the heating on for fewer hours to reduce their bills while 57 percent said they would lower the thermostat.

Rocio Concha, Which? Director of Policy and Advocacy, said: “We are supportive of Nesta’s new tool, which shows how reducing the flow temperature on combi boilers can help consumers shave money off their heating bills, without compromising on the temperature they heat their home to.

“We are also calling on the Government to turbo boost the insulation of homes to help consumers save energy and reduce their bills.

“It is also vital that energy companies do all they can to support their customers through this extraordinary cost of living crisis.”


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