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Insulating hot water tanks and pipes

Fitting a British Standard "jacket" to insulate your hot water cylinder can cut heat loss in your home by around 75%. These jackets work by reducing  the amount of heat that escapes from the cylinder, effectively ‘trapping’ it in; ensuring that you spend less money heating up your water and that when you do use hot water, it stays hotter for longer.

These jackets can be found in most DIY stores, and are cheap to buy and easy to fit. If you already have a jacket fitted to your hot water cylinder, check that it's at least 75mm (3") thick (the thickness recommend by the Energy Savings Trust). If your jacket doesn’t meet this thickness, it’s a good idea to replace it with a suitable one to ensure you’re saving as much heat as possible.

Hot water pipe insulation works in a very similar way to the hot water cylinder jacket, using insulation to reduce the amount of heat that escapes from the exposed hot water pipes in your home. Installation is easy for the accessible pipes, but you may want to consult a professional for the harder to reach ones.

The table below demonstrates how much it could cost you to carry out these fittings, as well as how much you could save and how much time it will take before the fitting costs are entirely recovered:

 

 Fitting a jacket to your hot water tank

 Insulating hot water pipes

 Cost of fitting (DIY)

 from £10

 from £10

 Annual saving on fuel bills

 around £20

 around £10

 Time for costs to be recovered

 around 6 months

 1 year

How to lower your energy bills even more

Insulating various fixtures and fittings which output heat in your home can be an incredibly efficient way to reduce your heat loss, and thus your energy bills in the long term. However, there is also one very simple way you can reduce your heating bills – and you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your sofa to do it.

It’s possible that you are currently over-paying for your gas simply because you aren’t on the cheapest possible tariff for your energy supply. To find out of this is the case, enter your postcode into the form on the right, fill out some of your details, and you will be displayed with a list of all of the tariffs available. If you find a more competitively-priced tariff, you can conveniently switch your energy provider without any disruption to your energy supply whatsoever, and almost instantly start reaping the rewards of lower energy bills.

 

Source: Energy Savings Trust February 2007

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