Following one of the iciest and snowiest Christmases in living memory, it is easy to mock an energy firm that advised everybody to double glazing thermostats before the cold weather took hold over the country.
However, Northern Gas Heating’s pre-Christmas message to turn thermostats down by one degree Celsius is not to be derided. In fact, the advice remains perfectly sensible even in the midst of a cold spell that shows little sign of relenting in the near future. In short, Northern Gas Heating is suggesting that consumers take more control over their fuel bills by more effectively controlling the level at which their homes are heated. As a decade of excess draws to a close in continued economic uncertainty, such advice has never seemed more appropriate.
Northern Gas Heating claims heating the home accounts for around 42% (approximately £520) of the average annual household energy bill. Whilst environmentalists have long argued that lights and stand-by devices ought to be turned off when not in use, heating is often written off as an expense that nobody can afford to do without. However, a pilot scheme in Belfast that aims to build homes without central heating systems but which comprise the very latest in energy efficiency measures has highlighted how domestic heating may not be quite as necessary as first thought. According to Northern Gas Heating, approximately 10% could be saved on energy bills by simply reducing the thermostat setting by just one degree Celsius.
As with so many eco-friendly measures, consumers have a financial carrot dangled over their heads in order to encourage change. Whilst the need or such incentives may not reflect favourably on humanity as it strives to save itself from the potentially species-ending effects of climate change brought about by global warming, it is nonetheless important to the individual consumer. As highlighted by Northern Gas Heating, turning down the thermostat, introducing draught-proofing throughout the home and switching to a condensing boiler could save £300 on energy bills each year.