The founder of Money Saving Expert website Martin Lewis is a guru in money-saving tips.
He encourages homeowners to take advantage of a Government scheme known as the Energy Company Obligation. His energy-saving tips are famous for helping British households save money and take advantage of the different type of free stuff on offer.
With prices of a conventional boiler installation up to £5,000, Martin points out there are thousands of free boilers on offer.
The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) collaborates with utility companies to provide free boilers for UK households who meet the qualifications. The scheme is to assist households to become more energy efficient and save on energy bills.
The “Big six” utility companies in the UK are offering free boilers to households receiving certain benefits. This is to enhance efficiency obligations to individuals in certain groups. Since boilers consume the lion’s share of your energy bills, the more efficient your boiler, the lower your energy costs. In regards to age, a brand new efficient boiler can save you between £100 and £350 per year.
In case your boiler isn’t inefficient but rather faulty, you may be given a repair instead of a new boiler. The offer of free boilers includes fitting, but you’ll get billed for extra engineering costs.
Who is Eligible?
The criteria for boiler eligibility includes:
- A household income of less than £16,010 that receives tax credits
- If you receive a pension credit or income support, have children, a disabled person in the household, or are over 60.
Individuals living in a housing association property or council tenants do not qualify as they can access one through their own schemes.
Depending on your boiler’s age, a new efficient boiler could save you up to £320 per year. To get a free boiler, simply call a provider for a free assessment. You don’t need to be a customer of a specific energy company to benefit from the offer.
Free Wall and Loft Insulation
Cavity wall insulation is ideal for homes built in the 1920s because of the gap separating the internal and external walls. Stuffing the cavity with insulating mineral wool and foam helps trap the warm air inside and keep cold air out.
For loft insulation, roughly a quarter of your home’s heat escapes through the roof. You can fix this by laying mineral wool under the rafters.
According to Energy Saving Trust, cavity wall insulation can save your energy bills by roughly £300 per year.
But before you commit yourself, it’s important to verify if cavity wall insulation is suitable for your home as they’ve been cases where damp forms after a cavity wall installation. A 270mm new insulation will save you an extra £240 per year.
Some companies provide it to suitable homes regardless of income. But others require you be a recipient of certain benefits like pension credit.
Individuals living in a housing association property or a council house are not eligible for a free cavity wall and loft insulation.
Cold Weather Payment
This payment is an independent grant issued by the government to pensioners and those on certain benefits. Its purpose is to help cover costs when temperatures plummet below zero. It’s applicable where the temperatures are below 0°C for seven consecutive days between 1st November 2017 and 31st March 2018. The reward is £25 for the seven consecutive days.
Who is Eligible?
Anyone living in the UK that receives pension credit qualifies. You’re also eligible if you receive income support, income-based jobseeker’s allowance, income-related employment and support allowance or universal credit.
Money Saving Expert about Other Ways to Cut Your Energy Bills
If the ever increasing energy bills are frustrating you, there’re alternative methods to cut down on them and make a saving.
Thrifty heat-saving tips – Avoid keeping your radiators at MAX with windows open. Other thrifty ways to keeps your energy costs down are:
- Insulate or stuff your chimney
- Lower your thermostat
- Always close your doors
- Avoid leaving the heating on low throughout the day
- Install reflective panels behind radiators
For further information Great Energy Saving Tips from BT
Dual Fuel – In reality, gas and electricity from the same supplier (dual fuel) should be cheaper. But this is not always the case. Always do a comparison between the cheapest dual fuel supplier against separate cheap gas and cheap electricity suppliers.
Switch to Monthly Direct Debit – Fixed monthly debit payments can save you roughly 10% on your energy bills as companies are assured you won’t default and still gain interest on overpayments.
Do a meter reading – Always do your own meter reading as energy providers estimate readings are often exaggerated. An underbill will be debited to your account while an overbill will gain them free cash.
Company online tariff – Your company’s online tariff will save you approximately 10% over the standard tariff as you’ll get your bills emailed.
Avoid prepayment heaters – Prepaid meters charge a premium, unlike billed meters.
Money Saving Expert on Boiler Cover
It’s advisable not to spend a fortune for cover if it’s not worth it. Confirm with your landlord first before signing any contract. This will help you know what cover is in place so you can weigh your options. Here’s what you need to know.
- Excluded property – Some property types such as mobile homes, bedsitters and commercial properties cannot be insured
- Gas safety certificate – When moving in, both homeowners and tenants should always insist on this. Thereafter, ensure safety checks are carried out on your boiler by a qualified heat engineer every year
- Do you have home insurance cover? – Confirm that your provider has not double-covered you with either a standard or paid-for extra
- Self-Insure – Consistent saving will boost your cash fund and is cheaper
- Boiler service – Consider servicing your boiler annually as many policies don’t pay for faulty boilers that are dilapidated
- Older boilers may be excluded – Most plans cover boilers that are seven years and below. If your boiler is over seven years old, it may be time to consider a new one.
Money Saving Expert about Types of Cover
There’re various types of heating and boiler insurance cover. Before you make a choice, read the details carefully to understand the merits and demerits of the cover. The three main types are:
Boiler-only cover – This policy covers the actual boiler and its controls against damage. Faults outside the ‘white box’ fall under the central heating section.
Boiler cover with central heating –This cover protects your boiler with additional protection for breakdown to the central heating system, and even central heating pumps replacement.
Home emergency – This covers your boiler, pest infestation, central heating and much more.