Households are facing huge hikes in energy bills as a result of the new price cap recently announced. Katie Plumstead, Group Marketing Manager with Scolmore International, looks at some of the measures households can take to help reduce the impact, and has advice for wholesalers on the products they can access.
When the new energy price cap announced by energy regulator Ofgem came into force on 1st April, average energy bills increased by £693 to £1,971 a year – a rise of 54%. Now Ofgem has warned that the price cap is expected to hit £2,800 in October, meaning households will pay 42% more than they currently do.
With heating and hot water accounting for around 50% of the total energy consumed in a typical UK home, householders are facing stark choices when it comes to managing their budgets and there is a sharp focus on the measures that can be taken to help reduce energy consumption and combat rising bills.
There is no shortage of advice out there on simple things that can be done in the home to cut energy usage, and the Energy Savings Trust has published a table showing the typical yearly savings that occupiers of an average three-bedroom gas heated home in Great Britain could make. Among the measures suggested are turning off lighting, switching off standby, draught-proofing gaps in doors and windows, taking a four-minute shower, washing at 30 degrees and not overfilling the kettle.
The experts at The Energy Saving Trust also dispel the myth that it is cheaper to have the heating on low all day. They say having the heating on only when you need it is, in the long run, the best way to save energy, and therefore money.
Understanding how their heating system is performing and how they can make small changes to improve its efficiency is another consideration for householders. It may be that installing new heating controls – timers, and thermostats – or replacing older models with more efficient ones, can help them have more control over when the heating should be on and what temperature the rooms should be.
Research shows that few people really understand their heating controls and many simply just don’t use them. This is where installers, supported by manufacturers and wholesalers, can play a part in advising and educating consumers on the best products for their circumstances and how to use them.
Energy efficient heating
ESP is constantly looking at ways to improve both its product offer and its service to customers. Last year the company made the decision to revamp its Sangamo Choice Plus heating and timer controls range, with the main aim of introducing features that assist with efficiency and performance and that ultimately drive down energy usage and costs.
Heating controls can be broken down into four main product categories – timer controls, thermostats, programmable thermostats and programmers – and Sangamo has a total of 15 products making up the range.
- Timer controls – designed for simplistic On/Off manual or scheduled control for heating and lighting applications.
- Thermostats – designed for controlling heating systems via an electronic sensor.
- Programmable thermostats – designed for controlling heating applications via an electronic sensor or programmed schedule. All Sangamo thermostat products have been upgraded and now offer TPI (Time Proportional and Integral) control for heating efficiency. In addition, the programable thermostats include an optimisation feature; Optimum Start/Delay Start and Optimum Stop, for extra efficiency.
- Programmers – designed for heating and hot water controlled independently across separate channels via a programmed schedule.
The evolution of smart technology has a key role to play in energy efficiency. It provides homeowners with a real opportunity to make conscious decisions about how they heat their homes and what effect this can have on their energy bills. A smart thermostat is something that installers can easily add to their customers’ home heating, allowing householders to control and monitor the room temperature and thermostat activity from anywhere in the world, via an app on a smartphone or tablet.
Sangamo’s Wi-Fi thermostat offers energy efficient programming and remote access via the Sangamo choice app. It is straightforward to install and operate and is suitable for electric, gas or oil systems. It allows control and monitoring of room temperature and thermostat activity from anywhere in the world, through the free to download app.
Having made a significant investment to revamp its Sangamo timers and heating controls range last year, ESP has now expanded the Sangamo range further to introduce two additional new colour options across all products offered.
The full range of Sangamo Timer Controllers, Thermostats, Programmable Thermostats and Programmers is now all available in a choice of three colours, with silver and black added to the original white finish – taking the full range up to 30 individual product lines. ESP believes this will satisfy a fast growing demand among end users and building owners for a departure from the usual white finish to add a more stylish look to an interior setting.
The full range of Sangamo timers and controls can be found here