Keep warm smarter

Setting your heating to a lower temperature as well as turning the heating off overnight and every time you leave the house are all easy ways to reduces your energy use


Space heating accounts for over 60% of household energy use and over 40% of household energy costs for the average UK home. Focussing on staying warm efficiently, rather that heating large areas of space saves money and reduces emissions. Some changes will be barely noticeable e.g. turning down your boiler flow temperature (improving your gas boiler efficiency 4 to 5% with reported cost savings of 8% to 13%), others may need some adjustment e.g. getting used to turning down the thermostat and wearing an extra layer at home and.


Turn down your boiler flow temperature

Many installers set the boiler thermostats to maximum when they fit a boiler. If you haven’t adjusted your boiler flow temperature since it was installed then it may well be higher than it needs to be. If you have a conventional boiler with a hot water cylinder then you can safely reduce your boiler flow temperature to 65 degrees. If you have a combi boiler with no hot water cylinder, then you can turn the flow temperature down as low as is comfortable in your home. This will depend on many things including the weather and also on the amount of insulation that you have in your home. By experimenting and finding what works for you, you could reduce your energy costs by 8-13%.

Heat the person not the home

There are many products available on the market that allow you to actively heat yourself rather than your home including heated jackets, blankets, gloves, insoles, gilets.  Costs of using these items range from 5p-£1.47 per week assuming 7 hours use per day. These are a great way to keep yourself warm whilst saving money and emissions. The energy requirement of these items is low and they tend to be powered by electricity, saving emissions compared to using a gas boiler to heat your home to a higher temperature.

Turning down the thermostat 

If your home has a central heating system you can use the main heating thermostat to reduce the temperature setting for the whole house. Try turning the temperature down by one degree and wait for a day or two to see how it feels. If you’re still feeling comfortable, continue to turn it down until you reach a point where it starts to feel too cold. Make a note of the setting where you still felt comfortable – this is the temperature setting for you and your household.

Most families are happy with a setting somewhere between 18˚C and 21˚C but you may need it warmer if there are any older people or people with health conditions living in the property. The temperature will also depend on the nature and layout of your house and heating system, where the thermostat is and personal preference. Remember that it can sometimes be worth putting on an extra layer, like a jumper or slippers to feel comfortable rather than turning up the heat. It is definitely cheaper.

Heat rooms when you use them e.g. using smart heating controls

Another great way to save money is by reducing the heating in rooms that you don’t need as often. Bedrooms can usually be kept at a lower temperature than living rooms. Same for rooms that you might not use everyday, such as guest bedrooms or studies. You might also want to turn the heating off altogether when you’re out for the day or turn the thermostat to a lower temperature during the night.

The average person spends about a quarter of the day away from home so getting to know your heating controls and adjusting them to reflect your daily routines can reduce your energy use and save you money.There are many SMART thermostats available that will allow you to adjust your thermostat remotely (e.g. by using an app on your smart phone) or will learn your energy habits and adjust the times that your heating is on with very little input from you.

Fill your home

The average person in the UK lives in 38 metres squared of floorspace but this varies greatly across income and age groups. Older people in particular tend to live in larger houses shared by fewer people, occupying on average 56 metres squared floorspace per person. Downsizing or taking in lodgers can be a good way share energy costs and reduce the amount of energy needed to stay warm per person.


Centre for Sustainable Energy: includes lots of useful tips on how to stay warm smarter including tackling common energy myths e.g. that it is better to turn the heating on all day rather than turning it on and off as needed.

Money Saving Expert: estimate cost savings (winter 22/23 prices) of heating the person not the home

SMART thermostats: there are many different brands of smart thermostats including HIVE, Nest and Homely (the latter is heat pump compatible)