The Energy Savings Trust, who work closely with the government, are the trusted authority when it comes to the savings which can be made by switching to new, more efficient domestic heating and insulation. These official figures are the ones used in adverts, by installers and when calculating Green Deal payments. The Energy Savings Trust have long been highlighting the biggest savings which can be made, in order to encourage the phasing out of outdated and inefficient heating equipment in UK homes.
But the new figures, published at the beginning of the month, have caused surprise and confusion amongst green experts and homeowners alike, with the estimated savings from switching to energy efficient boilers increasing on last year’s figures by up to 22%.
Figures last year stated that switching from a D-rated boiler to a new, energy efficient model, could save homeowners an average of £105 per year. New figures now state that the savings are much greater- an average of £160 a year. Those switching from an E-rated boiler to a new model could expect to see savings of £155 a year according to last year’s figures. This year, those savings stand at £190 per year.
Estimated savings from the installation of cavity wall insulation has also increased this year, from £140 to £145.
The EST admitted that, when calculating last year’s figures, they may have underestimated the impact of replacing a boiler rated D or lower for a new, energy efficient model.
While the estimated savings from switching boilers or adding cavity wall insulation have increased, the EST have slashed figures on other energy-saving methods. They claim that they over-estimated the savings that can be made by installing double glazing- this year’s figures have fallen from £165-£170 to £80-£120 in estimated savings per year.
Internal and external wall insulation savings have also taken a knock, with this year’s figures estimating a saving of £270 a year, compared with £460-£490 last year.
Should we trust these figures?
The Energy Savings Trust have been viewed as a trusted authority on energy saving figures in the UK, however, doubt was cast over some of their published figures long before this month’s changes. Much like a car’s MPG as stated by their manufacturer, most of these figures relate to the potential savings generated by an installation, and aren’t necessarily shown to be true to everyday life. More often than not, these figures are generated by calculations and formulas, and don’t reflect real-life savings made by homeowners. Average savings from installing loft insulation, for example, have been shown to be around £15 a year, compared to the EST’s claim of “up to £180 a year”.
So what do you do if you’re a homeowner looking to install energy-saving equipment in your house? The advice is to ask around. New boilers and insulation can and do save money, but figures published by the EST always quote the top end of potential savings, rather than those which can realistically be achieved at home. Speak to others who have made the switch and find out what savings they have made. It is worth speaking with those who live in a similar sized property, to make a direct comparison. Speaking with your installer can also help you understand what savings are achievable in your own home. The EST offer good industry advice, but nothing beats being able to draw on the first-hand, personal experiences of those who have already made the switch and seen the benefits.
Image sourced: Images of Moneytagsboilersenergy savings trustInsulationrenewable heating