Home energy advice for Scottish households

Doug the Draught Excluder is the mascot of the home energy campaign.

Doug the Draught Excluder is the mascot of the home energy campaign.

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Scots are being encouraged to save energy and make their homes more energy efficient.

Home Energy Scotland (HES) is a source for free, impartial advice and support that is backed by the Scottish Government in a new campaign.

HES is there to advise Scottish homeowners on how to keep warm at home and is offering a number of energy saving tips to householders. They include advice on heating and insulation, general energy saving and saving water.

For heating and insulation it is recommended that Scots make sure they have draught proofing. Unless your home is very new, you will lose some heat through draughts around doors and windows, gaps around the floor or through the chimney.

DIY draught-proofing of windows, doors and blocking cracks in floors and skirting boards can cost around £200, but can save up to £25 to £35 a year on energy bills. Draught-free homes are comfortable at lower temperatures – so you’ll be able to turn down your thermostat.

Another tip is to not block the heat. Hanging washing on radiators to dry means you’ll block the heat that should be warming up your home. Instead, hang them on a clothes horse near the radiator.

General energy saving advice includes:

• By remembering to turn your appliances off standby you can save £30 a year.

• You can save around £50 a year by using your kitchen appliances more carefully. For example using a bowl to wash up rather than a running tap can save £30 a year in energy bills.

• Switching to LED energy saving bulbs can also save money and make sure you turn lights off when not using them.

There are also tips on saving water. For example, if everybody in a family of four replaces one bath a week with a five-minute shower, you can save up to £20 a year on gas bills and up to £25 on water bills (if you have a water meter).

A running tap wastes more than six litres of water a minute, so turn off the tap while brushing your teeth, shaving, or washing your face.

And spending one minute less in the shower each day will save around £10 off your energy bills each year, per person.

Home Energy Scotland (HES) is a free and impartial advice service for homeowners and landlords that is funded by the Scottish Government.

There is a network of advice centres that provide guidance to improve the warmth and energy efficiency of residential properties.

Advisors are available Monday to Friday, from 8am to 8pm, and Saturday, 9am to 5pm, on 0808 808 2282.