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Energy bills: How to save money at home

A number of the big energy firms have increased prices in recent weeks and fuel poverty campaigners have called for cross-party action on the "national crisis" of cold homes.

What can we do at home to help reduce our bills? According to the Energy Saving Trust, there are a number of key things we can do.

Image copyright BBC/Energy Saving Trust
  1. Replacing an old boiler with a new condensing boiler could save up to £310 a year
  2. Insulating a loft to the recommended depth of 270mm (10.6ins) could save up to £180 a year
  3. Fitting double glazing could save up to £180 a year
  4. Insulating walls with cavity wall insulation could save up to £140 a year. Insulating the inside or outside of solid walls of older properties could save up to £490
  5. Avoiding leaving devices on standby could save between £50-£90 a year

Other tips include:

  • Installing a water-efficient shower head, saving up to £75 a year;
  • Insulating floors, saving up to £60 a year;
  • Insulating a water tank, saving up to £45 a year;
  • Draft-proofing windows and doors, saving £30;
  • Replacing light bulbs with energy-saving bulbs, saving £30;
  • Upgrading appliances to energy-efficient models, saving up to £23 a year.

Source: Energy Saving Trust

Thermal images reveal energy inefficiency

Homes lose heat in many places, as thermal imagery shows. Key losses are through windows and doors - shown as white on the pictures below.

Image copyright SPL
Image caption Thermograms - images produced by devices that detect heat radiation - show where heat leaves a building. The temperature ranges from hot (white) to cold (blue).
Image copyright Flir/B&Q
Image caption Thermograms of key London landmarks taken recently show how many of the capital's key buildings leak heat. Buckingham Palace shows a lot of yellow and red, and little blue - the colour representing cold.
Image copyright Flir/B&Q
Image caption St Paul's Cathedral appeared to be a little better than the Queen's residence in the images taken as part of an energy-saving survey.
Image copyright Flir/B&Q
Image caption However the Royal Albert Hall's many windows showed the building was also losing a large amount of heat.

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