No-cost energy saving tips

Help with keeping your home warm

Book an energy use consultation

If you are struggling to keep your home warm – the Green Doctors may be able to help.

Octavia has partnered with the Green Doctors, who provide free and impartial advice on energy use. If you are confused or concerned about your utility bills and would like to understand your options, we recommend contacting the Green Doctors for a telephone consultation.

Green Doctors can also provide advice on saving energy in the home, for example by setting your heating controls to heat cost effectively.

To book a consultation, call the Green Doctors on 0300 365 3005, or email them on You can also book a consultation from their website:

Tips for keeping your home warm

It’s good for all of us to be ‘energy savvy’ from now on. It helps keep your bills down and reduces your carbon footprint, which is better for the environment. Here are some Octavia tips for using less energy.

Ventilation and heating in cold weather is important to keep your home comfortable and to prevent condensation. Here are some tips to help keep your home warm: 

  • If your central heating system is timed to come on only when you are in the house and off when you leave, switch the heating off 30 minutes before you leave the house. The radiators will still stay warm until you leave.
  • Fit radiator panels behind radiators that are on outside facing walls so that warmth is reflected back into the room instead of being absorbed by the walls – they are cheap and you can fit them yourself.
  • Turn down your room thermostat by just one degree, when you’re not too cold inside. This can save around £75 a year. Already turned it down? Save even more by closing the doors to rooms and moving any furniture in front of your radiators away from blocking the heat.
  • Close doors to unused rooms and use draught excluders.
  • Leave your curtains open in the day to let the sunlight coming through your windows heat your home. Close your curtains at dusk to stop the heat that has built up escaping. Blinds do not stop heat escaping. Thicker curtains are best for keeping the heat in.

Saving electricity

  • Use energy-saving light bulbs; in the long-run, these can save you 20% compared to the cost of traditional bulbs.
  • Always use your washing machine with a full load. It uses less energy than 2 half loads. And set you machine at 30 degrees centigrade for to wash clothes that don’t need a hot wash
  • Only boil as much water in your kettle as you need.
  • Make sure all appliances are switched off when you go to bed or leave your home, leaving them on standby uses electriciity. Switching off appliances rather than putting them on standby can help cut up to £80 a year on your electricity bill.
  • Invest in energy efficient appliances - all electrical appliances have KwH rating. The higher the rating and the longer you run the appliance for, the more it will cost. Appliances that have a high KwH rating but are used for a shorter amount of time (like microwave ovens) can work out to be much more energy efficient than gadgets that run for longer, like ovens.
  • Don’t let your freezer get iced up - Not defrosting your freezer regularly can add £150 a year to your bill. Also allow hot food to cool completely before putting it in the fridge to save it from working harder.
  • Be oven savvy - If you have a double oven, use the smaller one whenever possible, as it will take less energy to heat up and maintain temperature, and try cooking at least two dishes at the same time.
  • Put a lid on it - Cook with the lid on your saucepan wherever possible. Less heat escaping means that the dial can be turned lower, saving as much as 66% of the fuel usage. 

Water costs too

Reduce the amount of water you are using – in the kitchen

  • Washing using a bowl rather than under a running tap could save £30 a year.
  • Drippings taps waste energy, so if you have one, report a repair immediately.
  • Keep a jug of water in the fridge rather than re-using the tap every time you need a drink.

Reduce the amount of water you are using – in the bathroom

  • If possible, take a shower not a bath – it uses roughly half the amount of water!
  • Do not leave the tap running when having a wash or brushing your teeth. A running tap can use up to 9 litres of water a minute.

Check if you qualify for government schemes to help save you money

  • Green Doctors - Provided by Homes4Health, Green Doctors provide free home energy visits and other services for people over 65, on a low income, or where someone living in the home has a long term health condition or disability.
  • WaterSure Scheme – this scheme caps water bills for people who are receiving benefits.
  • Cold Weather payment – you may get this if you are getting certain benefits and the local temperature is forecasted below zero degrees for 7 consecutive days.
  • Warm Home Discount Scheme - this could get you a £140 discount on your electricity bill.
  • Winter Fuel Payment – if you were born on or before 5 July 1952, you could get between £100 and £300 tax-free to help pay your heating bills.