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Liz McColgan and Chick Young are two of the stars taking part in Too Good To Waste, a programme that aims to highlight the wasteful things many of us do in day to day life without even realising it, in a bid to help us change our ways.
Neither Chick or Liz are particularly savvy when it comes to saving money to heat their homes, and it’s costing both of them a fortune. Enter the Too Good To Waste experts, who decided to teach the pair a thing or two, and help them save some cash.
First up, it was Liz’s turn. The sporting star has a beautiful big Victorian house but the rooms tend to be cold a lot of the time. “The kids are always complaining that the house is cold, when they get up for school in the morning,” Liz explained. “I just need to get some advice on how to make it more family-friendly for us.”
Energy consultant Joe Fergusson decided to pay a visit in a bid to give Liz advice on keeping her home cosy – and cutting down those expensive bills.
The athlete was completely clueless about how much gas she uses day-to-day – but it was certainly a fair amount, with a staggering bill of £2,000. So Joe took her back to basics, explaining to Liz how to read her gas meter – which is a great way to track and cut unnecessary usage.
Replacing boilers that are 15 or more years old could save 40 per cent on energy bills – so Joe checked to see what kind Liz had installed to see if she could save money by changing.
As it turned out, Liz actually had very efficient condensing gas boilers, which are doing the best job for her, but she has a lot of un-insulated pipes, so Joe advised that she seal these up. Joe also recommended that Liz increase the insulation in her loft.
One of the coldest rooms in Liz’s house is son Eammon’s room, and Joe explained this is because it has two outside stone walls surrounding it, so he suggested adding some external insulation.
"Simple measures like checking loft insulation and checking and monitoring your energy meter can help save money and make a warmer home", Joe explained. He added: “If you’re serious about cutting your energy use you have to know how much you’re using and where it’s going.”
Next up it was Chick’s turn to take some professional advice, with waste busting expert, author and broadcaster Penney Poyzer stepping in for the job.
First thing on the list was to encourage Chick to switch that thermostat down, as having the heating turned up high can contribute to expensive gas bills.
“I think you need to turn it down to 21 degrees max, because for every degree you’re turning that thermostat down by you’re saving 10 per cent on your energy bill, so it’s really significant,” Penney explained.
Penney also encouraged bath lover Chick to make sure his hot water is no warmer than 60 degrees, pointing out that it’s pointless to pay for bubbling hot water only to cool it down with water out of the cold tap.
“Get to know your boiler,” Penney advised Chick. “A lot of people are scared of their boilers, it’s just a thing that accumulates dust and costs you a lot of money. So check the thermostat and also check what temperature your hot water is set at and I guarantee you’ll be saving money.”
Heating and hot water accounts of over 80 per cent of total energy used in the home, so with a few simple changes, it’s quite possible to save up to a third off your energy bills.
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