Island charity launches Energy Action Week

The Island’s energy-saving experts The Footprint Trust have put together their top 10 tips for saving energy in the home, to mark their local Energy Action Week, which runs from 23rd to 29th October. The aim being to get people thinking and acting to get their bills down.

Their National Heat Hero Ray Harrington-Vail said,

“Every year we help around 2,000 people reduce their energy and water bills, whilst still staying warm and well, through our WarmerWight plus project.”

“As part of the week we are staging our popular annual Energy Action event on Friday, to help people with cash flow problems relating to fuel costs and debt in general. We will be joined by other charities such as the CAB, People Matter, Community Action and AgeUK , who with us form the Islehelp partnership. Frontline, Southern Housing and Spectrum Housing will also be on hand along with other organisations.”

The Action Energy event will take place on Friday 28th October at The Riverside Centre, Newport Quay, from 11am to 3pm. This will start the Trust’s winter campaign to help Islanders reduce their energy bills, thanks to funding from the Big Energy Saving Network (BESN).

“We have listed our top ten tips, however, all households are different, and there are other tips which will be only relevant to some households.”
“The Trust is happy to arrange a free home visit to any Island resident, and give them tailored guidance on saving money on their energy and water bills.”

The Big Energy Top Ten Tips

Insulate Now – you could be wasting about £300 every year but not having loft and cavity insulation. Grant funding may be available to you, depending on where you live, the age of your property or financial status.

Stop the wind – fit Draught excluders. Unless your home is very new, you’re likely to be losing some heat through draughts around doors and windows, gaps around the floor, or up your chimney, and a whole lot of other little holes around the house.

Big Freeze – check the age of your fridge-freezer. If it’s over 10 years old and the door seals have perished then it could be costing you £100 per year to run, a new one could cost as little £24 to run, depending on the make and model. Do not keep your fridge or freezer in an outhouse or conservatory, unless it has been designed for those harsh conditions. It could malfunction, leading to food poisoning and high fuel bills.

Showering with money! – showing is generally cheaper than bathing, but not if you spend half-an-hour in there! An hour-long shower every day could cost nearly £300 a year in water charges and electricity! See if you can manage a four-minute shower!

Too hot! Children and the elderly are just as likely to be made ill by being too hot as too cold. Fit healthy people need to be at about 18 degrees Celsius, whilst older people may need the temperature at around 21 degrees. Every degree over 18 costs about £75 per year. So if you are walking around in your pants in January and have the thermostat at a balmy summer 27 degrees – then that’ll cost you £675!
Close Curtains – get some nice thick curtains from your local charity shop of fit a thermal liner on your existing ones. Will save you about £15 per year and make you feel warmer.

Ditch the old boiler! If your boiler has been chugging along since 1975 then it certainly is time to get a new one. According to Which? Magazine Vaillant and Worcester Bosch are the most dependable brands on the market. New boilers are around 95% efficient compared to old ones, which can be as low as 50%. Grant funding can be available in certain cases, such as people in receipt of Pension Credit or Child Tax Credit. Always get three quotes and make sure that companies are on the Gas Safe Register.

Overcharging – make sure that you are not on the wrong energy tariff. You could be paying £100 or more, if your deal has ended and you have been put on the standard tariff. Don’t be loyal to any energy company, just go out and get the best deal!

Keep it covered – keep saucepan lids on, turn down heat, use the right size pan for hob. This will speed up cooking time and reduce energy costs by about £15 per year, it will also help stop mould, by reducing water moisture in the air. Remember to have a window slightly open when cooking, and to keep the indoor kitchen door closed, again to reduce risk of mould around the house.

Book a free home visit! Thanks to funding from BESN, The Footprint Trust can save Islanders thousands of pound every year, following one of their free visits. Contact them today on (01983) 822282.
Or email The Trust can also be found on Facebook and twitter.


People struggling with energy bills on the Isle of Wight are being helped thanks to funding from the Big Energy Saving Network, The Beatrice Laing Trust and the European Social Fund. Local energy experts from the Island’s Footprint Trust visit people in their homes and giving free, impartial guidance on reducing bills and using energy wisely.