Heating your home

Heating your home space accounts for 61% of its energy requirements. It is therefore important to make sure your heating systems is as efficient and appropriate for you and your property as possible.

  • Domestic gas central heating is one of the most efficient ways of heating a home. If this is your main form of heating and your boiler is over 10 years old or has broken down, you may wish to consider replacing it with a more efficient one. If you are on certain means tested benefits or tax credits you may qualify for a subsidy for this upgrade, see Housing energy schemes.
  • Interest free loans may be available for households on low incomes that do not qualify for any subsidies.
  • If you do not use gas to heat your home, and there is a gas network 23 meters from your home, you may qualify for a free connection if you meet certain criteria.

For further details contact:

Gas servicing

Annual safety checks and servicing during the summer months should be carried out by a qualified Gas Safe engineer.

Faulty gas appliances can give off a poisonous gas called Carbon Monoxide (CO), so CO alarms should also be fitted in an appropriate position for every gas appliance in the home. CO is clear and does not smell. It can cause headaches, flu like symptoms, nausea and sickness, drowsiness, visual problems, unconsciousness and potentially death.

For further information see Health and safety executive: Gas safety .

Depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for a free annual gas safety check through the Priority Services Register scheme run by all the energy companies.

Priority Service Register (PSR)

If you are of pensionable age, disabled, have an ill health condition or are receiving a means tested benefit, you may qualify for the Priority Service Register (PSR). By ringing your gas and electricity companies you can register on the scheme. Customers on the register are entitled to additional services free of charge, such as:

  • free annual gas safety checks for qualifying customers
  • password schemes
  • bills available in large print and Braille as well as talking bills
  • quarterly meter reading services
  • having a prepayment meter moved to improve access
  • bill nominee scheme, and
  • priority in an emergency (this could include providing alternative heating and cooking facilities in the event of supply disconnection).

Suppliers are also prohibited from disconnecting a premises occupied by a customer on the PSR during the winter months (1 October - 31 March).

Information on the Priority Service Register is also available from Citizens Advice: Help for vulnerable consumers .

Renewable energy

Renewable energy technologies for heating, hot water and electricity generation might be suitable for your home, especially if your main fuel type is oil or solid fuel and it is not viable or possible to join your property to the gas network. Financial incentives are available for the energy that is generated through the  Feed-in tariff scheme (FITs) .

For further information see Energy saving trust .

The  Alternative Technology Centre in Hebden Bridge offers practical and impartial advice on renewable energies. They have demonstrations and hold workshops on some of the technologies currently available.

For information about the subsidies currently available to help you heat your home efficiently and effectively, see Housing energy schemes.