Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 8°C

Search

How to save money on winter heating bills

PUBLISHED: 15:40 15 September 2018 | UPDATED: 15:40 15 September 2018

Solar panels involve a substantial financial outlay but will earn and save you money and pay for themselves within a few years. Suffolk County Council is currently spearheading a bulk buying scheme offering competitively-priced panels.
Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Solar panels involve a substantial financial outlay but will earn and save you money and pay for themselves within a few years. Suffolk County Council is currently spearheading a bulk buying scheme offering competitively-priced panels. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Archant

Autumn’s gathering pace and it won’t be long before we’re thinking about firing up the central heating again, writes thrifty living columnist Sheena Grant.

It’s always a difficult call - go too early and you’re spending money you might well be glad of later in the year if this winter proves as bad as last, as well as burning fossil fuels and adding to global warming. And anyway, let’s be honest, it’s always a bit of a challenge to try to make it into October before turning up the dial.

By Christmas, regulator Ofgem’s energy price cap should have come into force, with the aim of stopping households on costly standard variable tariffs being ripped off quite as much as they have been. Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security though. Those in the know say if you’re on one of these tariffs you can still save more by switching, regardless of the price cap.

But are there other ways we could all be saving money on energy costs? I’ve been thinking about getting solar panels and am I’m one of almost 3,000 people to have registered for Solar Together Suffolk, a bulk-buying project supported by Suffolk County Council and other local councils. The council says it follows successful smaller test schemes in Norfolk and London and larger scale schemes in Holland and Belgium. Typically, domestic users can expect their investment to be repaid within 10 years.

I’ve had my “personalised offer” for 12 panels, which would cost just under £4,000. The idea is that as part of a bulk-buying scheme you get a better deal than you would otherwise. My panels would save and earn me around £440 a year.

I’ve got until the middle of October to make a decision and if a survey shows my roof is not suitable, I won’t lose any money. You can still register a no-obligation interest in the scheme at solartogethersuffolk.co.uk.

Anyone interested in finding out more about solar electricity - and a range of other money-saving eco initiatives - can go along to Chris Southall and Rosie Dodd’s eco-DIY house at 19 Burrs Road, Clacton, CO15 4LN for an open weekend today and tomorrow (September 15 and 16, 10am-4pm).

Chris and Rosie - who, as a matter of interest after last week’s column, are also long-term vegetable gleaners with Foodcycle, will share information about growing your own, keeping chickens and bees, rainwater systems, woodstoves and solar electricity and hot water systems. Find out more at www.ecodiy.org.

Today we can finally reveal the names of the people selected to be on our first ever Inspiring Women of Suffolk list.

The dedicated cancer ward at Ipswich Hospital has reopened after a touching moment with a dying patient inspired a refurbishment.

Suffolk’s emergency services have welcomed the introduction of a law designed to provide better protection for staff.

An Ipswich school has won gold and silver trophies in the Boccia under-19 county championships.

Suffolk police have confirmed that a man who spent more than 15 hours in a town centre tree has now come down.

This is a list that Suffolk should be proud of - 100 women who are positive role models for future generations, women who have achieved success in a diverse range of fields from business, the arts, sport and education to the third sector.

The list was put together by a panel of judges this summer after we asked readers for their nominations.

Investigations are underway following two burglaries in Ipswich, which are being linked by police.

Greater Anglia is due to take delivery of its first new suburban trains next year – but has still not yet formally announced where they will be serviced in north Essex.

Ipswich School’s Remembrance Day art installation will be open to the public again after overwhelming public interest.

Insurance payouts for vehicle damage caused by potholes in Suffolk has soared by more than double in the last year, shock new figures have revealed.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Ipswich Star daily newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24