With colder temperatures setting in, many of us are starting to reach for that thermostat.
But a new campaign is encouraging British households to forgo turning up the central heating for the sake of the environment – which saves you money too.
Headed by British fashion designer Wayne Hemingway and former England goalkeeper David James MBE in partnership with Utilita Energy, the Wear Warm campaign will be a feature in charity shops around the UK.
Households will be invited to visit their nearest participating charity shop where there will be a dedicated section of winter garments.
Here’s how the Wear Warm campaign works, how you can get involved and read on for other top tips for keeping your house warm in winter without turning the central heating up.
The Wear Warm campaign
The Wear Warm campaign was launched after a report by Utilita Energy revealed that almost half of British households (48%) heat their homes to 24C for half the year.
That’s three degrees higher than the recommended temperature (18C to 21C) and creates an additional 13 million tonnes of CO2 emissions every year – equivalent to emissions generated by 7 million cars.
The Wear Warm campaign promotes ‘the importance of getting cosy instead of costly’, encouraging households to wrap up warm instead of turning up the heating.
To help, the campaign has partnered with 657 charity shops nationwide.
Anyone wanting to cut down their energy consumption can find their nearest participating charity shop (look out for the sticker in the window) where they can find cosy preloved winter garments.
Not only are you reducing the temptation to turn up the central heating, but you’re saving money on your energy bill and preventing perfectly good clothes from being sent to landfill.
The cost of overheating our homes
On top of the environmental incentive, turning down the thermostat saves money too.
According to Utilita Energy, the annual savings for homes turning the temperature down by three degrees is £174.
Collectively, that’s as much as £2.32 billion in annual savings.
But that’s not all.
Over half of UK households (51%) say they use additional sources to heat their home. The cost of those include:
- Electric fan heater (25%) – Cost £3 per 8 hours / same pollution as driving 6 miles
- Oil-filled radiators (21%) – Cost £3.40 per 8 hours / same pollution as driving 17 miles
- Gas cooker (19%) – Cost 64p per 8 hours / same pollution as driving 12 miles
- Electric blanket (17%) – Cost £8p per 8 hours / same pollution as driving 0.4 miles
Archie Lasseter, global warming expert and sustainability lead at Utilita Energy, says: “If every household made a pledge to stay within 18-21 degrees, the UK would hit its net zero obligation almost two years ahead of its deadline.”
Tips for keeping your house warm in winter
Here are some bonus ways to keep warm in winter without turning up the thermostat:
1. Bundle up
The basis of the Wear Warm campaign, bundle up in cosy winter garments. Make it more efficient by wearing layers.
They insulate your body and make it easier to regulate your body temperature. You can add on or take off a layer whenever you need to.
Check out our 5 British Ethical Knitwear Designers You Need This Winter too!
2. Wear thick socks and slippers
They’re a must-have on cold floors and will keep those painful chilblains at bay.
3. Bleed your radiators
If you hear strange banging or gurgling noises when you turn your heating on, it could be a sign that your radiators need bleeding.
Air can get trapped in the radiator, stopping warm water from circulating. This means it takes longer to heat your home and pushes up your carbon footprint and energy bills.
As a best practice, you should bleed your radiators at least once a year, when the cold season starts.
4. Insulate your roof
Heat rises so ensuring your roof is well insulated is key to making your home more energy efficient.
The average price for loft insulation in a semi-detached house is about £300.
Over 5 years, that could save you £750 on your bills and 610kg of carbon a year.
5. Take advantage of government schemes
Making your home more energy-efficient doesn’t have to break the bank.
Your home could be eligible for the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme which offers payments for the installation of renewable technology.
However, you’ve got until March 2022 to apply.
A new scheme in the works to look out for includes the Boiler Upgrade Scheme which gives you £5,000 to install more efficient, low carbon heating systems like heat pumps. It’s expected to launch in April 2022.