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A number of the big energy firms have increased prices in recent weeks and fuel poverty campaigners have called for cross-party action on the "national crisis" of cold homes.What can we do at home to help reduce our bills? Thermal images reveal energy inefficiencyHomes lose heat in many places, as thermal imagery shows.
Thermograms - images produced by devices that detect heat radiation - show where heat leaves a building.
Thermograms of key London landmarks taken recently show how many of the capital's key buildings leak heat.
St Paul's Cathedral appeared to be a little better than the Queen's residence in the images taken as part of an energy-saving survey. However the Royal Albert Hall's many windows showed the building was also losing a large amount of heat.
The European Union could see its first far-right president if Norbert Hofer wins the run-off round in Austria's election. As energy companies continue to raise their rates, it becomes even more difficult to stretch out your student loan.While no one wants to be as cold as that guy, there are a number of ways you can help reign in your energy costs without having a bust-up about who left the heating on or feeling like you live in an igloo.
This is especially relevant during the frostier months, but there’s no excuse not be energy conscious all year round. It will take less than five minutes out of your day to check the readings of your gas and electricity meters and make sure you’re only paying for what you use. A lot of energy companies will give you the option of paying a fixed monthly fee which can help you budget accordingly.
You do have to be careful not to go crazy still though, as energy companies will charge you if you go over your estimation. We know we always say this, but it can be tempting to just stick with the supplier you’ve got when you move in as you know, hassle and stuff. Chances are you’ve probably seen things on sale with energy ratings, but have you ever actually let them influence your purchases?
With products receiving a ranking right through from A++ to G, it’s well worth bearing in mind the money you could save. While an A++ piece of kit is likely to cost more, they will save you money in energy bills later on down the line.
Did you know that an energy-saving light bulb could save you up to ?60 over its lifetime, and last up to 10 times longer than its standard bulb cousin?
Either way, you should never put on a half load – share with your flatmates if you need too!
A staggering 20% of house heat is lost through poor insulation, so even little things like closing your windows at night or using a draft excluder on your door can make a big difference.
So we’re not saying you should hide in the bushes and covertly watch them, but if they’re always leaving the TV on standby or the lights on, pick them up on it!
If everyone else is pulling their weight and keeping costs to a minimum it’s not fair that one person is pushing up the bills for the rest of you. It happens far too often: one of you ends up with a significant other and then all of a sudden it feels like they live at yours. Asides from never being able to sit on your own sofa, they’re significantly pushing up your bills. Turn the lights off when you’re out of the room, only boil as much water as you need in the kettle and turn down your water thermostat. Make sure to keep furniture away from heaters as they’ll prevent the room from getting warm and, similarly, keep the oven door open after using it to warm up the room.
The Student Money WebsiteSave the Student provides free, impartial advice to students on how to make their money go further.
Disclaimer: All content on this website is based on individual experience and journalistic research.
We sometimes use affiliated links which may result in a payment following a visitor taking action (such as a purchase or registration) on an external website. Last year's particularly cold winter is already over, and most of us are looking forward to the warmer part of the year.

A considerable number of Torontonians marked increases in their gas and hydro bills compared to the winter of 2012.
Greg Labbe is the principal and senior consultant at BlueGreen Consulting Group, a firm that works with Toronto's most cutting-edge architects and builders to test their work and, in the commissioning stages, ensure the systems are delivering optimal efficiency and health benefits planned.
Many homeowners "gut" their homes of plaster and renovate their homes assuming that the retrofit is efficient, but little do they know that for the existing vintage home, the building code does not compel the builder to increase the efficiency of the home. The first step towards reducing your energy bills is to identify how and where your home loses energy. The best and most thorough way of determining efficiency issues in your house is hiring a professional home energy auditor. If the homeowner is considering deep energy retrofits to cut their energy consumption by more than half, we recommend consulting with building envelope specialists that can work with the designer and builder to produce significantly more savings from the nuances that affect old Toronto homes. Look for places where warm air can seep out of your house, such as window and door frames, mail slots, doggie doors, gaps in the baseboard, fireplace dampers, window-mounted air conditioners, pipes, and areas where building materials come together. Investigate your insulation and make sure that it's thick enough and that it covers holes in duct-work, pipes, and chimneys. A mid-efficiency furnace or old air conditioner can really eat up electricity and natural gas. Moreover, take a look at the light bulbs in your home and consider switching to more energy-efficient bulbs. We recommend you start with smaller, less demanding, and less expensive repairs rather than buying a new furnace or expensive appliances. Air sealing, changing social habits, and eliminating conventional incandescent lighting is a good start.
If the main problem is drafts, seal all sources of air leaks and cracks with appropriate material. Homeowners should not forget to upgrade old appliances as well as heating, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment and verify insulation levels in the attic. Moreover, you should Install weather stripping around your doors as well as windows, and use window treatments or coverings.
Ontario homeowners can choose from numerous rebate and incentive programs that aim to help them in their efforts to have more energy-efficient homes. There is a unique financing program being piloted in Toronto called the Home Energy Loan Program (HELP) that allows a homeowner to borrow against their home on their tax bill. This new financial program provides low-interest loans to homeowners interested in improving the energy and water efficiency of their homes. It might be only spring now, but if you want your energy bills to stop growing every winter, you should start considering energy-efficient upgrades as soon as possible.
Having been a quiet rural village just outside the City Limits until 1885, Yorkville gained notoriety as Canada’s hippie haven during the 1960s. As first time Toronto homebuyers, we were completely unprepared for this market, but Jamie patiently and expertly walked us through very step. Buckingham Palace shows a lot of yellow and red, and little blue - the colour representing cold.
The snow has melted, temperatures are slowly increasing, and we are happy to forget about the severe weather that was hitting us in January. As Laura from Toronto told us, her gas bills went up 15 per cent in December 2013 compared to December 2012, 19 per cent in January 2014 compared to January 2013, and 6 per cent in February 2014 from last February. He informed us that energy bills can be more than halved — especially for old vintage Toronto homes. So never assume the renovator or builder who guts your home will meet the performance standard set out by the building code.
Your home can be a lot more energy-efficient if you understand the possible issues and undertake several low-cost improvements. Reducing drafts might save from 5 per cent to 30 per cent of the energy used in your home per year. You should have the systems regularly checked by professionals and make sure that they're maintained according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Also check the appliances and electronics in your house and see how much energy they're using. The next step is to undertake upgrades in the identified areas and implement the recommended improvements. Plug up old unused chimneys, seal basement rim joists, and air-seal the wood trim and casings on all exterior walls.
Plug and caulk small leaks or penetrations in faucets, pipes, electric outlets, and wiring.
They are offered by different entities, including provincial governments, cities, electricity and natural gas utilities, or non-profit agencies. This program has its own set of approved energy auditors, and typical cost (of such audit) range from $390 to $450. We recommend you create a checklist of issues that need to be addressed and consult with professionals who will perform an energy audit of your home.
Half the reason for Indian cuisine’s congenial allure might be that most of its dishes are served hot. Save the Student and its authors are not liable for how tips are used, nor for content and services on external websites. The user experience shouldn't be any different, and our editorial decision making is not effected by such links. However, there's one thing that reminds us of the extreme weather that struck Toronto last winter — heating bills.
Plus, her hydro bills rose 28 per cent in November–December 2013 from the same period in 2012. Walk through your home and make a list of areas that might be upgraded so that you will save more energy.
Consider replacing your units with new, energy-efficient models if they are more than 15 years old.
Old and improperly maintained appliances could be significant drains on your home energy use. Your auditor will give you a list of recommended upgrades for improving your home's energy efficiency. Some holes can be filled with expanding foam, and the really big ones should be filled with insulation. Change inefficient light bulbs and keep your furnace along with other appliances in good shape. Afterwards, you will have plenty of time to apply for rebates or incentive programs and start renovating your home, increasing its energy efficiency as well as its value. Last winter might have been severe, but these numbers make you wonder if you can improve the energy efficiency of your home. Keep in mind that even though you're hiring a professional to evaluate your home's efficiency, you need to prepare for the evaluation. Be aware of the danger of indoor air pollution and combustion appliance "backdrafts," especially if you use fuel-burning heaters.
Make a list of any existing problems and make sure you have copies of your energy bills over the last 12 months. These appliances should have proper ventilation, and you'd better discuss them with a professional.
Make sure you use non-combustible sealants when sealing gaps around chimneys or other heat-producing devices.

Reasons for reducing energy consumption
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