Plug holes in doors and windows to cut energy costs, says government

Households are urged to plug holes in doors and windows to ease the sting of sky-high energy bills this winter.

People are also being advised to adjust their boiler temperature and switch off appliances on the wall, as part of a new multi-million pound public information campaign offering advice on “simple, little expensive or free” to achieve “big savings”.

The government launched the It all adds up initiative on Saturday, to raise awareness of ‘simple’ steps people can take to lower their bills during the colder months.

These include reducing boiler flow temperatures from 75C to 60C and switching appliances off at the socket, which ministers say could save around £170 combined each year.

Households are also being urged to reduce heating losses by placing draft excluders around doors or adding transparent film to windows, with the potential to save an additional £60 a year.

The £18million initiative will feature adverts across a number of platforms, with a TV show set to roll out in the coming weeks.

This represents a break from the position of the previous administration, when an attempt to introduce a similar public information campaign was blocked over fears that energy-saving measures would be too “state nanny “.

Business Secretary Grant Shapps said it would be hard for him to ‘guess the motives of others’ when asked why the move had been frozen during Liz Truss’ tenure.

“All I can tell you is that I think it’s a good idea,” he told BBC Breakfast.

“She did, and the government put their hands in their pockets and paid for all that energy support, which is, as I said, a huge package. It is something that we can do in addition.

He said he was not “involved at the time” the past attempt was called off, calling the new campaign “common sense”.

“I wasn’t responsible for it at the time, so it’s hard for me to say,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

“I do think it’s smart to talk to people about things they might not know though.”

Mr Shapps shared a lighthearted video on Saturday to promote the new initiative, in which he is seen trying to reduce his own energy consumption.

However, his efforts are shattered by an ill-mannered “Elf on the Shelf”, inspired by the popular children’s Christmas tradition.

He tweeted: “I’m doing my best to keep my energy bills down while staying warm. Unfortunately, my elf on the shelf has other ideas…”

Launching the campaign, Mr Shapps said: “No one is immune to rising energy bills this winter, so it’s in everyone’s interest to use all the tricks in the book to use less energy while keeping homes warm and safe.

“For very little or no cost you can save pounds. It all adds up, so I urge people to take heed of the advice in this new campaign and follow the simple steps to lower your fuel bills.

The government said the “simple measures” could offer “significant financial savings” without compromising comfort or putting people’s health at risk.

It also offers advice on other things that can be done to improve the energy efficiency of homes.

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