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Live webchat with domestic energy expert Charlotte Lawrance, Mon 12 January, 1-2pm

(104 Posts)
GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 07-Jan-09 21:16:54

Charlotte's visiting MN to answer your questions about how to save money on your home's energy bills. As usual, if you can't make the chat but have questions you'd like to ask, please post them here. Charlotte has two children under six and a third on the way, plus four dogs, so she'll need a cup of tea and a sit down! Join us on Monday.

Clarissimo Wed 07-Jan-09 22:10:02

Is it true that keeping you heating on a low (say 15) constantly is better cost wise than having it timed on something hotter (sorry ours doesnt have a temp guide) twice a day? I know people who argue both sides.

Simplysally Wed 07-Jan-09 22:14:42

Is it best to keep the heating in one room and leave the doors open or keep the doors closed?

Scenario is a fairly-new build 2-bed flat so no horrendous draughts or badly-fitting windows.

hunkermunker Wed 07-Jan-09 23:27:51

What are the most important things one should do to one's house in order to maximise cost-effectiveness?

I'm thinking things like doing work, such as putting insulation in loft through to a new boiler.

Are there cons to cavity wall insulation?

And is there an energy saver lightbulb that works with a dimmer switch? Actually, if you only answer one question on this thread, I would like it to be that one. Oh, also, is there a dimmer switch that doesn't buzz like a tiny angry bee is trapped behind it, because that makes me sad.

Lulumama Thu 08-Jan-09 07:29:20

how much money should a super duper condensing boiler, that is more than 90 % efficient save over the course of a year? our previous boiler was 20 % efficient, and was either on or off and only had numbers 1 - 6 for temperature and seemed to be held together inside with tin foil and string !

british gas trying to charge us £245 a month based on last years energy usage <<faints>>

slackrunner Thu 08-Jan-09 07:46:19

Is there anything I can do about our draughty windows (they're the original 160 yr old Victorian windows <shivers>) please? We want to move, so there's no point paying out the expense of getting double glazing as we'll never recoup our costs in this market.

We do have curtains and blinds in place already.
Does that funny clingfilm that you put up at windows with a hairdryer actually work?

And, is there any point of putting silver foil covered cardboard down the back of your radiators to reflect heat back into the room, or is that just a myth?


ssd Thu 08-Jan-09 07:51:59

yes, draughty windows here too

mysterymoniker Thu 08-Jan-09 08:49:00

what sort of dogs do you have? do you just put an extra one on each bed at night to save money on electric blankets?

morningpaper Thu 08-Jan-09 09:03:37

I'm confused by the seemingly conflicting advice that 1. I need to keep my house 'aired' to stop mould and condensation (so keeping air bricks and window air-vents OPEN) and 2. the resulting bloody chilly draught that courses through the house. Which do I do?

fishie Thu 08-Jan-09 09:07:07

a domestic harmony question here. dh has replaced all our bulbs with halogen or leds and it is gloomy. he likes it thus but i find it really depressing and am even longing for flourescent strip lights. any suggestions?

morningpaper Thu 08-Jan-09 09:08:46

If the 'grant subsidised' cost of putting loft insulation in a 3-bed house is £200, is it cheaper or more expensive to do this yourself?

morningpaper Thu 08-Jan-09 10:39:50

I love the idea of using dogs and extra bed insulation grin

CatMandu Thu 08-Jan-09 11:01:28

What is your background/experience?

JulesJules Thu 08-Jan-09 11:09:16

I find a long haired cat works very well as free electric blanket! Not that she is free really, of course... <thinks of vet bills and cat food>

I would also like to know if it is worth getting those foil backs for radiators, and if so, can you just do it yourself with cooking foil, (?how) or is it worth buying them?

Can you get low energy bulbs that don't take 10 mins to warm up? The one in our bathroom drives me nuts...

I too am confused by the condensation/ open a window thing while you are paying to heat the air - which Morning paper asked about.

WilfSell Thu 08-Jan-09 11:10:27

Should those of us with more children (and dogs) feel more guilty about our domestic energy consumption? grin And therefore make more effort to reduce it?

Pinkjenny Thu 08-Jan-09 11:17:14

My husband and I chase each other round the house wink all day, him turning the heating off, and me turning it back on. Surely this is constant on and off malarkey is actually costing us more money? Would it (hopeful emoticon) be cheaper to have the heating on for longer periods, so that I don't have to keep switching it back on?

cremolafoam Thu 08-Jan-09 12:16:12

pinkjenny- doesn't all that chasing keep you warm anyway? wink

Pinkjenny Thu 08-Jan-09 12:45:03

grin I wish it bloody did. It's like the arctic circle in our house.

morningpaper Thu 08-Jan-09 12:50:31

What temperature do you keep your house?

What temperature is TOO LOW?

WilfSell Thu 08-Jan-09 12:54:17

Dick Strawbridge was on telly last night saying it should be 14-17 degrees! shock

My kids would cough themselves (and us) stupid at that temperature. I think those of us with coughers should be allowed special dispensation from the Green Police to burn carbon more freely.

morningpaper Thu 08-Jan-09 12:59:35

hmm that's interesting. Mine doesn't go much above 17 degrees probably - at the moment it is 15, just checked: and I am at my desk wearing fingerless gloves, several jumpers, bear-paw boots and with a hot water bottle clamped between my thighs.... Thing is, I find that my children cough MORE in houses with central heating that are warm. They seem much better with a cooler house. And although I HATE it (have circulation problemos) I do feel guilty if I have it warmer ...

wammywotz Thu 08-Jan-09 13:04:25

Such is my ignorance I have googled 'domestic energy Charlotte Lawrence' and can't find anything about her!

wammywotz Thu 08-Jan-09 13:05:57

also googled Charlotte Lawrance blush

Charlotte Lawrance - Sweden | Facebook?

wammywotz Thu 08-Jan-09 13:06:25

Are you on Facebook?

WilfSell Thu 08-Jan-09 13:08:04

We can always tell when the central heating has turned off before we feel it, as the two youngest start up cough cough cough cough.

It's a real dilemma for us as we are, at heart, lentil weavers and concerned about burning carbon (and our ridiculous energy bills).

We are insulating like mad where we can - also considering cavity wall insulation but until windows are sorted (metal drafty single glazed) there is little point in doing that.

And I do have a bit of a thing about the cold. I grew up in houses with no heating; I am now allergic to it. But we're all gonna have to do the jumpers, hot water bottles aren't we? Unless it expends more to heat up the water for the hottie than it does to have the heating on? <hopeful emoticon?>

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