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Insulating tanks, pipes and radiators

Lagging water tanks and pipes and insulating behind radiators reduces the amount of heat lost, so you spend less money heating water up, and hot water stays hotter for longer. 

Insulating a hot water tank

A hot water cylinder jacket costs about £15, and fitting it is a straightforward job if you follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Pipe insulation consists of a foam tube that covers the exposed pipes between your hot water cylinder and boiler, reducing the amount of heat lost and, therefore, keeping your water hotter for longer. It's usually as simple as choosing the correct size from a DIY store and then slipping it around the pipes.

Radiator reflector panels

If you’re trying to save money on your heating bills and reduce your energy consumption, radiator reflector panels are an attractive low-cost option. Fixed behind your radiators, they reflect heat from the radiator back into the room, instead of letting the heat out through an external wall. They can produce the most benefit when installed on uninsulated solid walls. Remember, you only need to put reflector panels behind radiators on external walls.

How much could I save?

Insulating your hot water cylinder is one of the easiest ways to save energy and, therefore, money. If you already have a jacket fitted around your tank, check the thickness. It should be at least 80mm thick; if it isn’t, consider buying a new one. Topping up your hot water tank insulation from 25mm to 80mm thick, using a British Standard jacket, could save you around £20 a year, which is more than the cost of the jacket.

By slipping pipe insulation around your exposed hot water pipes you’ll keep your hot water hotter for longer. Fitting insulation to pipes is easy if the pipes are accessible; if your pipes are hard to reach, you may need to engage a professional.

Costs and savings

England, Scotland and Wales 

 

Fuel bill savings (£/year)

DIY cost

Payback time

Carbon dioxide savings (kgCO2/year)

Hot water tank top up insulation (25 to 80mm)

£20

Around £15

Around nine months

100 kg

Hot water tank jacket on an uninsulated tank

£85

Around £15

Less than three months

430 kg

Primary pipe insulation

Around £10

Around £20

2 years

40 kg

Savings based on a typical gas-heated home.

Northern Ireland

 

Fuel bill savings (£/year)

DIY cost

Payback time

Carbon dioxide savings (kgCO2/year)

Hot water tank top up insulation (25 to 80mm)

£15

Around £15

Around one year

130 kg

Hot water tank jacket on an uninsulated tank

£65

Around £15

Less than three months

550 kg

Primary pipe insulation

Around £5

Around £20

Four years

50 kg per year

Savings based on a typical oil-heated three bed semi-detached home.

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