Between the benefits and incentives of switching to more sustainable fuel supplies and the growing uncertainty felt by many due to the cost of living crisis, it’s no surprise that energy efficiency is a topic that is receiving more attention than ever.

Given the increased interest—a trend that is only going to grow even further in the coming months and years—tradespeople might be expected to have a more in-depth understanding of energy efficiency that they can pass on to their customers. 

Whether that be knowledge of greener materials, building practices or advice customers can implement themselves, this side of things now forms a crucial element of any tradesperson’s overall offering. 

How have things changed?

In April, the energy price cap increased by an unprecedented 54%, meaning a typical household’s energy bills are expected to grow by around £6931 per year. This was due to gas prices hitting record global highs, with wholesale prices quadrupling over the last year.

That figure is expected to rise even further—potentially hitting over £3,0002 per year—when the cap is revisited again in October, with the war in Ukraine also contributing to the skyrocketing costs.

How can customers save on heating and water? 

While customers may once have been reluctant to embrace more efficient technologies based on the long-term savings they provide, these rapid increases in bills have no doubt triggered a shift in attitude as people look to cut costs where possible.

The most effective way to approach these discussions is by being able to clearly demonstrate the value to customers with straightforward facts and figures. Any good tradesperson will be expected to make practical and helpful suggestions based on the customer’s own unique requirements. 

Gas boilers are responsible for about 80% of all energy used in a home, making this a logical starting point. Replacing a dated boiler with a more energy-efficient one can lead to significant savings (between 20-35% according to Heatable), as can replacing it entirely with greener alternatives like heat pumps. Combining this with innovative technology like thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) is a proven way to save on heating bills. 

Insulation is a less high-tech, but incredibly effective consideration for customers. Around 25% of heat is lost through the roof of our homes and 15% of heat in a room due to uninsulated floors.

Water-saving devices like efficient shower heads can save more than 7,000 litres of water per year, while tap aerators increase water pressure while reducing the amount of water that is used.

You can also take a look through our guide to simple tips people can use every day to make their homes more energy-efficient.

If you’re looking to brush up on your knowledge, the Able Skills Energy Efficiency Course is designed specifically to help you advise customers on how to get the most from their central heating system. 

1Price cap to increase by £693 from April - Ofgem, 03 Feb 2022

2Cost of living crisis to drive new focus on energy efficiency? - HVP Mag, 09 May 2022