Affordable Warmth Solutions: Tackling Fuel Poverty

March 13, 2013 in Heating,What's New | Comments (0)

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National Grid are running a programme to help tackle some of the issues caused by the rise in energy prices across the UK. The National Grid Affordable Warmth Solutions aims to assist those situated in the most deprived areas of its gas distribution network and those most vulnerable to the effects of ‘Fuel Poverty’.  With the cold weather dragging on for what seems like forever, people are having to heat their homes for longer; with more energy needed and more money to be paid, this scheme is extremely relevant here and now.

National Grid is aiming to offer a number of services to those eligible for help in order to improve their current situations. These services include providing new gas connections, offering free or discounted central heating systems and identifying appropriate energy supplier tariffs for households.

These services are not only beneficial to the people receiving them also provide on a larger scale. The Affordable Warmth scheme not only improves the living conditions of those in need but also creates a positive contribution to the environment; better air quality, greater energy efficiency and a reduced demand on the planets resources.

Qualifying Criteria

In order to qualify and be involved in the scheme, householders must meet at least one of the following requirements:

  • Live in one of the top 20% most deprived areas of National Grid’s gas distribution network
  • Need to spend more than 10% of their disposable income to heat their property to an adequate level of warmth
  • Are aged 70 or over
  • Receive one or more of these benefits

If you are interested or think you may be an eligible candidate you can contact Affordable Warmth Solutions on 0121 623 2052

You can also find more useful information by visiting:
Affordable Warmth Solutions
National Grid


How the Green Deal has Progressed

March 12, 2013 in Boilers,Central Heating,Heating,Plumbing,What's New | Comments (0)

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It’s been just over a month since the official launch of The Green Deal but just how well has it been progressing?

The Green Deal was launched January 28th 2013 with the intent of reducing the UK’s carbon emissions through improving the energy efficiency of existing buildings and homes.

The Green Deal is a scheme with a lot of potential but it is also an inceredibly ambitious one. With such a large scale operation, there’s room for a few teething problems to begin with; now that the programme is in full swing, how does it fare?

The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) were initially criticised for the low-key coverage of The Green Deal, with fewer than 1-in-5 people having heard about it leading up to the official launch. However, just two weeks after the launch awareness of the programme had doubled. According to the DECC, the Green Deal website recieves aroung 10,000 visits every week and already hundreds of home assesments have been completed with a good stream of work underway.

This all sounds very good for The Green Deal but when you look at the scale of the scheme in full, one might think otherwise. By the time we reach the year 2020, the Government aims to have around 14 million homes installed with new energy efficiency measures under the Green Deal. When you look at it like that and consider the fact that around only 2-in-5 people are currently aware of The Green Deal, the target may seem a little far fetched.

The Green Deal is a great concept and it should have all to play for; although it seems that already interest and coverage of it is being lost. The DECC could be pushing The Green Deal forward more, showcasing the successes already in place and getting more individuals on board. The Green Deal provides a real opportunity to revolutionise the way we think about and use energy; the DECC need to make this the forefront of thinking instead of something that seems to be happening in the background.

Think green, think Green Deal; get on board, save money and save the planet!

Let us know how you feel about The Green Deal or any other aspects of energy conservation, Discounted Heating would love to hear from you! You can comment below, tweet or find us on facebook.


Fixing a Leaky Tap

March 11, 2013 in Bathrooms,Plumbing | Comments (1)

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As today is World Plumbing Day, we thought we’d create a post that shows you how to do a bit of DIY plumbing – who knows, you might be a dab hand at it!

A leaky tap is not only horribly irritating (drip, drip, drip…) but will also waste water, which means wasting your money too. Luckily, fixing this problem is a relatively quick and easy task that will pay off in the long run.

Before you go ahead with repairing your leaky faucet, you will need to do two things.

1) Get replacement parts
If your tap is dripping it usually means that the washers will need replacing, in which case you’ll need to invest in some! They only cost a couple of quid, which when you consider how much money you’ll be saving in return seems like almost nothing. Bear in mind that if you have a mixer tap then you will need to replace both washers.

2) Turn off the water supply
You will need to locate the stopcock and turn off the water before you start dismantling the taps, otherwise you’re going to end up with much more than just a leaky tap on your hands!

Fixing the taps

1) Remove the handle and the cover from the tap, or the combined handle and cover depending on what type of taps you have. Unscrew the tap headgear nut in order to remove the tap body.

Tip: Put something over the plughole whilst fixing your taps to avoid losing small parts down it!

2)After removing the body, you can take out the old washer from the pin at the bottom. it may come off easily with pliers or you may need to remove a small screw or nut.

3) Put the new washer in place!

Tip: If it’s being difficult to get the new washer over the pin, try applying some Vaseline to the area and pushing down.

4) Replace the headgear, holding the tap securely when tightening the nut., put the water supply back on and check it’s working!

In theory, simple! Discounted Heating supply a range of tap washers and also this handy Tap Washer Repair Kit – great if you’re a plumber or general handy man!

Remember, never carry out any work on your plumbing or heating unless you are 100% sure on what you are doing. If you’re not, there are plenty of professionals willing to do the job for you!


Going Green and You

March 8, 2013 in What's New | Comments (0)

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This week there has been a real buzz about Ecobuild 2013! Ecobuild is the world’s biggest construction event that holds the largest showcase of sustainble building and design products.

With over 1,300 exhibitors and over 100 free seminars, Ecobuild provides a one of a kind opportunity for businesses and organisations to come together and share, discuss and access information regarding ‘green building’. It brings like-minded groups together, building contacts and ideas; above all showing how green building is good for people, planet and profit.

From what I’ve seen and heard of this years Ecobuild, it was an overwhelming success from a business point of view. Although for those of us in the average British home, how likely does it seem that we will personally invest in the concept of green building?

Oftentimes when people talk about being ‘green’ and making use of renewable energy, it can be met with a fair amount of cynicism –  seemingly for the average homeowner there is still a bit of a stigma attached to the whole notion.

While events such as Ecobuild are a fantastic opportunity for big businesses, should the big businesses being doing more to get the general public on board? We are very interested in hearing your views on this topic, we want to know how you feel about going green!

You can leave us a comment below, tweet us or find us on Facebook – we want your opinions!


Central Heating Problem Solving

March 7, 2013 in Boilers,Central Heating,Heating | Comments (1)

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Although winter is supposedly over, I can’t say I’ve seen much in the way of weather change. The heating in my home is still on full whack for the most part, yet the cold still seems unrelenting and I imagine a lot of you are feeling the same way.

So what happens if your central heating gives up the ghost? First of all, don’t panic! Get a level-head on your shoulders and think about it logically; follow these steps, rule things out potential causes and make it easier for yourself to identify the problem.

Check all other appliances in the home
Take a quick scout around your home to see if anything else has been affected. For example if none of your gas appliances are working it’s worth giving your supplier a call and see if they can give you some information on the situation.

Check your fuse box
It’s definitely worth giving your fuse box a once over to make sure the power is still going to the area of the house with the boiler. If the fuse box is the problem and it’s blown, it’s just a simple matter of replacing it.

Check the heating controls
It might sound like an obvious thing to do but you’d be surprised! There may simply be a problem with your controls or they may not be set up properly – finding this out early will save you the money of calling out an engineer.

Check the boiler
If you feel you have exhausted the other avenues and ruled out any other potential causes then this is your next port of call. A quick look at your boiler should be able to tell you if there are any obvious faults normally indicated by a flashing light or something similar. If this is the case should consult the user manual (or if you’ve lost it, Google is a good alternative!).

If you still can’t find the problem or get your heating to work, it is probably time to call out a professional! Make sure that any time you require a gas engineer that they are Gas Safety Registered – and remember, if you’re not 100% certain about what you are doing then don’t make any changes!


The Energy Company Obligation

February 22, 2013 in Uncategorized | Comments (1)

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The Energy Company Obligation, or ECO, is being launched alongside The Green Deal early this year for the ‘Big Six‘ energy suppliers. ECO aims to focus on providing energy efficiency measures to those in low income and vulnerable consumers as well as those who live in ‘hard to treat’ properties like period homes.

ECO aims to create a legal obligation to improve energy efficiency through three distinct targets:

Affordable Warmth Obligation
To provide proper heating and insulation improvements for those in low-income and vulnerable households. There is specific eligibility criteria for this part of the scheme; it is means-tested with the qualifying action being the installation of a measure that will result in a heating saving including the replacement or repair of a qualifying boiler.

Carbon Saving Obligation
To provide funding to insulate solid-walled properties; internal and external wall insulation. Also provides funding for those wall cavity walls that are deemed ‘hard to treat’. This part of ECO is not means-tested and it can be used in conjunction with The Green Deal as it’s aim is to provide enough support to make these measures as cost effective as possible.

Carbon Saving Communities Obligation
To provide insulation measures to those living in the bottom 15% of the UK’s most deprived areas; this is expected to particularly benefit those in social housing.  Through the Energy Company Obligation, the Government is aiming to help around 230,000 low-income households/those in low-income areas.

The ECO is planning to take over and replace the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target and the Community Energy Saving Programme. Phase 1 of ECO formally started on 1st January 2013 and if you’re looking at energy efficiency measures for your home, this is definitely worth taking a look at.

To see if you are eligible, call the Energy Saving Advice Service on 0300 123 1234.

Some useful websites:
Energy Saving Trust
Ofgem
Gov.co.uk


Servicing Your Boiler: A Worthy Cause

February 19, 2013 in Boilers,Heating | Comments (2)

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I’m sure if you were to ask, the majority of homeowners would agree that their boiler is an extremely important and necessary component of their home – and we would agree too!

However, despite recognising the boiler’s well deserved importance, how many of you can say you look after it properly? It is recommended that boilers are serviced annually but in a study carried out by Vaillant it transpired that 3 in 5 homeowners had not had it serviced in the last 12 months; 12% had not for 2 years and one in ten have never had maintenance carried out!

Based on those kind of stats, it’s safe to say that a lot of us are neglecting our boiler of the attention it needs. While the prospect of organising an appointment with an engineer may seem like a bit of a pain (and yes it’ll cost you money as well…) it’s all worth it in the grand scheme of things. By having your boiler serviced regularly you can remain on top of any little problems that might arise. If you don’t stay on top of them, these little problems will very quickly turn into something much worse and you might end up having to fork out for a brand new boiler – far more expensive than a simple servicing!

Servicing your boiler regularly also works to keep you and your family safe; Carbon Monoxide is a silent killer and a faulty boiler can mean a potential gas leak.  Don’t run the risk of danger, servicing is also for your safety.

Evidence suggests that the household boiler is something that is only thought about when one is forced to; usually because something has gone wrong. Don’t let this be the case! Replacing your boiler can around £1,000 if not more – not a price I would imagine anyone would enjoy having sprung on them unexpectedly.

Keep on top of your boiler maintenance. Have it serviced annually by a Gas Safety Register approved engineer – it’ll save you money and problems in the long run.

http://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/


Brand Focus: Vaillant

February 18, 2013 in Boilers,Central Heating,Heating,Plumbing | Comments (0)

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Vaillant have been, and still are, a long trusted and well established brand that sets the standard for heating appliances.  From the first water heaters in 1900s to the the combi-boilers we know today, Vaillant have been manufacturing top quality over 135 years; years of experience that Discounted Heating are proud to stock and deliver.

Here’s a little showcase of some our best selling and highest rated Vaillant products…

  Vaillant EcoTec Combi Boiler

- SEDBUK Band A
- Improved energy efficiency, kind to the environment
- Built in frost protection
- 3 years gaurantee

 

 

Vaillant VRT 350 Digital Programmer

- Permanently monitors room temp and adapts boiler output accordingly
- Saves energy and money by delivering specific amounts of energy to maintain a constant temperature
- Easy to use, gives you more control over how your heating is used and distributed.
- Holiday set-back function and calendar function for automatic summer/winter changeover
Vaillant uniSTOR Unvented Cylinder

- Includes hot and cold water controls and 2 part motorised valve
- Equipped with 3kW back up immersion heater
- High grade stainless steel supplied with separate expansion vessel
- 25 years guarantee on stainless steel cylinder shell.

 

We have plenty more Vaillant products to choose from (boilers and cylinders come in different capacities to suit individual households) as well as all our other fantastic products and brands. Head over to Discounted Heating and take advantage of the range and value we have to offer!

If you have Facebook or  twitter  you can ‘Like’ and ‘Follow’ us there to keep up with all the Discounted Heating latest!


Toriga – Paving the Way

February 15, 2013 in Boilers,Heating,Plumbing,What's New | Comments (0)

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Toriga are the first Green Deal Provider to sign a Green Deal Plan with a UK homeowner! This is fantastic news and is a benchmark in the progression of The Green Deal.

Founded in 2011 with their primary focus on becoming a Green Deal Provider, Toriga have been at the very forefront of the Green Deal and as a pioneer company it has been closely involved in the development and testing of the scheme from the very beginning.

Toriga teamed up with the established Travis Perkins plc to provide a more extensive Green Deal proposition for consumers. What better way to showcase this successful partnership than by signing the first Green Deal Plan on the launch day of the campaign?

As part of their partnership with Travis Perkins, all materials for the project will be provided by the leading brands within the Group. For the first customer to sign onto the scheme this means a new combi boiler, heating controls and insulation for their home in a way that is affordable and manageable.

Let us know what you think about The Green Deal!  How interested are you in what it has to offer?

You can leave us a comment below, tweet us or visit our Facebook.

Free and impartial advice on the Green Deal is available by calling the Energy Saving Advice Service (England, Scotland and Wales) on 0300 123 1234 or visiting www.gov.uk/greendeal


New Discount Code for Free Delivery!

February 12, 2013 in What's New | Comments (1)

It’s pancake day! To go along side these delicious treats, we are giving you an equally delicious new promotion!  We are now offering free delivery on all orders over £50 and if you’d like to make use of this great offer, simply follow these steps:

1) Head over to Discounted Heating and choose from our extensive range of products
2) Make sure you have minimum spend of £50 in your shopping basket (before delivery charges)
3) At the checkout, enter the code BLOG12
4) Tada! Free delivery!

This offer is available from 12/02/13 until 28/02/13.

Please note, this offer is not available in conjunction with our ‘free delivery on all boilers’ offer.  If you are buying a boiler and additional items, you will still be charged delivery on the additional items but not the boiler.  This offer is also, unfortunately, not available to our customers in Scotland and Northern Ireland.