Money Saving Boiler Challenge: What it is and how much you could save on your energy bills
and live on Freeview channel 276
Many are starting to feel the effects of the dreaded energy crisis and are worrying they won’t be able to heat their homes without forking out a fortune on energy costs. With the government also updating the Energy Price Guarantee to allow suppliers to make small price changes - it’s essential you know where you can save.
Innovation agency and UK charity Nesta has some advice to ensure households across the nation are efficiently heating up their homes for less and it involves turning the flow rate or flow temperature down on your boiler. The Money Saving Boiler Challenge won’t work for everyone though as the scheme focuses on households with combi boilers and isn’t recommended for homes with hot water tanks.
Introduced by Nesta and championed by the much-loved saving expert Martin Lewis, the challenge could see some saving a chunk on their bill. Here’s everything you need to know about the Money Saving Boiler Challenge.
What is the Money Saving Boiler Challenge?
According to Nesta: “Combi boilers work best when they heat the water that goes to the radiators at 60°C or below (this is called the ‘flow temperature’)”. And it turns out many boilers could be sitting much higher than recommended, therefore, the company is challenging households to turn down their boilers.
When your combi boiler is at flow temperature, it will be in condensing mode which means it can recover heat that may be lost when sitting at a higher temperature. However, the lower you go, the more you will save so Nesta recommends you start reducing the number in 5°C increments.
As the boiler heats the water to a cooler 60°C, your rooms may take longer to heat up. Don’t be alarmed, it is more cost effective to heat your home for a slightly extended time period than your boiler wasting energy at a higher temperature.
Nesta does recommend that you only adjust the water entering your radiator and not your tap though. Water running out your tap needs to be heated to 60°C or above to reduce the risk of Legionnaires’ disease.
What did Martin Lewis say about the Money Saving Boiler Challenge?
Martin Lewis championed the tip on his ITV money show in 2022 by telling viewers: "Now I’ve talked about this one before - The Money Saving Boiler Challenge - nothing to do with me. This is a website that takes you through - if you’ve got a combi boiler, that the vast majority of you do - how to turn down the flow rate.
“Now you’d normally want it to be around 60 degrees but most people’s boilers are set higher. That’s really inefficient - it’s not just that it’s using more heat - it’s inefficient.
“You can turn this down, it won’t affect the heat of your house, it will still be the same temperature. It won’t affect your hot water temperature, it might take slightly longer to get up to the maximum temperature but it can get £100 a year off your bill and is well worth everybody doing,” he added.
How much could the Money Saving Boiler Challenge save you on energy bills?
According to the Money Saving Boiler Challenge website: “An average household could save up to £112 per year in energy costs by adjusting the boiler flow settings to 60°C or below.
“We estimate that a medium-sized household (12,000 kWh of annual gas consumption) would reduce its annual gas consumption by 9.1% when lowering flow temps from 80°C to 60°C. This saving equates to 1,089 kWh of gas, which, at 10.3p per kWh of gas (the Energy Price Guarantee unit rate for gas), equates to £112.
“A high-use household uses 17,000 kWh of gas every year. This equates to a £159-a-year saving from lowering flow temperatures from 80°C to 60°C.”