Tips on how to Reduce Your Home Energy Bills and Save Money

Reduce Your Home Energy Bills


Home Energy Bills


If you are concerned like all families are worried about your energy bills getting out of hand these are few helpful yet simple tips to keep on top of them.


Use a comparison website to check gas and electricity rates

If you are not 100% sure you are getting the best rates for your electricity, gas or oil energy bills. Then we recommend you using a comparison website to find the best deal out there for you and your family. There are so many introductory offers available from all the main suppliers and if you bring your electricity and gas to the one supplier you can get even better rates. There’s no need to worry about switching to a new tariff or supplier, it’s all very straightforward. But remember to read the small print.


Pay your bills online

Homeowners and business can avail of serious savings on their energy and utility bills, simply by changing the way they pay. If you agree to pay online and by direct debit you will receive even greater savings. Try to have paperless billing also there are even greater savings here. If you have access to the Internet, make sure you use it, let your fingers do the walking.


Remember to read your meter regularly

Homeowner end up paying much more than they need to for their energy bills, as they go on the estimates given to them by their suppliers. If you check your bill at the reading if it has a € beside it will mean Estimate. If it has an (A) it will be an actual reading, we recommend reading your meter regularly, so your bills will be based on accurate readings. You should be checking your meter at least once every three months and informing your supplier or updating your online account. If you’ve been overpaying and have a lot of credit on your account, you can ask your supplier to give you some money back.


Only heat your home when necessary

If you’re going out for the day, then you won’t really need your central heating or hot water on, as no one will be there to benefit from it. We recommend investing in a timer so that your heating only comes on when you need it to. Make sure you also turn down the radiators in any rooms that you are not using and keep all windows and doors shut when the heating is on. In really cold weather we advise to close the curtains around 6pm when it is starting to get dark as it will save any heat already in the house.


Draught proof your home

One of the easiest ways to make energy savings is to draught proof your home. SEAI (sustainable energy authority of Ireland) say by simply investing in some cheap materials to seal your windows, doors, loft hatches and pipework. Whilst you’re at it, we recommend sealing your letterbox, as this is one of the main culprits for letting out heat in the autumn and winter. It’s also an area that people often forget to draught proof!


Put on some extra layers

Homeowners use far much more energy than they need to, simply because they insist on walking around in a t-shirt in the middle of winter! “Wake up it’s not the Caribbean” By simply putting on a cardigan or jumper, you will find that you can lower the temperature of your home a number of degrees and can reduce around 10% to 20% of your heating bill. That can make a huge difference in the long run. It may even help you save that extra money to get you to the Caribbean.


Upgrade your boiler

Swapping your old boiler for a new condensing a rated boiler will dramatically cut your energy bills by a minimum of a 1/3 each year. Make sure you get quotes for a new boiler installation, so you secure a competitive price. We would be delighted at Dewar Gas & Oil Service to offer you a great deal. Our professional in-house staff will be on hand to provide you with a no obligation quote.


Home Renovation Incentive Extended to the End of 2016

Home Renovation Incentive Extended to the End of 2016

Home Renovation Incentive

The Home Renovation Incentive scheme, which allows homeowners and landlords a future tax credit for the vat incurred on renovations of their home or rental property at a rate of 13.50% and carried out by tax compliant contractors, has been extended by 1 year to the end of 2016, it has been announced by the department of finance. The qualifying spend must be between €4,405 and €30,000 before Vat and effectively allows the house owner to carry out such repairs net of Vat.

This scheme provides a tax relief by way of an income tax credit on repair, renovation or improvement works on principal private residences or rental property carried out by tax compliant contractors. In addition to providing an income tax relief, the HRI also aims to support tax compliance in the building industry by moving activity out of the shadow economy into the legitimate economy.


What Type of Works Qualify?

Examples of repair, renovation or improvement works that qualify under the Home Renovation Incentive include –











Bathroom Upgrades




Oil Boiler Upgrade

Gas Boiler Upgrade






What Type of Works don’t Qualify?

Carpets, furniture, white goods (such as fridges, dishwashers) and services (such as architect’s fees) with a VAT rate of 23% don’t qualify. Materials a Homeowner or Landlord buys such as paint, tiles and so on, don’t qualify.

What Type of Residential Property Qualifies?

A qualifying residential property is –





What Type of Home Doesn’t Qualify?

The following don’t qualify for the HRI –




Click here for more information on the HRI.


When Does a Boiler need to be Replaced ?

When Does a Boiler need to be Replaced

Boiler Replacement

There really is no ‘one size fits all’ time frame for replacing a gas or oil boiler as there are so many variables in determining when the right time to do so is. An older boiler which has been meticulously taken care of could be in better condition than a much newer one which has had no maintenance applied during its existence.

Listed below are some of the main situations where a complete boiler replacement is advised:

Pre-emptive Oil / Gas Boiler Upgrades:

In some situations when you have had a boiler for many years but it still runs at a high level of efficiency and reliability you may still want to consider an upgrade regardless. If the boiler is old there is a reasonable chance that boiler replacement parts may not be in production anymore, so when your boiler does eventually break down (they all do at some point – that much is inevitable) you will have no choice but to upgrade to a newer model.

In such situations, it is a lot better to have a boiler replacement on your own terms and at a time that suits you, as opposed to at an unexpected and inconvenient time. You may wish to have your gas boiler replacement carried out during the warm summer months to avoid being left without a boiler (not to mention without heat) during the winter when you will miss it the most. Since oil and gas engineers tend to be much less busy in the summer you should be able to have your boiler replacement completed quickly. Many gas and oil boiler servicers offer generous discounts during the spring/summer months, so upgrading your boiler at this time is both cheaper and easier than at any other point during the year.

Kettling: The Cause of Noisy Boilers:

Boilers which have been on the go for a long time or those which have not been receiving regular maintenance can often, despite doing their actual job quite well, produce a loud banging noise known as ‘kettling’ which can be quite distracting/irritating. Kettling happens when debris accumulates in the piping of heating systems and travels into a boiler’s heat exchanger.

It is usually possible to stop kettling from occurring by using a power flush operation to remove built up sludge and unwanted goo from your heating system. However, power flushing is not always a permanent solution. If it ends up needing to be done on a regular basis the cost may end up overtaking the price of replacing a boiler.

Difficulties Associated with Flues:

A flue is a vital component of any oil or gas boiler. Its job is to move potentially hazardous emissions from the boiler (which is typically located inside) to the outdoors where they can disperse in a safe fashion. Generally speaking, a flue is a lot more exposed and therefore much more susceptible to erosion than any other component associated with a gas or oil boiler. Sometimes replacement parts for a flue will go out of production long before the other boiler parts, making them difficult or impossible to source.

In addition to this, during construction of a building, flues are often hidden from sight within the structure itself for aesthetic reasons. In practice, this can make it very hard for construction workers to get at and replace them without having to instigate a time consuming and expensive operation (pulling apart walls etc.). In such situations, your time, energy and money might be better spent replacing your full boiler (along with a new flue).


Other Gas / Oil Boiler Money Saving Tips:

The initial high start up cost of having your gas or oil boiler upgraded to a high efficiency condensing boiler can be off-putting to some. While probably the best long term solution, having a new boiler installed isn’t the only way to increase your gas or oil boiler system’s efficiency and save money on your heating bills.

Expensive Repair Costs:

Some types of gas/oil boiler, particularly older models can be fairly unreliable and need repairs quite frequently. This is not only a drain on one’s finances but also your time and patience. Oil/gas boilers which need repairs very frequently can be more trouble than they are worth and end up costing more than a full boiler upgrade before long.

Similarly, gas and oil boilers which have not proven to be problematic for a very long period of time, but then suffer a major break down may also prove to be prohibitively expensive to repair. Older boilers, in particular, may prove expensive and inconvenient to repair as sourcing compatible parts for them may be difficult. When the price of repairing a boiler starts to reach a certain point it makes economic sense to consider a full boiler upgrade instead. It is often the case with older boilers that once they break down once it is the ‘beginning of the end’ for them, so to speak, with more frequent break downs likely in the future.


The Link Between Fuel Efficiency and Saving Money:

Like virtually any form of technology, the gas and oil boilers of today are greatly improved when compared to their predecessors. Modern boilers are much more efficient than older models when it comes to fuel and heating efficiency. It is generally understood that even when in optimum working order, a gas or oil boiler that is between 10 and 15 years old will only burn fuel at about 70% efficiency. In the case of boilers that are 20 or more years old, this efficiency rating drops below 60%. Of course, these numbers don’t even take into account the fact that most boilers of such an age will have accumulated a significant amount of ‘wear and tear’ during the course of their existence, meaning that their true efficiency rating will be even lower. When only a low percentage of fuel being burned by a boiler is converted directly into usable energy, the rest is wasted. An inefficient gas or oil boiler indirectly burn your money.
Modern high efficiency condensing boilers, by contrast, convert upward of 90% of their burned fuel into usable heating energy. The very top of the line boilers can convert up to 98%, meaning virtually no fuel is wasted in the burning process. This, in turn, means that your oil/gas boiler will use significantly less fuel to heat your home, meaning you won’t have to refill the boiler as often. This can generate big monetary savings over the long term. The reduction in waste emissions also has the added bonus of being better for the environment.

Oil Boiler Upgrade – Knowing When you Need One

Knowing When you Need an Oil Boiler Upgrade

A complete oil boiler upgrade service is a rather large undertaking so homeowners need to be certain that it will be worth the time, energy and investment.

The ability to run an energy efficient and economically sustainable household is a consideration of growing importance for homeowners. One of the chief concerns in relation to these topics is that of a home’s oil boiler. A domestic oil boiler is responsible for the vast majority of fuel used up in a home, ensuring that your oil boiler is up to the task at hand is of the utmost importance.

In many cases, some routine oil boiler maintenance and servicing or modest repairs will be enough to ensure this. However, in other cases, such measures will not be enough to get a home running to its optimum levels of fuel and energy efficiency and a full oil boiler upgrade may be required.

Do I Need An Oil Boiler Upgrade?

A complete oil boiler replacement service is a rather large undertaking so homeowners need to be certain that it will be worth the time, energy and investment needed to carry one out. There are a great many variables which come into play when considering the prospect of upgrading an oil boiler. Here are some of the most commonly aired queries in relation to oil boiler replacement services:

Is My Oil Boiler An Efficient Enough Model?

Not all oil boilers are created equal, with some brands and models being significantly more energy and fuel efficient than others. The very best oil boilers that money can buy are referred to as A-Rated High-Efficiency Condensing Boilers.

Generally speaking, any oil boiler which converts upward of 80% of its fuel into usable heating energy is considered a high-efficiency boiler (The Worcester Bosch oil boilers supplied by DeWAR Gas & Oil Service are upward of 90% fuel efficient). If your oil boiler runs at 80% efficiency or more then there is no real need to have it replaced as the savings on fuel which you make will not be particularly high. Oil boilers with less than 80% fuel efficiency should probably be replaced. The less efficiently an oil boiler operates, the better off you will be replacing it.

Is Your Oil Boiler Running Efficiently?

Just because your oil boiler is of a good model from a recognised brand, it does not mean that it will burn fuel at its total quoted efficiency percentage. If not looked after properly, oil boilers are susceptible to deteriorating in terms of fuel efficiency. In order to ensure that your oil boiler is converting fuel into usable heating energy at its optimum levels of efficiency, you should have it serviced by a professional, preferably OFTEC certified, engineer on an annual basis.

Is Your Oil Boiler Prone to Breaking Down?

Servicing your oil boiler regularly not only ensures that it is converting fuel into usable heating energy; it also greatly reduces the risk of your boiler breaking down entirely. However, such oil boiler servicing can only do so much. If an oil boiler is particularly old then it is inevitable that it will have deteriorated in terms of efficiency somewhat. When this happens, not only do the boiler’s efficiency levels decrease but the chances of boiler breakdown occurring also increase significantly. When oil boilers start to break down regularly, they become an expensive nuisance to keep in proper working order and are generally better off being replaced entirely instead of having go through all the trouble of getting them repaired constantly.

How Much Does Your Oil Boiler Cost to Repair?

In some cases, oil boilers can be relatively quick, easy and inexpensive to repair. However, in most scenarios, the oil boilers which are breaking down are quite old. It can be fairly difficult (and also very expensive) to source suitable replacement parts for such oil boilers. When considering oil boiler repairs you must weigh up the costs, particularly when the boiler is breaking down relatively frequently.

Generally speaking, once an oil boiler has been in use for 15 years the game is up and its fuel converting efficiency levels have deteriorated to the point where a full oil boiler replacement service becomes the best option available to you.

Are Heating Controls Worth Getting Installed for Oil Boilers?

In short, yes! There are numerous benefits associated with having heating controls installed in relation to your oil boiler. Such heating controls will allow you more control over your home’s central heating system, allowing you to manage it according to your own specific requirements. Most importantly of all though, if used correctly, heating controls can bring down the cost of home heating bills by as much as 20% – a substantial saving.

Generally speaking, installing heating controls is a cheaper alternative to a full oil boiler replacement service. However, for the very best savings in terms of fuel and energy bills, it is advised that you avail of both in order to maximise your oil boiler and central heating system’s fuel converting capabilities.

Are there any Grants Available for an Oil Boiler Upgrade ?

Depending on your circumstances, you may be entitled to monetary relief when getting an oil boiler upgrade service. It is worth taking the time to liaise with the SEAI (Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland) in order to see what you. You could potentially be eligible for a significant amount of funding under their BEH (Better Energy Homes) grant scheme. Visit the SEAI’s grants page for more information.