Heating and Hot Water

Manage your heating controls

Access to grants for heating

Our independent advice service can provide information about:

– Heating grants for householders in receipt of certain qualifying benefits.

– Benefit health checks (these can help you to find out if you could be eligible for some heating and insulation grant schemes).

– Other funding options which may be appropriate to your personal circumstances.

Call us on Freephone 0800 954 1956 for details of current heating grants.

Making the most of your heating system

Understanding how to control your heating system will help you to keep your home warm more efficiently and help to reduce your fuel bills.  Our team of experienced energy advisers can provide you with tailored advice to help you make the most of your heating system, including information on:

Storage Heater controls– Night storage heater controls

– Central heating controls

– Progamming timers

– Radiator controls

– Upgrading and replacing boilers and heating systems

Manual control electric night storage heaters

Recommended room temperature: It is important to keep your home adequately heated. The ideal living room temperature is between 19 – 21°C, although bedrooms usually benefit from being slightly cooler. You can monitor your room temperatures using the thermometer card provided.

Advice on using heating system: These utilise an Economy 7 tariff to heat up for seven off-peak hours overnight when the electricity is cheaper. We recommend that you set the INPUT dial to the desired temperature level from 1-6 and keep the OUTPUT turned back to 0-1 at night and when you are not in the room. This will ensure that heat is stored in the heater until you adjust the output dial – this opens the heater’s vents to release the heat when it’s needed.


Mains gas combi boiler which leads to a central heating system

Advice on using heating system: A timer or programmer allows you to control when your heating and hot water comes on and when it goes off. This is handy because it means you can programme your central heating to fit around the way your home is used. If you’re not at home or are in bed asleep, then the heating doesn’t need to be on. The trick is to set your heating to come on half an hour before you get home or get up, and set it to switch off half an hour before you no longer need it.

Thermostatic Radiator Valves allow you to control the temperature of a room by regulating the flow of water through the radiator. If, for example, during the day you spend most of the time downstairs, you could set the TRVs on the downstairs radiators to medium or high, and leave the upstairs radiators on low. It’s not generally a good idea to turn radiators off completely for weeks or more, because very cold rooms can develop damp and mould. Instead, set the radiators in rooms you’re not using to low, and close the doors so that the heat from your warm rooms doesn’t travel there.

Recommended room temperatures

Living in a home that is adequately heated is important for comfort but vital for staying healthy, particularly for older people, children and those living with long term illnesses and disability.

The recommended room temperatures are 21°C for main living areas and 18°C elsewhere.

Minimising heat loss

Loft Insulation can help minimise heat loss


Without insulation up to a quarter of the heat in your home can escape through the loft and a third can be lost through the walls.

Homes with solid walls (many of which were built before 1920) suffer from even higher levels of heat loss and account for more than one in five homes in Cornwall.

External and internal insulation treatments can reduce heating bills by up to 40%. Contact us for details of grants for solid wall insulation in Cornwall.

Draught proofing

Draught proofing is a relatively simple and inexpensive way of keeping your home warm and comfortable.

Common problem areas which can be tackled include:

  • Gaps between windows and their frames
  • Doors – gaps around the bottom and edges, keyhole and letterbox
  • Chimneys and fireplaces – if not in use!
  • Loft hatches
  • Gaps between floorboards, skirting boards and around pipework (make sure you use a flexible filler)
Tank and pipe insulation

Tank and pipe insulation keep your water hotter for longer by reducing the amount of heat that escapes.

Fitting a British Standard ‘jacket’ around your cylinder will cut heat loss by over 75%. If you already have a jacket fitted, check that it’s at least 75mm thick. If not, it’s well investing in a new jacket.

Simple Guides for Householders

Electric Storage Heaters

Storage heaters are basically a well-insulated box filled with ceramic bricks to “hold” the heat provided by an electric element running through the centre. They “charge” or absorb and store heat at the times when they can take advantage of the off-peak or cheaper rate electricity. Their controls can be adjusted to release heat throughout the following day.


Using Heating Controls Effectively

Taking control of your heating system can help you make the most of the heat in your home and manage how much it costs.


Draught Proofing

All properties need to have a certain level of ventilation to let fresh air in and reduce condensation and mould, but gaps in the wrong places can lead to cold draughts and heat loss. To draught-proof your home you should block up unwanted gaps that let cold air in and warm air out.


Secondary Glazing

Secondary glazing offers an alternative to householders who don’t want to or are unable to replace their existing single-glazed windows with more energy efficient double glazing. It provides some of the benefits of double glazing in terms of helping to prevent heat loss, providing sound proofing and sealing draughts, but at a reduced cost and level of disturbance than installing new windows.