Energy Efficiency

It is important to increase our awareness of energy efficiency not only because of increasing costs but to realise that all fossil fuels (oil, gas and solid fuel) release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere that contribute to global warming.


General tips for solid fuel users:

  • Always use the type of fuel that is recommended for your appliance.
  • Always use the best quality fuel that you can afford. There will be less ash and the calorific value (heat content) of the fuel will be higher.
  • Ash and clinker - Use the riddling device and a poker to clear ash and clinker that collects above the firebars. The appliance will not function to capacity if the grate is clogged. Don’t allow the ash to build up in the ashpan. This can lead to damaged firebars.
  • Get your chimney swept regularly (at least once a year and twice if burning wood or housecoal).
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on maintenance. On closed appliances clean the throat plate and check all door seals to ensure that they are airtight. Any boiler surfaces should be scraped clean every heating season. Although some appliances can be used with the door open, they will be more efficient with the door closed.
  • Other useful tips can be found on our resources page.


Some simple tips to save energy in the home are:

  • Don't leave appliances on standby unnecessarily.
    Use low energy light bulbs and switch off if a room is not in use.
  • Draw curtains at night to save loss of energy through windows.
  • Don’t put hot or warm food in the fridge.
    Use a lower temperature (eg. 30˚C) in your washing machine to save up to 40% electricity.
  • Use just enough water to cover vegetables when cooking and keep the lid on.


Further tips can be found on:


To improve the thermal efficiency of your home:

  • Loft insulation should be at least 270mm thick
  • Insulate cavity walls. If you do not have cavity walls there are methods of internal and external cladding.
  • Insulate the hot water cylinder and larger circulation pipes
  • Fit double glazing. However please note that if you have a solid fuel appliance you need to have sufficient ventilation. Ventilation requirements can be obtained from Building Control.


You should contact the CAS Hotline 0845 7125 300 for tips on types of fuel and general use of your particular appliance to increase its efficiency and hence increase energy saving. Contact your local coal importer for the fuels they have in stock that would meet your needs – see our links page.

Suggestions for improving your heating system for both open fires and central heating systems can also be found by ringing the Hotline 0845 7125 300, see also our resources page.