• 3 min read

The Office of Public Works (OPW) shares some advice on how to stay warm this winter, and how to reduce your heating bills at home.

Heat the human, not the home

It is going to be a difficult winter for many, and for some, no amount of energy saving tips will change that. However, with the rollout of the 'Reduce Your Use' campaign this winter, we will share with you practical guidance and advice which you can try out at home.

Shorter and colder days are on the way and households across Ireland are trying to avoid putting the heating on until the last possible moment. While nobody wants to be cold in their home, rising energy bills are becoming a worry for many. We have listed 4 ways below that can help you stay warm without the need for turning on the heating just yet.


Check your layers

Before you turn on the heating consider your layers. It’s such an obvious thing to say but really does help when living in a cooler house. A base layer like a close-fitting T-shirt, a mid-layer like a shirt or lightweight fleece, topped off with a jumper or jacket should keep you cosy. Maybe even a favourite scarf around your neck to add character to your outfit as well as some extra warmth.


Blankets and duvets

If you’re sitting on the sofa, or even working at your desk, put a blanket over your knees. A big living-room fleecy quilt can be great for evenings snuggled on the sofa. It's time to up the tog on your duvet or consider creating layers of bedding instead. Layers work well because you can remove them if you get too warm in the night. 


Electronic warm-wear

You can get extra warmth from electric blankets, heated throws, footwarmers, USB gloves and many more. They can be relatively economical to run with some as low as 3 cents an hour. They allow you to warm yourself rather than heating all the space you are sitting in. However, if you don't have one of them already you will need to factor in the initial cost. 


Home energy upgrades

There are also many simple yet effective ways to draught-proof and insulate your home, which can significantly reduce heat loss while lowering your heating bills. Even little fixes around the home can mount up to significant savings in your energy bills. Insulation is the most impactful of all energy investments. And SEAI provide a grant toward the cost attic and wall insulation. Find out more here.

Consider your own circumstances

While we have covered some ways to delay putting on your central heating it is important to take your own household circumstances into consideration: 

  • It may be dangerous for older people, or those with asthma and other health conditions to reduce the temperature in your home or delay turning on the heating. If in doubt, consult your GP and follow their advice. It's important older people do all they can to stay as warm as possible.
  • Will it impact your mental health? Some say a cold home affects their mental health and motivation.
  • Rent your home? Check what your contract says about heating. Some landlords stipulate you must turn the heating on regularly or keep the home at a minimum temperature.
  • Not heating your home properly can contribute to damp issues and frozen pipes if the weather's cold, which can result in hundreds of euros of damage.

SEAI's Home Energy Plan

We will send you regular emails with advice for home heating, electricity and appliances, and travelling. You can implement the advice at your own pace, learning how to break the bad habits we all have, save significant amounts of energy along the way, and reduce your energy bills.

OPW | Office of Public Works - Irish Government Agency

Created by the OPW for the Optimising Power @ Work programme