Money Saving Boiler Challenge: how to take part in Nesta scheme

A man checks his boiler (image: Getty Images)

By making one simple change to your boiler, you could save £65 a year. Here’s what the Money Saving Boiler Challenge is all about and how you can take part.

Energy bills will rise from 1 January 2024. The Ofgem energy price cap, which governs how high gas and electricity unit rates can go, will go up 5% following a surge in wholesale prices earlier this autumn.

Even though they are then predicted to fall back slightly later in 2024, bills are still much higher than they were before the energy crisis hit in late-2021. While there are a few fixed energy deals competing with the January price cap rate making it worthwhile doing an energy comparison they do not offer the same level of savings you would have expected pre-crisis.

Currently, the best way to save is to reduce your energy usage. We have all the top hacks in our energy saving tips guide. One of the biggest (and easiest) money savers is to turn down the flow temperature on your boiler.

Innovation charity Nesta aims to get 10 million homes to do this with its Money Saving Boiler Challenge. So, how can you get involved? We’ve got all the details.

How to turn down your boiler flow temperature

Your boiler’s flow temperature governs how hot water gets before it’s sent to the radiators in your home. If you have a combi boiler, you can change this temperature. But if you have a hot water cylinder, you should consult a professional before altering anything.

To turn down your flow temperature, you will need to find your heating settings. They usually appear as a radiator symbol. But if you’re unsure, it’s worth consulting your boiler’s manual. You’re likely to find the temperature is set at around 75°C to 80°C.

But your boiler’s most efficient temperature will be around 60°C. Anything above this level will mean your boiler’s burning through more energy than it needs to. When you consider how often your heating comes on in the winter months, it’s likely to mean you’re wasting a substantial amount of cash.

The consequence of turning it down will be that your radiators may take longer to heat up. But they will still heat your home to the desired temperature. And don’t worry if you like a warm shower – your maximum hot water temperature is governed by a different setting on your boiler.

Running your boiler’s flow temperature at 60°C means it will be operating much more efficiently. Nesta estimates that turning down the boiler flow temperature from 75°C to 60°C in a typical home would reduce its gas usage by an average of 8%. This equates to an average saving on your bills of £65 a year.

What is the Nesta Money Saving Boiler Challenge?

Nesta’s challenge aims to get 10 million households to turn their flow temperature down to 60°C or less. As well as collectively saving the country £650 million a year, the move would also prevent 1.7 million tonnes of carbon emissions going into the atmosphere annually – the equivalent of what would be produced by six million people taking transatlantic flights.

The innovation charity runs the challenge in partnership with energy suppliers such as EDF, Octopus Energy, E.ON Next and Energy UK and has also been working with the UK Government.

To join the more than 231,000 people who’ve taken part in the challenge so far, you should hit the ‘turn down your boiler today’ button on the Money Saving Boiler Challenge website. Doing so will guide you step-by-step through how to change your flow temperature, depending on what sort of combi boiler you’ve got.