Action 330: Double up or replace your water tank lagging

water tank laggingDate: 26 November
Action: 330
Cost of taking action: LOW


This basic measure to reduce lost heat from your water system saves money, energy and carbon emissions

Todays action is another short, simple one that saves you money as well as making environmental sense.

Please check your water tank lagging. If it’s not double thickness or doesn’t cover every inch of the tank well, it’s time to replace it, or double it up.

Lagging for a water tank is not expensive.

Water tank lagged in airing cupboard

Water tank lagged in airing cupboard

What’s all this about?

In older properties especially, the water system will include a copper tank. This is heated either by an electrical element, or a heat exchanger fed from your boiler, or a combination of both, to ensure you have a supply of hot water on tap.

Copper is a very, very good conductor of heat, so if the tank is exposed it will radiate away all the energy that you have used to heat the water. Your water cools, triggering the thermostat to turn the power on again.

By covering the tank with a warm quilt of insulating material – known as lagging – this radiation of heat is reduced massively. This means you burn less fuel, so reducing your carbon footprint. This can be a saving of as much as 80%!

Some modern tanks come pre-lined with a layer of foam insulation, which is very convenient and neat. However, even they can benefit from an additional layer of lagging.

Older tanks may have poor quality old lagging, or even none at all. This can easily be replaced or doubled up.

Fitting new lagging is very simple, it is designed to fit easily over your tank and ties up around the sides.

Why is this important?

If you have been reading the articles on this site you will know that climate change is driven by rises in average global temperatures, which in turn have been caused by our production of greenhouse gases, mainly carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels.

Burning fossil fuel (gas) in your home to heat water, or using it to create the electricity you use to heat your water, is a significant contributor to this.

We need to reduce our reliance on this energy if we are to have any chance of limiting climate change to manageable levels. Many scientists believe that if we do not contain climate change the resulting damage to our ecosystems will be catastrophic. Insulating our homes and heating systems could be a massive contributor to the energy savings we all need to make.

Take action

Please check your water tank lagging today. If it is thin or patchy then replace it or double it up with new lagging.

Remember, not only will saving heat reduce your carbon dioxide emissions, it will also save you money on your gas and electricity bills.

It’s a win-win!

Safety note: Hot water tanks can be very … well, hot! Take care to avoid burns and ask a plumber or insulation expert to help if you have any doubts about completing this action.