The UK government recently announced that the most vulnerable households in Britain will receive the next instalment of its cost of living support in the coming months.

Despite energy price caps and fiscal lifelines, millions of Britons across the country are struggling to make ends meet amid the continued cost of living crisis.

Now more than ever, it is crucial that heating engineers consider how outdated, energy-intensive equipment may be contributing to a severe strain on their customers' bank balances.

The circulator pump, for instance, has emerged as a prime offender when it comes to excessive energy consumption. In fact, it is behind only freezers and tumble dryers in the average home.

Replacing an old circulator pump with a more efficient version can save customers money and more than recoup the cost of buying a new one within a year.

In fact, swapping 200 million ageing circulator pumps with newer, more efficient models would save the world more than 53.5TWh of electricity each year – which is the equivalent of the annual electricity consumption of Portugal.

At Grundfos, we calculated this 200 million figure based on the 64% of pumps in buildings around the world that are old, inefficient, and ripe for replacement by newer models up to 10 times more efficient.

In the average home, heating systems and boilers account for 60% of energy consumption. So, improving circulation can bring substantial savings for customers.

Potential efficiency savings will be welcomed by the millions of people who are worried about their rising energy bills. Our research found that 60% of people in the UK and Germany are now worried about rising bills.

Heating engineers should get the word out about just how cost-effective a solution this can be. Our research also found that 31% of UK households and 32% of businesses cite high upfront costs as the biggest reason for not investing in efficiency. But having a circulator pump replaced is a worthwhile investment for the customer – and a simple process for the installer.

What’s more, a recent report by the National Infrastructure Commission found that the UK’s progress in improving its energy infrastructure has so far been sluggish. The research found that the nation has fallen behind on commitments to insulate its leaky houses and hasn’t been swift enough in adopting smarter technologies.

To provide a longer-term, sustainable solution to the cost of living crisis while tackling the UK’s climate and emissions goals, heating engineers should encourage their customers to grasp the opportunity for easy energy saving upgrades, such as replacing old circulator pumps.

While initiatives such as the ECO+ scheme and the Boiler Upgrade scheme show that government policy can take steps in the right direction, it is also down to the experts to ensure that people focus on the causes of the energy crisis, rather than just its symptoms.

Simply put, the current approach is like sticking a plaster over a broken bone. We must urgently address energy issues at the source, improving efficiency so we can manage demand and mitigate disruptions to supply.

Replacing an old circulator pump with a newer, more efficient model is the number one way that heating engineers can help households improve their energy efficiency in a cost effective way. It delivers both the immediate and the long-term impact that many people, and the planet as a whole, sorely need.