Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Has your home got sufficient insulation?

In a world that is becoming more aware of its environmental impact the UK Government is encouraging homeowners to ensure that they have the correct levels of insulation because 25% of warm air is lost through an uninsulated loft, 33% is lost through uninsulated cavity walls and 45% is lost through solid walls.

Types of insulation and the funding available
Hot air will always flow to an area of cold; therefore, in the winter when the outside air is much colder than your home’s you will lose more warm air to the outside if you don’t have good insulation. By ensuring that you have sufficient home insulation means that you will reduce your heat loss and reduce your heating bill.

The UK government is pushing for homeowners to ensure their home has sufficient insulation installed - this is the most cost effective way for homes to become more energy efficient. To incentivise property owners to install insulation at their property there are multiple Government insulation grants available to UK residents including Green Deal insulation and the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO).

Cavity wall insulation
A cavity wall is made from two layers that have a small gap between them, also known as a cavity, which traps a layer of warm air between the two brick layers. You will typically find unfilled cavity walls at a property that was built between 1924 and 1982. It became a mandatory regulation after 1982 that properties had their cavities filled at time of construction.

Having cavity wall insulation installed at your home will:

- reduce your energy bills up to £110 a year
- Cut down on your CO2 emissions
- Reduce your condensation
- Can increase your home’s value because it will improve your home’s EPC

Free cavity wall insulation is available to everyone and anyone who has unfilled cavity walls at their home whether they are easy or hard-to-treat through the ECO scheme. This insulation needs to be carried out by an accredited installer with valid Public Liability Insurance.

Loft insulation
If your loft isn’t sufficiently insulated then your home will be losing around 25% of its heat through the roof. Loft insulation is a very simple way of improving your home’s insulation and the savings on your heating bills (around £175 every year) will more than pay for the insulation to be installed.
Unlike cavity wall insulation funding, free loft insulation grants with the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) have more specific requirements to be eligible, such as:

- homeowners have been receiving certain benefits,
- live in a high fuel poverty area or
- you have solid walls that external solid wall insulation could be fitted at.

Homeowners who are installing Green Deal solid wall insulation qualify for free loft insulation as a secondary energy saving measure and homes that are installing cavity wall insulation can also claim 95% of the loft insulation grant - only needing to pay £49 for the loft insulation whilst getting free cavity wall insulation.

External solid wall funding
If your home has uninsulated external solid walls then your home will be losing up to 45% of its heat through the walls, considerably more heat loss than unfilled cavity walls.

There are different levels of external solid wall insulation grants available depending on your heating fuel type, for example:

- Homeowners can claim up to 100% solid wall insulation grants if they use electricity or solid fuels to heat their home.
- Property owners who use gas, oil or LPG can get 50% funding.
- Everyone can qualify for as proportion of the solid wall grant regardless of where you live and your personal finance situation.

The Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) funding ensures that any hard-to-treat properties such as solid wall properties (built pre-1930) could be eligible for free external or internal solid wall insulation – this is available to everyone regardless of their personal finances and property location.

The best way to find out whether you qualify for free home insulation is to get in touch with your local Green Deal Assessor who will give your property a Green Deal assessment. Your assessor will be able to advise you on the best energy efficiency measures you should take that best suits you and your home with no obligation to carry the work out.

Guest post

Monday, 4 August 2014

Wood-fuelled Heating in our greenCHAT Newsletter

The latest issue of greenCHAT is now available on our website - you'll find an article on wood-fuelled heating as well as information on saving water and details of what's new on the UK Energy Saving website.

Energy Watch - WWF

Read our profile of WWF on this month's Energy Watch page.  There's a little history, information on what they do today and how they can be supported.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Find Out About Energy Supplier Green Tariffs

Our Green Electricity page and associated energy supplier pages have been updated with the latest information in terms of their fuel mix and any green tariffs they offer.  You can see an overview on the Green Electricity page and go to the individual supplier pages for more details.  We hope this will continue to provide our visitors with some useful initial information when determining whether they wish to change energy supplier or tariff.  Our Energy Switch marketplace can then also be used to compare energy prices. 

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Recycling Information Sheet

Our PDF document on recycling has been updated and offers a great way to quickly find out more about recycling different materials.  If you are looking for this kind of information for an event we are happy for you to make use of this in electronic or printed format. 

Other PDFs on energy saving, renewable energy and energy saving grants can be found here.

Autumn Energy/Green Events

If you are planning ahead to the autumn already, take a look at our energy saving events page which has been updated with upcoming energy and green living-related events.  Whether you want to join in a national event or visit a trade exhibition, there is something for you.

Friday, 11 July 2014

New Research Concludes that Organic Food Really is Better For You

A new paper due to be published next week in the British Journal of Nutrition concludes that, as many have long argued, organic produce is nutritionally better for us than non-organic.  The study was led by Newcastle University and has found that organic crops are up to 60% higher in certain key anti-oxidants than non-organic produce.  There are also a series of other benefits, and the study can ultimately draw the conclusion that farming methods do indeed affect the quality of produce. 

Find out more about the highlights of the report on the Soil Association website.  The paper will be published on the 15th July.