Whilst our knowledge around energy efficiency is growing all the time, we already have a good understanding of the improvements we can make to your home.
Many of the methods and technologies to improve the energy efficiency of your home are already available to us today, enabling us to start making a positive impact to you and your home.
The picture shows how heat can be lost from the fabric of a home (for example, the doors, windows and walls) that isn’t well insulated.
The improvements made to the fabric of your home will keep more heat in, making it warmer for longer and you will therefore need to use less energy to heat your home.
The retrofit programme will be delivered in line with the current Government standards (PAS2035) and will increase the warmth and energy efficiency of your home, whilst positively impacting its long-term sustainability.
The improvements and enhancements to your home will likely include external or internal wall insulation, loft insulation, energy efficient windows and doors and a smart thermostat, which when carried out together with significantly improve the warmth and comfort of your home.
External wall insulation involves attaching insulation boards to the outside of your home, before applying a layer of basecoat render and then a final decorative finish agreed with your local planning authority as required.
You may also have internal wall insulation fitted to the inside walls of your home as part of the energy improvements being undertaken. The thin rigid foam insulation boards extend from the floor up to ceiling level to reduce heat loss and improve energy efficiency.
There are many benefits to external wall insulation being installed to your home. These include:
External wall insulation (EWI) has a 20-year warranty. However, if items such as satellite dishes, hanging baskets, trellis or climbing plants are attached to it, this will invalidate its warranty. Damage to your EWI will reduce its efficiency, and could potentially lead to water penetration, causing issues with damp and mould.
Mineral wool fibre is used as a blanket insulation and is ideal for fitting between the flooring joists in a loft.
It is estimated that a quarter of heat is lost through the roof in an uninsulated home. Insulating your loft space is therefore one of the most effective ways to make your home more energy efficient.
Your insulation will be installed at 400mm to give you the following benefits:
Once your loft is insulated, you should not use it as a storage area. This is because any items that sit or rest on top of the insulation will compress it, making it less effective and reducing its energy efficiency performance.
Heat can be lost through the exterior doors in your home, and they also have the potential to let draughts in from outside.
Your new doors are designed to be energy efficient, keeping draughts out and heat in.
Cat flaps should not be fitted to your new energy efficient doors; they will invalidate the warranty and reduce the overall energy performance of your home.
Your new windows may look different to the ones you had before, as they do not include a separate top opening window.
Heat is lost through the window frame, and without a top opening window, there is less frame and therefore less heat loss. Instead, the whole window can be opened a small amount and locked in place. Your new windows are built to a higher specification and provide the same amount of ventilation, as well as being more energy efficient.
The windows we are fitting will be more airtight than your original frames, this may cause condensation build up on the external glass rather than internally. The condensation will clear quickly and won’t lead to any damp problems.
Where compatible with your heating system, you can use your Switchee smart thermostat to control your heating and hot water. Where this is not possible, your smart thermostat can still provide you with the information to help you manage the energy you are using.
The thermostat installed in your home is a Switchee unit, which is designed to be easy to set up and use. There is also a range of information on the Switchee website and a customer advice line available should you need it.
To further improve the energy performance of your home we would recommend you replace your existing light bulbs with LED light bulbs.
LED light bulbs:
LED bulbs last longer and use less energy which offsets any additional upfront cost.
These thin rigid foam insulation boards extend from the floor up to ceiling level to reduce heat loss and improve energy efficiency. Once the boards are fitted, they will be finished with plaster and decorated as normal.
Where internal wall insulation has been fitted, you should avoid hanging picture frames or ornaments with anything that may pierce the internal wall insulation such as nails or screws as they will damage the insulation and make it less effective. As an alternative, you can use self-adhesive fixings such as ‘command hooks,’ to attach things to your wall, as they will not pierce the insulation.
Cavity walls are made of two layers with a gap or ‘cavity’ between them. They can be insulated by injecting insulation into the cavity through small drill holes in the outside walls. Insulation is usually made up of mineral wool, polystyrene beads, or polyurethane foam. Not all homes will be built with cavity walls and where this is the case, we will look to improve the insulation of a home by using either external or internal wall insulation.
You should take extra care if drilling through an external wall, or using long nails or screws that may pierce the cavity. This could lead to the cavity becoming damp and make the insulation less effective over time.
Replacing old storage heaters with high heat retention models is the simplest way to reduce your electricity use. A storage heater works by using electricity at night, when it is typically cheaper, to heat up the storage heater. New storage heaters are better insulated, so more of the heat they store at night is available for use during the day. They also come with more advanced controls, so you just set the room temperature you want and the control system does the rest. Put simply, they warm up overnight and release heat slowly throughout the day.
If you have new storage heaters installed, you can speak to your independent Energy Advisor about how to set the controls and use your heater in the most efficient way.
Air source heat pumps (ASHP) transfer heat from the outside air to water, which then heats rooms in a house via radiators. It can also heat water stored in a hot water cylinder for hot taps, showers and baths.
An ASHP is a low-carbon way to heat a home. It will generate renewable heat and reduce the amount of fuel you need to use to heat a home. The pump uses electricity to run and for every unit of electricity it uses it will typically provide three units of energy into a home.
Air source heat pumps look similar to air-conditioning units. Their size depends on how much heat they'll need to generate for a home and they are usually positioned outdoors at the side or back of a property. They need space around them for air to circulate.
Air source heat pumps work even if the temperature is below zero, so even in cold weather they will still provide heating and hot water for you. You can set when it comes on, so much like traditional heating systems, you can set it to come on half an hour before you arrive home or first thing in the morning when you wake up. If you have an air source heat pump installed in your home, you can speak to your independent Energy Advisor to find out more about how you can use it in the most efficient way.
Ground source heat pumps transfer heat from the ground outside a home to heat the radiators. It can also heat water stored in a hot water cylinder for hot taps and showers. The system is made up of a network of water pipes buried underground and a heat pump at ground level.
Ground source heat pumps need electricity to run, but they use less electrical energy than the heat they produce. The pump works in the same way as boiler in a central heating system, but it uses heat from the ground, rather than burning fuel to generate heat.
For every unit of electricity it uses, it will typically provide up to four units of energy into a home. Using freely available heat energy from the ground, it achieves higher efficiencies than any other heating system.
Ground source heat pumps work even if the temperature is below zero, so even in cold weather they will still provide heating and hot water. You can set when it comes on so much like traditional heating systems you could set it to come on half an hour before you arrive home or first thing in the morning when you wake up. If you have a ground source heat pump installed in your home, you can speak to your independent Energy Advisor to find out more about how you can use it in the most efficient way.
Infra-red heating panels, also known as radiant heating panels, target heat in specific areas. The heat is very similar to the feeling you get from the sun when it peeps out from behind a cloud on a cold day.
Electric infra-red panels only take about 30 seconds to reach full temperature and therefore are much more efficient at heating an object than traditional central heating systems. Unlike radiators, the panels can be switched on in individual rooms using the thermostats. This means that you can control where and when you choose to use this form of heating in your home.
Infra-red heating panels can be controlled by either a thermostat or by an App based smart technology, compatible with Amazon, Alexa and Google. If you have infra-red heating panels installed in your home, you can speak to your independent Energy Advisor for more information around these features.
Currently over 80% of our homes have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of C or above, and we aim for all our properties to achieve this level of energy performance by 2030.
Our approach is to retrofit the homes with the lowest EPC ratings first, making the fabric of the building more energy efficient by fitting new doors and windows, as well as external wall and loft insulation.
If you are looking for ways to improve the energy efficiency of your home, you can visit our Eco-hub for advice on how to cut your energy consumption and adopt a greener lifestyle. Or follow us on social media for the latest eco-friendly hints and tips.
If you’ve been affected by rising fuel prices, we can help in a variety of ways. Take a look at our Your Energy, Our Support page to find out more.
A not-for-profit housing association, providing affordable, quality homes for customers who are in differing stages of their life, from first-time buyers to enhanced supported living.
District council responsible for Stratford-on-Avon, including services relating to homes, properties and the environment.
The government department responsible for business, industrial strategy, science, research and innovation, energy and clean growth, and climate change.