Saving energy in the home is not difficult, but it is important. When you use less energy you pay less. On your monthly bill you won’t notice much difference, but when you look on an annual basis it adds up to a decent amount of money. Better in your pocket than in the coffers of the Energy companies.
By cutting down on your energy useage you help to create a better environment for you and future generations. Considering the young are going to be saddled with billions of debt after the global financial meltdown the least we can do is make sure they have a healthy and clean environment in which to live.
This is the first in a series of energy saving articles and in this one we look at saving money on our heating bills without any impact on our lifestyle. (more…)
What is Fuel Poverty?
It is defined as being when a household has to spend more than 10% of its income on providing an acceptable level of heating and lighting in their homes.
The UK Government has a legally binding obligation to eliminate fuel poverty by 2016 and last December the Statutory consumer body, Consumer Focus, published an update on the latest fuel poverty figures. The new figures caused great alarm amongst politicians and consumer rights bodies such as Help the Aged.
Shockingly the figures for England alone showed a massive INCREASE in year on year figures and 5 million households (up from 4.1 million in 2010) are now classed as being in
Insulation Is Good for Jobs & Government Income
German research shows that for every 1 euro investment in insulation products, 5 euros are returned through an increase in tax receipts and more employment. The insulation industry calls on National and Local government to give priority to energy conservation in buildings through fiscal and other measures. Energy grants should be used to maximise the potential for increased insulation before subsidising other Green measures. (more…)
it is important to be both accurate and realistic in assessing returns on capital invested in external insulation. The true cost is the difference between installing a render only system and installing an
system and this is known as the ” marginal cost ” ie the extra money the insulation element will cost.
U value is a measurement given to the thermal insulation qualities of a wall with the lower the figure the better . As a guide a new well insulated home will have a U value of around 0.25 and a solid wall home will generally be around 2.05 to 2.10 !!
The U value is therefore a measure of how quickly heat escapes through a structure to the outside and as a result also how much carbon is leaking through the walls as well. In todays hard pressed times with ever rising heating bills it is very important to have a home with a low U value if you wish to keep those winter bills down.
Fortunately there are some Government “grants “coming in the very near future through the Green Deal Scheme.In addition, the Government do only charge 5% vat so in effect give a 15% subsidy through the taxation system.
They have also instructed the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) to give a higher value to homes with substantial energy saving measures such as external wall insulation systems. Whilst RICS are still formulating the new valuation models it is thought that a premium of around 5% to 6% will apply ie an increase in value of around £8000 to £10,000 on the average property price of £160,000. (more…)
When it comes to External Wall Insulation systems there are very strict procedures in place to ensure the homeowner is protected against poor workmanship and poor materials. The Building Regs and the Inspector from Building Control will ensure the system being fitted has been independantly tested and accredited as fit for purpose and that the contractor is qualified to install the system .
Under the Building Regs Part L1B 2010 you cannot replace or add a wall covering – apart from paint – to any solid wall without incorporating insulation to save energy and reduce heating costs . This applies to any internal wall renovation or external rendering of the wall and covers things like replacing or adding render,plaster or cladding and applies if you are working on at least 50% of an individual wall’s surface area. Mistakenly some people assume it has to be 50% of the whole house before you need to insulate but it is 50% of each individual wall.
Whilst every homeowner uses heating in a different way at varying levels the respected Energy Saving Trust calculate that a typical 3 bed semi will use around £400 less in heating costs if a solid wall home has external insulation cladding fitted to the correct standards.
External Wall Insulation is not classed as an extension to the building walls as you are only adding another layer and increasing the depth of the wall by around 2 to 3 inches. However, this often means some degree of alteration to exterior fittings and fixtures and as such a Building Notice is required under L1B of the Building Regs.
In the vast majority of cases you only need to serve the Council’s Building Control with a Building Notice under Building Regs L1B and the Inspector from Building Control will pop along on the first day to meet the installer and again at the end of the job to sign it off and give you an Approval Certificate.
If your house boundary directly abuts a public pavement or pathway then the extra depth to your home can be viewed as an encroachment onto public space and so you will need to apply for Planning Permission.
If your home is listed, is in an Area of Outstanding Beauty or a Conservation Area then again you must apply for Planning Permission before work is started.
We are very experienced in working with the Building Inspectors and can answer their questions on your behalf and we also provide product drawings and specifications for the Planning Department upon request.
If in doubt CALL US 0800 975 5231