User Energy Efficiency

Some simple ways to save energy around your home:

Close your windows, doors and curtains at night to prevent heat escaping from you living area.

Turn your thermostat down. Reducing your room temperature by 1°C could cut your heating bills by up to 10%.

Setting your heating to turn off one hour before you leave the house and have it come on just half an hour before your return will mean that the heat is not wasted on an empty property.

The thermostat on your water cylinder should be set at 60°C/140°F.

Switch off any lights that aren’t needed.

Switch appliances off at the wall when they aren’t in use.

Don’t leave appliances on to charge longer than needed. This not only saves energy but will also increase the life of the battery.

Only boil as much water as you need (ensure the min amount is in for an electric kettle).

When cooking use a kettle to boil water instead of heating a pan on the stove.

Preferably hang clothing to dry but if you do use a tumble dryer ensure clothes have been wrung out or spun first.

Whenever possible, fill up the washing machine, tumble dryer or dishwasher. One full load uses less energy than two half loads. Also there is no need to wash loads above 40°C these days as modern detergents are effective at lower temperatures.

Fix leaking taps and make sure they’re turned off properly.

Defrost your fridge and freezer regularly to keep them running efficiently. If they have a tendency to frost up check the door seal. If your fridge is next to a cooker or boiler, leave a good gap between them.

Turn your microwave off at the wall when not in use. Powering the clock can use more power than heating your food!

Appliance Energy Efficiency

Boilers

All new gas boilers installed in England and Wales must be of the high-efficiency condensing type. If your boiler is over 15 years and you upgrade to a new one it is possible to save up to a quarter on your annual heating costs.

Energy Products

When replacing household appliances always check for the ‘A’ rated energy-efficient models that carry the ‘energy saving recommended’ logo. Most household appliances have energy-efficient models available although an energy rating is not currently mandatory for all.

Legislation is currently in place for:
Washing Machines (excluding twin-tub models)
Tumble Dryers
Combined Washer-dryers
Lamps
Dishwashers
Ovens
Refrigerators and Freezers
Air Conditioners

Energy efficient models are also available for:
TV’s (legislation to be passed end of 2011)
Kettles
Irons
and other electrical appliances

Energy Saving Light Bulbs use five times less electricity and last ten times longer than normal bulbs and are easy to install for minimal costs. They do however contain mercury and need to be recycled when they come to the end of their life to prevent a build up of mercury in landfill sites.

Rechargeable batteries save energy, reduce waste and cost little to recharge.

Energy Loss Prevention

The main contributor to your annual utility bill will most likely be your heating system. Insulating your home will help reduce the energy required to heat your property and can therefore help reduce your bill significantly.

This can be achieved in a number of ways:

Draught Proofing

The cheapest method of reducing heat loss is to use draught excluders on doors and windows and to fit covers on your letter box and key holes.

Double Glazed Windows

By placing two or three panes of glass together with small air pockets separating each pane, the amount of heat energy loss through your windows is reduced.

Loft Insulation

You can reduce the amount of heat lost through your roof by having an insulating material such as glass fibre installed in the loft.

Cavity Wall Insulation

Many new properties have the walls insulated during construction. For older buildings and those that do not have this done a porous material such as cellulose insulin can be inserted into the wall space to reduce heat loss.

Hot Water Tank and Pipe Insulation

Hot water tanks and pipes can be insulated to stop heat escaping from them. The most effective pipes to insulate are the ones between the boiler and hot water cylinder.

Radiator Reflectors

Fitting aluminium foil or reflective panels behind radiators will reflect heat back into the room rather than allowing walls to absorb and lose the heat.

Loft and Cavity Survey

Both the loft and cavity insulation require an Insulation Survey completing prior to the installation. This will determine the suitability of the property for insulation measures and typically takes around 20 to 30 minutes to complete.

Measurements are taken to calculate the materials required. Your grant entitlement will be verified and a quote given where applicable.

You are under no obligation to have work conducted upon completion of the survey.

Loft Insulation Survey

The following points are checked during a survey for loft insulation:
●    Depth of insulation required.
●    Area of insulation required.
●    Length of pipe work to be lagged.
●    Number of cold water tanks to be insulated.
●    Position of the hatch relative to tanks and pipes.
●    Ventilation is adequate.
●    No damp is present.

Cavity Wall Insulation Survey

The following points are checked during a survey for cavity wall insulation:
●    Width of the cavity.
●    Area of insulation required.
●    Type of structure.
●    Services through the cavity.
●    The cavity is free of debris.
●    The damp course is not defective.
●    The cavity tops are sealed.
●    Condition of the structure.
●    Ventilation is adequate.
●    No damp is present.

Reasons why you should not be concerned:

The survey is FREE and you are under no obligation to have work conducted upon completion of the survey.

Details will be held in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. We will only share your details with trusted partners and companies with your permission. Energy Link Ltd are registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office as a data controller. Our registration number is 07674876.

We will only share your details with one approved installer in your local area if you agree to have the work conducted.

Loft and Cavity Q+A

Why do we check your grant eligibility?

Insulation grants may only be available to UK home owners and private tenants for which there are two types of grant available.

If anyone in the property is in receipt of certain benefits or is over the age of 70 a 100% grant will most likely be available. In all other cases private tenants or home owners are entitled to a grant which covers up to 70% of the cost.

Prices start from £149 for each insulation type in cases where customer contributions are required. These costs will be recovered through savings on your heating bills over a one or two year period.

N.I. is the main way insulation companies check your eligibility.


Why do we need your telephone number?

One of our approved insulation installers will contact you by telephone to arrange the FREE survey, make sure that the property is within the criteria for insulation and to double-check your government grant eligibility.

 

Why do we need your name & address?

The next step of the application process is for a surveyor to carry out a FREE no-obligation survey of your property. An approved local surveyor needs to contact you so they can arrange a totally FREE survey. This is to make sure that the property is in need of insulation and to double-check that eligibility is available on the government grant scheme.

 

Why do we need your email address?

Your email address is not required but we do send a confirmation email following the application. An email address also serves as a useful backup in case we are unable to reach you by telephone. As with all your contact details, your email address will only be used for the purpose of the application.
How do I claim the grant?

If the property is suitable and you are willing to go ahead, one of our approved installers will carry out the work and then claim the grant on your behalf.

Loft and Cavity Insulation

Full and partial grants are currently available to private tenants and home owners in the UK for the purpose of insulating loft and cavities.

Councils and Housing Associations are responsible for maintaining their own properties although insulation schemes may be available from time to time. This doesn’t apply to all areas but you are still entitled to apply to find out if our insulation companies cover your area. If this is not the case please contact your landlord for more information.

Private landlords are welcome to apply for grants on behalf of tenants. Please call us if you have more than one property as you may be entitled to get all properties upgraded for FREE.

Applications are accepted from social landlords, letting agents and estate agents.

Loft insulation eligibility:

The current government recommendation for loft insulation is 11″(270mm). Any loft with less than 4″(100mm) should be eligible to have the loft insulated. If you are unsure of the exact depth but think you have around 4″(100mm) please continue to apply as the insulation may have compressed over time.

All work must be conducted by an approved insulation installer.

Grants cannot be claimed if you have done or intend to do the work yourself.

Loft insulation provided by the grant schemes:

Glass fiber blankets (also known as mineral or rock wool) are generally used to cover the floor of the loft. This is derived from sand and is designed to last for the lifetime of your property. Other insulating materials such as paper and sheep’s wool are not included in the scheme.

Blankets are installed between the joists in the loft then a second layer is rolled over the top. In cases where the loft pitch is under 1.2m fibre can be blown in instead.

Insulation is fitted to make sure you have at least 11″(270mm) so you  are up to date with the government guide lines.

Insulation fitted to the sloping roof or flat roof is NOT included.

Cavity wall insulation eligibility:

Most brick properties which have a cavity of 50mm or more built with building regulations between 1924 and 2002 are eligible

Cavity insulation is installed from the ground floor upwards. In the case of flats and other shared constructs we will need additional information regarding the build and construction as neighbours’ consent is required.

Timber, steel and concrete frame properties cannot be insulated.

All work must be conducted by an approved insulation installer.

Grants cannot be claimed if you have done or intend to do the work yourself.

Cavity wall insulation provided by the government grant scheme:

Shredded glass fiber (also known as rock or mineral wool) or carbon beads are fed in between the brick or block work. This material is derived from sand is designed to last for the lifetime of your property. Other types of insulating material such as paper and sheep’s wool are not included.

When the surveyors visit your property they will explain what kind of insulation is currently installed and which insulation company will best fit your criteria.

Solid wall insulation (i.e. internal or external walls) is NOT included under the government grant scheme.

100% FREE insulation grant eligibility:

If any person in the household receives a qualifying benefit, credit or allowance (see below).

If any person in the household is aged 70 or over at the date of enquiry.

Lofts must have 1.2m pitch and no less than 4″(100mm) of insulation. In some cases the pitch can be as low as 0.9m however this is dependant on the area.

Qualifying benefits for the 100% grant:

Attendance Allowance
Income Support
Council Tax Benefit (single person’s discount and student exemption do not qualify)
Disability Living Allowance
Disabled Persons Tax Credit
Housing Benefit
Child Tax Credit (gross combined household income must be under £16,040, excluding all benefits)
Working Tax Credit (gross combined household income must be under £16,040, excluding all benefits)
Income-Based (JSA) Jobseekers Allowance
War Disablement Pension **
Pension Credit (This is a top-up to the ordinary state pension. A State Pension on it’s own does not qualify)

* Must also be in receipt of Constant Attendance Allowance
** Must include Mobility Supplement or Constant Attendance Allowance

40% to 70% insulation grant:

All home owners or private tenants qualify regardless of income. Working full or part-time you can still claim a grant.

Lofts must have 4″ (100mm) or less to qualify for a partial insulation grant.

Restrictions

Loft Insulation grants have restrictions on the depth of insulation already in your loft. On the free schemes, if you are 70 or over, this restriction is typically 2.5″(60mm) so you may only qualify for a partial grant.

If you are in receipt of benefits restrictions vary depending on the scheme and your area. An existing depth of up to 4″(100mm) is typically allowed on the partial grant schemes.

Extra charges may also apply to large properties. If scaffolding or other special access equipment are required, this will also be chargeable.

If any of this information is relevant your FREE survey will highlight the details.

The Green Deal

Green Deal is going to be a government grant of £10,000 which is to be used to upgrade properties and make them more energy-efficient.

Things such as loft and cavity wall insulation, under floor insulation and heating, energy-efficient boilers and solar panels will be included in the itinerary of improvements for which the Green Deal can be used.

The government will recover these costs by increasing energy tax from £80 PA to £400 PA. The loan is taken out on the property so in the event of selling up and moving  home the loan is sold with the property.

We believe that Green Deal is a great way forward in the battle of reducing CO2 and Britain’s collective footprint. We recommend all homeowners take advantage of this opportunity and make your home’s energy consumption as self-sufficient as possible.

Ground Source Heat Pumps

These systems consist of a loop of refrigerant placed underground connected to a pump. By taking advantage of the difference in surface and ground temperatures it is possible to heat the property during the winter and cool the property during the summer.

Unlike other renewable energy sources, Ground Source Heat Pumps require a residual energy supply to pump the refrigerant around the system.

The initial cost of implementing one of these systems can be high but once installed you can expect to save around 70% on heating costs.

If you have had one of these systems installed or are looking to do so we would like to hear from you.

Hydro Power

Similar in operation to Wind Turbines, Hydro Turbines use running water sources to generate energy. The greater the volume of water passing through one of these systems the more power they generate.

Although large scale Hydro Electric Dams are expensive to set up and finding a suitable location can be tricky, once they are operational they provide a stable and pollution free energy source.

Mini and Micro Hydro Turbine systems are also available that can be used in both commercial and residential properties.

If you have any comments on Hydro power systems we would like to hear them.

Biomass fuels

Biomass Fuel is the renewable energy alternative to the traditional Fossil Fuels. By utilising waste and other renewable organic matter it is usually incinerated to produce energy.

There are other methods of processing biomass but the effects of these processes are still being researched.

What views do you have on Biomass fuels?