www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-the-green-homes-grant-scheme) provides financial support so now is a good time to explore the options. Through the scheme homeowners in England, including landlords, can get up to £5,000 to pay up to two-thirds of the cost of energy saving measures whilst low income households can get 100% of the costs of work covered up to £10,000.
The grant must be used to install at least one primary measure, and if you have installed a primary measure you could then install secondary measures as long as the cost does not exceed that of the primary measures. Primary measures are installation of insulation (solid wall, cavity wall, under-floor, loft, roof or park home) or the installation of a low carbon heating measure (air source, ground source or hybrid heat pumps, solar thermal or a biomass boiler). Secondary measures include draught proofing, replacing single glazing and improving heating controls.
Transition Town Letchworth is often asked for advice on local suppliers for low carbon home improvements. A benefit of the Green Homes Grant is that suppliers have been asked to register to be part of the Scheme, which means we can all now find local companies who could undertake these home improvements via the web (www.simpleenergyadvice.org.uk/installer-search).
It is good to see insulation as a key focus of the Green Homes Grant as many low carbon heating measures can only provide a cost-effective replacement for fossil-fuelled heating in a well insulated house. If you do not have loft or roof insulation then this is an opportune time to reduce heat loss through the roof, its usually the least disruptive insulation to install. Wall insulation will also bring significant benefit, but home owners need to understand how their home is constructed to ensure that any insulation solution installed ensures there is no moisture build-up in the walls, so its worth seeking expert advice.
Winter is the ideal time to inspect your house with a thermal camera which can help you to identify where to target home improvements to reduce your energy bills. Transition Town Letchworth have a thermal imaging camera (funded by a Heritage Foundation grant) which can be borrowed by local householders to detect heat loss from their home.