Households Urged to Insulate Rather Than Go Without Heating

27 February 2013

Almost seven in ten householders were forced to go without heating last winter, according to a recent survey.

The survey – conducted by comparison website, uSwitch – found that 69% of householders left the heating off at some point this past winter in order to keep their energy bills down.

Further findings detail that almost 20% of those questioned regularly avoided turning the heating on, whilst a staggering 74% purposefully rationed energy use.

The news comes as the Government urges householders to install Cavity Wall Insulation and other energy efficiency measures under its new Green Deal.

Lowering Costs through Insulation

Although leaving the heating off is a natural reaction to inflating energy bills, it is not the only way to make savings.

Under the Government’s Green Deal, measures such as Cavity Wall Insulation, Boiler Replacement, Double Glazing and Draught Proofing are being heralded as major cost savers. Even measures as simple as stopping a tap dripping or filling the kettle with only the required amount of water can save pennies, which soon become pounds.

Cavity Wall Insulation however offers larger savings more quickly. Due to the cost of insulating wall cavities being fairly low and the potential for savings being as much as 35%, this is one of the Government’s preferred measures. The same is true of Loft Insulation which can save up to 25% of the heat from escaping.

Combined, Loft and Cavity Wall Insulation is estimated to save up to £310 on an annual energy bill. 

Cavity Wall Insulation Grant

The Government has estimated that some 9m households will live in fuel poverty by 2016. Many of these will be low income households and those in disadvantaged geographical regions.

The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) has therefore been created to make £1.3bn available for improvements, including Cavity Wall Insulation, with no upfront costs. This money will be supplied by the larger energy companies.

Low income households and those most likely to be living in fuel poverty may be entitled to a Government-backed grant. Eligible grant applicants include those receiving any of the following benefits:

  • Child Tax Credit (household income under £15,850)
  • Working Tax Credit (household income under £15,850)
  • Income Support
  • Income-Related Employment Support Allowance
  • Income Based  Job Seekers Allowance
  • State Pension Credit

Note that some of these benefits may require additional criteria in order for householders to qualify.

Unlike the Green Deal finance scheme, any funds supplied via an ECO grant will not have to be repaid by the householder.

With British Gas reporting increased profits and energy prices set to rise again, the Government is urging householders to become energy efficient sooner rather than later. Cavity Wall Insulation, Loft Insulation and Solid Wall Insulation, are an ideal place to start.

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