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How home insulation can lower your heating bills

Posted on 11/23/2020

Better insulation is one of the most effective ways of improving the energy efficieny of your home. The Government’s Green Homes Grant means now it's easier and cheaper than ever before to reduce your home's carbon footprint.

What is the Green Homes Grant?

The Green Homes Grant is a scheme set up by the government on 30th September 2020 and running till 31st March 2021 which gives homeowners in England grants to cover up to two thirds of costs to make their houses more energy efficient (with a maximum grant of £5,000)

For people on low income or disability benefits, the grant can cover the full cost of improvements, up to £10,000.

How important is insulation?

Most British homes spend the majority of their energy bills on heating. However, our homes are often not as efficient as they should be in terms of storing that heat.

Draughts and poor insulation in the average home mean 25% of heat is lost through the roof, 35% goes through the walls, 30% escapes through doors and windows and 10% seeps out beneath your feet.

What insulation does the Green Homes Grant cover?

Improving insultation reduces the amount of heat that is lost meaning your home doesn't have to work as hard to maintain the temperature. And that means saving money on heating as well as reducing the burden on the environment. Here are a few ways you can keep the heat where it needs to be:

Loft insulation

Insulating your loft is a very effective way of conserving heat – and you can get a Green Homes Grant to it. If you do it yourself, the grant will help cover the cost of materials. Here’s how it works:

  • Measure your loft and buy enough insulation to fill it to a depth of 270mm. (Insulation tends to be made of mineral wool, glass fibre or recycled materials.)
  • Clear your loft. (It’s the perfect opportunity to get rid of things you don’t need!)
  • Insulate exposed pipes with polyethylene (flexible plastic foamed insulation) because your loft is about to become much cooler.
  • Make sure there’s no wiring running along the floor – speak to an electrician if you’re unsure.
  • Unroll your insulation and lay it between joists. Cut it to size as you go. You’ll need 100mm thick wool for this layer.
  • Add a second (200mm) layer at right angles to the first.
  • If you decide installation isn’t for you, the grant will cover labour (as well as materials).

Cavity Wall Insulation

Cavity wall insulation stores heat within inner walls, if your house was built after 1920, there’s a good chance it has cavity walls.

Insulating a cavity wall is a more complex job than insulating your loft and you’ll need a professional to do it.

They’ll drill holes into the outside walls, inject insulation material through those holes using special equipment then seal them up with cement.

Window insulation

When people talk about window insulation, they generally mean double – or triple – glazing. In terms of the grant, the government considers installing window insulation a ‘secondary measure’.

That means it will help cover the cost but only if you install at least one ‘primary measure’ first. Both loft and cavity wall insulation (mentioned above) are considered ‘primary measures’. To see a full list of primary and secondary measures, head here.

Also, the cost of your double-glazing cannot exceed the cost of the primary measures you’ve installed.

Boiler insulation

The grant covers hot water tank insulation listed (as a secondary measure) but not boiler insulation.

However, insulating your boiler is something you can easily do yourself – and the materials are easy to find online.

Upgrade your boiler

If your boiler is over 10 years old, the blue flame is burning yellow or your energy bills are creeping up unexpectedly then it could be time for a new boiler.

The Green Homes Grant can help cover the cost of biomass boilers which are much more environmentally friendly.

Get a Local Hero to lend a hand

The Green Homes Grant comes to an end in March next year so now’s the time to apply.

It covers labour, as well as materials, so if you need help with installing insulation why not call on a Local Hero?

We have a network of trusted tradespeople who we can connect you with in minutes. Compare quotes, book one in then pay quickly and easily through our platform. It’s that simple.

If you’re going to apply for the grant, good luck! And when you’re ready, book a Local Heroes tradesperson in seconds.

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