Four key principles for energy efficient retrofitting of houses
If you are considering getting an air source heat pump as an alternative to gas, or PV solar panels to generate electricity from the sun, be sure to look first at the "fabric" of your house. British houses are the leakiest in Europe - so make reducing the demand for energy your first priority.
For walls, floors, roofs, lofts and windows, energy efficiency obviously depends on good levels of insulation.
Airtightness (or reduction of draughts) is an often overlooked aspect of energy efficiency which can make a
huge impact on the warmth and comfort of a home.
3. Continuity of insulation (or minimising 'thermal bridging')
To work best, insulation needs to work in a continuous ‘blanket’ around the house, minimising any gaps in the insulation (known as ‘thermal bridges’). Examples of ‘thermal bridges include holes in the building envelope for pipes and cables or gaps in insulation where the wall meets the roof, which breaks the continuity of insulation and loses heat out of the building.
As airtightness improves in a building, it is also vital that potential dampness is considered so as to avoid condensation. Opening a window or even using 'trickle vents' can defeat the purpose of airtightness - the ideal alternative is to install a Mechanical Ventilation & Heat Recovery (MVHR) system, in which the heat of the air being vented is transferred to the fresh air coming in.
CLICK HERE for more information and diagrams.
Derbyshire Dales District Council is tackling fuel poverty with better energy efficiency in the houses of low-income residents and reducing carbon emissions.
Work will begin soon to install energy efficiency measures such as external wall insulation and solar PV panels in a further 89 properties across the district to tackle fuel poverty and reduce carbon emissions.
The council is applying for nearly £1 million of additional funding to expand its housing fuel poverty programme helping improve the energy efficiency and reduce the carbon footprint of the worst performing homes across the district.
In partnership with other neighbouring local authorities a programme of work will begin in September to strengthen the council’s approach to enforcing minimum energy efficiency standards in privately rented properties.
A permanent record of all work done on any house!
TrustMark is building a national electronic database where any work done on your house must be sent by the builder or installer to this "hub" and becomes part of a Property Passport - so any owners can access a full record of work done since the property was first recorded on the database.
Find out more here.