Heating currently represents nearly half of the UK’s energy consumption. Around half of that is household consumption. Reducing the amount of energy needed to heat our homes would not only reduce fuel bills for homeowners, but would also cut CO2 emissions and improve Britain’s fuel security, making the country less dependent on importing oil and gas from overseas.
An expert at Max Fordham – one of Britain’s leading engineering consultancies – has claimed that if a home’s insulation is effective, the heat given off by home appliances could be enough to heat a house, without the use of central heating or renewable heating solutions.
Bill Watts, senior partner at Max Fordham says: “Instead of installing complicated heating systems, new builds should be insulated more effectively. A well-insulated home should only need to be heated for a few days a year. These complicated heating systems are on all year round, producing 52 weeks of heating bills for heat that customers don’t use or need.
“Our priority must be insulating our homes. Good insulation reduces the amount of energy required to keep our homes warm. It also ensures that all of the heat generated internally – by the kitchen fridge or even your own body heat – remains trapped inside, further reducing the need to import any additional heat energy into the home.”
Benefits of effective insulation
Insulation facts provided by the National Insulation Association (NIA) presents shocking figures for how much household heat is lost through walls, roofs, doors and windows.
According to the NIA, 45% of heat is lost through uninsulated solid walls. If every UK household that is suitable for solid wall insulation installed it, the UK could save nearly 14mil tonnes of CO2 every year. 33% of heat is lost through uninsulated cavity walls. Figures provided by Energy Saving Trust show that installing cavity wall insulation could create household savings of around £110 a year as well as significantly reducing CO2 emissions.
25% of heat is lost through roof/loft spaces and 20% of heat is lost through windows and doors. Installing loft insulation could create savings of around £145 a year and installing draught proofing around doors and windows could save another £25 a year.
The NIA is urging households to insulate rather than be affected by rising energy tariffs. Neil Marshall, Chief Executive of the NIA comments: “Householders may choose to switch supplier to find a better deal but home insulation is the most cost effective way of saving money on domestic energy bills and the savings are made year after year! An astounding 58% of heat can be lost through un-insulated walls and roofs; but with the right measures put in place, householders could be making huge savings on their energy bills, especially as the average dual fuel bill is estimated to be around £1300 per year.”
The NIA advises householders that the best way to find out if their home requires insulation is to contact an NIA installer member for a free survey and advice on any help with paying for insulation measures.