Solid Wall Insulation
I have loft insulation but would like to do more to make my home more energy efficient. I know about cavity wall insulation, but my home has solid walls. Can I insulate these?
Solid walls actually lose even more heat than cavity walls – up to 45 per cent! Solid wall insulation – fitted to either external or internal walls – could reduce the carbon dioxide emissions associated with your home by around 2 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, making it one of the most impactful changes that can be made to a home. Insulating solid walls can reduce energy bills by around £445 a year, so the investment is well worth making for significant long term savings. It needs to be carried out by a professional installer, so click here to arrange a free survey and help you decide what’s best for your home.
Although there are currently no nationally available energy efficiency grants for solid wall insulation, the Government’s Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP) is aimed at helping families to permanently cut their energy bills by improving energy efficiency standards. It is funded by the energy companies and delivered through community-based partnerships involving Local Authorities via a house-by-house, street-by-street approach, with a particular focus on low income areas to help to take hard-pressed families out of fuel poverty. Check with your local council to see if your property could be tackled under the scheme.
Although not yet launched, it is hoped that funding for solid wall insulation will soon be available via the Green Deal, a new government initiative designed to help meet the upfront cost of making your home more energy efficient. It will allow homeowners to install energy-efficiency measures and pay for the improvements with the savings on their fuel bill. The amount of finance that a Green Deal Provider can attach to a customer’s estimated electricity bill will be limited by the ‘Golden Rule’ principle, which is determined by both the cost of the proposed measures, as well as the estimated energy bill savings that are likely to be realised as a result. It is unlikely that the majority of homes installing solid wall insulation will meet the ‘Golden Rule’ so for packages that include solid wall insulation, the Carbon Saving Obligation, part of the new Energy Company Obligation (ECO), has been designed to help those homes that cannot fully fund energy efficiency improvements through Green Deal finance alone. It is proposed that funding under the Carbon Saving Obligation would be available for all packages which include solid wall insulation.
If you’re a landlord there is also help available for installing solid wall insulation. Until April 2015, the Landlord’s Energy Saving Allowance lets you claim up to £1,500 against tax for energy-saving improvements you have made to each house or flat you rent out.
I’d like to make my period home more energy efficient, but will internal wall insulation ruin my original features, and will I lose floor area?
Internal wall insulation is a fantastic solution for period properties or listed buildings that would require planning permission for any changes made to the outside, or where the owner wants to maintain the authentic exterior appearance of the property. You don’t need to worry about losing your original features or significant amounts of floor space, though. Modern internal wall insulation systems are extremely slim, yet ultra-efficient, and lead to minimal loss of usable floor area.
Installing internal wall insulation does mean that fittings such as plug sockets and skirting boards need to be repositioned, so you’ll need to make sure that any decorative features like cornicing or picture rails are carefully removed and refitted following the installation. You could reduce the annual carbon dioxide emissions associated with your home by around 1.8 tonnes and save £365 per year on your energy bills by insulating solid walls.