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Act now: insulation will never be so cheap again

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 19 January 2012 at 9:03 am

Loft and cavity wall insulation have been heavily subsidised for years now, but this year, the carbon emission reduction scheme (CERT) comes to an end, to be replaced by a loan scheme (the green deal). Insulation is the number one thing that will make your house warmer and more comfortable - and reduce your heating bills - and it will probably never be so cheap again.

25% of heat loss from a house is through the roof; 35% through the walls. In essence, you are paying to heat the outside air. What a waste! Surely stopping this expensive waste is a no brainer.

So act now. Go up to the loft, and measure your insulation. If it's less than 270mm (10") thick, you're not getting as much benefit as you could. If there isn't any, you're leaking money.

If you don't know if you have suitable cavity walls - or whether they have been filled - get an installer out to have a look. They can drill a small hole in the wall and tell if they are suitable, and if they are already filled.

The energy companies have tough targets to meet this year, and this means that there are some great offers around. The supermarkets and DIY stores are also competing hard for your business. To get the latest information on what's available in your area ring your local energy advice centre on 0800 512 012.

People over 70, or those on certain benefits, can get free insulation as, in some circumstances, can those with small children. Otherwise you are likely to pay between £100 and £350 for loft insulation, which will save you up to £175 a year off your heating bill, according to figures from the Energy Saving Trust. Cavity wall insulation costs about the same, and saves up to £135 a year.

The hassle involved in emptying the loft puts off a lot of people, but why not think about it as a great opportunity for a clear out. Just think of all the money you could make taking the things you haven't looked at for years to the car boot sale, or putting them on ebay. It might even cover the cost of the insulation!

So if you do just one home improvement this year, make it insulation. You'll never get such a good deal again.

Photo by Joseph Robertson


If you have a question about anything in the above blog, please ask it in the comments section below.

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3 comments - read them below or add one


NorthGlosEPCComment left on: 30 January 2012 at 12:43 am

Yep, Insulation is right now the "biggest bang for your buck" with regard to both reducing national Co2 output and reducing your energy bill.

Worrying thing is that predictions I've read suggest the number of insulation installations will plummet come the "green deal".

Currently loft and cavity wall insulation can be installed for about £100 to £150 each through existing grant schemes (free for over 70's and many benefit claimants). Come the green deal installation will revert to a market rate, a significant uplift in cost. OK no up front payments but this new higher cost will have to be paid (plus interest) through energy bill surcharges, and over the repayment period the home owner will end up paying out much more.

This is an aspect of the green deal that needs looking at, I'd suggest. Especially if these predictions are credible, fewer insulation installations surely was not the desired outcome.

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 20 January 2012 at 8:56 am

Bad news I'm afraid Punch, solid wall insulation isn't included in CERT. The good news is that the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) which is due to start in October with the Green Deal has a mandate to help with solid wall insulation. I'm still slogging my way through the 239 page consultation document, but watch the blogs for more information in due course.

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punchComment left on: 19 January 2012 at 10:09 pm

Thanks Cathy

Is this true of solid insulation also such as Kingspan 50 mm  sheets for lining walls ? IE are solid wall insulators subsidised at the moment ?

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