A significant, and growing, area of our expertise is the design and management of insulation schemes for lofts, cavity walls, solid walls and floors
Managing insulation schemes
Loft and cavity wall insulation remains the mainstay of local and national schemes to help improve energy efficiency and reduce fuel bills. Hundreds of thousands of households across the country have been helped in this way, with CSE at the forefront of much of this work in Bristol and Somerset.
We've learnt over the years that a successful energy efficiency scheme is based to a large extent on trusted local partnerships, with installers, local authorities, funders and others.
Beyond this it is our technical knowledge coupled with an understanding of the regulations and the very real practical constraints at a local level that make our insulation programmes work. And we'll be using this experience to develop new local programmes as we move towards the Green Deal.
Currently our two leading insulation schemes are:
Warm Streets, a Somerset-wide project that has installed over 7,500 loft and cavity wall insulations since 2008 and particularly targets vulnerable households in, or at risk of, fuel poverty. The project is funded by Scottish and Southern Energy with additional support from a range of local authorities.
Bristol Energy Efficiency Scheme has insulated over 6,000 properties in the city to date. It is funded by the Bristol council and a partner fuel supplier partner (the actual one changes periodically) and, as above, prioritises vulnerable households, in particular elderly or disabled people.
But what about the UK's millions of older homes, built without cavity walls, which are less easy to insulate? These require different measures to achieve the higher energy performance standards that carbon reduction targets demand. What's more, many such homes are ‘off-gas’, and rely on expensive heating fuels like electricity or oil.
Currently there is very little on offer to help the owners and tenants of these ‘hard-to-treat’ buildings, even though many of them are elderly people on low incomes who simply cannot afford to heat even modestly-sized homes adequately.
To address this demand, CSE has been developing expertise in the design and management of solid-wall insulation schemes. These are considerably more complex, but two of our pioneering projects show what can be done.
Freedom from Fuel Poverty, funded by Bath & North East Somerset Council, focused on providing free solid wall insulation along with renewable energy (specifically solar hot water or solar PV) to people living in fuel poverty.
The Somerset West Hard-to-Treat scheme is a pilot project funded by West Somerset, Sedgemoor and Taunton Deane district councils that gives small grants and access to low-interest council-backed loans to owner-occupiers to make their ‘hard-to-treat’ homes warmer and cheaper to heat through measures such as solid wall insulation (internal or external), floor insulation and complex roof insulation (e.g. beneath rafters, flat roof).
The numbers involved in both projects are small – just 17 households in the case of Freedom from Fuel Poverty – but they are certainly breaking new ground and attracting considerable interest.
For more information about our insulation schemes, contact Michael McClelland by email or on 0117 934 1445.
Read our leaflets about insulation: