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Housing residents - energy efficiency

Where can I get advice about how to keep my home warm?

During winter it is essential to keep warm and healthy and making your home more energy efficient and insulated will help you achieve this.  Along with the other initiatives and ideas you may have already seen on our website, advice and help is available from the following organisations:

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How can I save money on my fuel bills?

Different utility companies can charge different rates for supplying electricity and gas to your home. You may find a cheaper rate by changing your supplier or payment method. Various websites offer impartial advice on different tariffs available and explain how to change supplier.


National Energy Action can also offer advice on what to look for when deciding to change your tariff. To find out more information contact your supplier direct or visi:

The National Energy Action (external website)

Alternatively you may like to join together with other consumers to cut energy bills using combined switching power of thousands of consumers, '38 Degrees North' are trying to negotiate with energy suppliers to secure a market deal:

 

You can also find a range of handy hints on how to reduce your fuel bills in the following document.

Handy Hints on Energy Efficiency (pdf 168kb opens in new window)

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Where can I get advice if I am struggling to pay my fuel bills?

The Home Heat Helpline can advise you on benefits, grants for free home insulation, reduced tariffs and special payment options your energy supplier provides to help those struggling with their fuel bills.

The Home Heat Helpline (external website) 

You can call the Home Heat Helpline on freephone (0800) 336699 or minicom (0800) 027 2122 for free advice.

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Am I eligible for winter fuel and cold weather payments?

During winter it is essential to keep warm and healthy, making your home more energy efficient and insulated will help you achieve this. You maybe eligible for help with the cost of heating your home if you are 60 or over, disabled or on a low income.

Winter fuel payments are available if you were born on or before 5th July 1950.
Cold weather payments may also be available to help those in receipt of benefit for periods of very cold weather.

For more details on either winter fuel or cold weather payments please visit the government’s website. 

Directgov (external website)

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What energy efficiency grants are available?

Cavity and loft insulation grants

The Council has obtained limited funding to enable a reduced cost insulation scheme for owner occupiers and private tenants. This involves a contribution from the Council of £200 towards the cost of loft or cavity wall insulation for people aged over 70 or in receipt of an income or disability related benefit which would not enable the work to be undertaken free of charge under Energy Company Obligation (ECO) funding or suffering from a long term health condition.

Due to limited funding, aid will be allocated on a first come, first served basis and will be subject to a survey of your home.

To receive more information please complete a private housing service request (opens in new window)email the energy efficiency teamor telephone the council on (01482) 396301.

Renewable energy grants

Renewable grants at present are via Feed in tariffs which have been available since April 2010. These grants are for solar electricity panels (PV) or wind turbines. For more information please visit the Energy Saving Trust website.

Energy Saving Trust (external website)

Grants will be available for solar thermal, air source heat pumps, ground source heat pumps, bio mass boilers and renewable combined heat and power which are currently under consultation and proposed to be introduced in 2013 for domestic dwellings. More information about the grants can be found at the Department of Energy and Climate Change website.

Department of Energy and Climate Change (external website)

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How can I calculate my carbon footprint?

If you would like to know how much you could save if you improved the energy efficiency of your property and made a few simple changes to how you live in your home, call the Energy Saving Trust’s freephone number (0800) 512012 and advisors will be happy to help you.
 
Or you can try the Act on CO² calculator website which forms part of the Government’s larger Act On CO² campaign.

Act on CO² calculator (external website) 

Alternatively you can use Imeasure provided by the University of Oxford environmental change institute to check your home energy use.

Imeasure (external website)

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What is an Energy Performance Certificate?

Since October 2008, all domestic buildings require an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) when they are bought, sold or rented out. An EPC gives information on how to make your home more energy efficient and reduce carbon dioxide (CO²) emissions.

A Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) rating is provided which measures the energy efficiency of your home using a grade from A to G, similar to the energy performance certificates now provided with domestic appliances such as refrigerators and washing machines where A is very efficient and G is very inefficient. The report also provides recommendations on what you could do to help reduce the amount of energy you use and reduce CO² emissions.

From 1 October 2008 landlords, or their agents, need to provide an EPC whenever a home in the social or private rented sector is let to a new tenant. Landlords, or their agents, must provide an EPC free of charge to prospective tenants at the earliest opportunity. This should be when they are first given written information about the property or view it, and before any rental contract is entered into. An EPC is not required for any property that was occupied before 1 October 2008 and which continues to be occupied after that date by the same tenant.

A number of amendments to the original regulations covering the provision of Energy Performance Certificates have been introduced over subsequent years and were consolidated in December 2012.

The following pdf document provides information to landlords on EPC's.

A guide to energy performance certificates for the construction,sale and let of dwellings (pdf 383kb opens in new window)

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How do I find an accredited person to undertake an Energy Performance Certificate?

Only accredited domestic energy assessors and home inspectors can produce an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).

If you use an independent energy assessor make sure they are a current member
of an accreditation scheme, as this ensures your energy assessor is operating
to professional standards. An EPC is only authentic if issued by an accredited
Domestic Energy Assessor (DEA). Details of accredited DEA’s can be found at the Energy Performance Register.

Energy performance register (external website)

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Can I get help to be connected to the Gas Network?

The Council are working with Community Energy Solutions who, in partnership with Northern Gas Networks, manage an assisted connection voucher scheme, which will either partly or completely cover the cost of a new gas connection.

You may be eligible for an assisted connection voucher if you live at the property requiring a gas connection and meet any of the following:

  • You or your partner are 70 years of age or older.
  • You or your partner receive key qualifying benefits.
  • You spend 10% or more of the total household income on heating your home to defined levels.

And/or:

  • The property requiring connection is located in an area eligible for support, as designated by the energy regulator.

The property requiring connection must be an existing domestic dwelling. Other criteria may also apply and will be advised during your application according to your circumstances.

If you would like to find out more about the assisted gas connection voucher scheme, please contact the Council's Energy Efficiency team by calling (01482) 396301, making an online service request (opens in new window)or alternatively sending an email. The team will be able to answer your initial enquiries and arrange a quick assessment  to confirm your eligibility. 

Please note: New build premises, alterations to existing supplies and non-domestic properties are exempt from the assisted connection voucher scheme.  If you rent your home permission will usually be required by your landlord. You must have confirmation of your assisted connection voucher before you apply for a connection from Northern Gas Networks.

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