Sunday, February 10, 2008

Snug as a Bug

internal insultaionRecently Judith commented that she had read that solar panels don’t make economic sense in domestic situations and that it is better to spend the money on insulation. I said I would look into it and found this: Hothouses by Jean Lambert MEP for London published 1/1/2007. Some extracts:

“If we deal with energy-inefficient homes through extensive insulation programmes, we can also combat fuel poverty and meet a social need.”

“…cavity wall insulation is easy to do, quick, convenient and cheap. By contrast, insulating dwellings with solid walls is more problematic and expensive. Around one third of homes in England have solid walls, so the problem at national level is not insignificant. However, London has a much higher proportion of solid wall homes. It has over 1.7 million, which amounts to 56% of all London homes. This is far higher than any other region, both in terms of percentages and absolute numbers.”

“Solid wall insulation is relatively expensive. The Energy Saving Trust estimate that marginal costs for external solid wall insulation starts at £1,800 for a semi-detached house and internal solid wall insulation will cost upwards from £40 per square metre. However, the cost of internal solid wall insulation for a small flat in a terrace would be reasonably affordable, as only the internal areas of external walls, which would be a relatively small area, would need insulating in such properties.”

“The UK Government is aware of these issues, and initiatives and policy mechanisms exist to reduce emissions in the domestic sector. However, these mechanisms are not robust enough, targets are not high enough, and the initiatives are failing to make an impact on the scale required.”

And as if by magic on 4th December 2007 we get this:
The launch of the London Green Homes service, offering a free [sic!] comprehensive telephone advice service, a free website and a paid-for green ‘concierge’ service to provide a hassle-free tailor-made package of carbon saving lifestyle improvements.
  • The Green Homes Advice Service:- An information website - which Londoners can access for information and advice on how to reduce their carbon footprint. It includes interactive sections such as a carbon calculator, and advise on what grants are available to make changes- A free telephone helpline – 0800 512012- to access one-to-one, personalised advice from experienced staff on how to make your home ‘green’.
  • The Green Homes Concierge Service: a paid-for concierge service - which has already been successfully piloted across London and is designed for homeowners who want to make more significant changes to their homes without the hassle. The innovative tailor-made service provides a customised audit of a property, including a thermal image, and a ‘blow door’ test to identify sources of draughts; a report of recommended ways to reduce emissions; and, if wanted, full project management of a programme to cut emissions, including sourcing of competitive quotes. The subsidised service will cost £199 for annual membership. For more information call: 0800 089 0098.

Since we are paying for it, we may as well use it, eh?
There is a local Councillor in Lewisham who has taken advantage of the Concierge Service and you can read about her experience here and here.


  1. Thank you for your interesting research, B21. Couple of comments (of course!):

    you should be very careful infilling cavity walls because of possible damp problems;

    don't completely seal rooms, because this can lead to condensation and possible damp problems;

    wear a liberty bodice in the winter (remember those, with yukky rubber buttons?).

  2. Judith remembers liberty bodices, and I thought she was only 23! Another dream shattered.

  3. I am given to understand that such apparel is now fashionable among 20 something celebs, if my Daughter-in-laws magazines are anything to go by.