An energy-efficient home is warm, comfortable and dry.
Doing all you can to manage the temperature in your home means you’re caring for the property and reducing your carbon footprint, too.
But measures that maintain a consistent temperature, like insulation, can be expensive, especially if you’re also dealing with an older home, with single glazing and a leaky boiler.
The Green Homes Grant voucher scheme is the latest government fund designed especially for homeowners like you, who want to live in an energy-efficient home.
It gives you the financial flexibility to review the materials in the structure of your home and make energy-efficient renovations, which could last for the next 50 years.
Five signs your home is energy inefficient
- You need the heating on all day and night, or for extended periods
- The floors and/or walls are cold to the touch
- You’ve tried other ways of warming up the house, like heavy curtains, draught excluders, and chimney balloons, but they’ve been ineffective
- Your energy bills are still very expensive, despite switching energy tariff
- There’s damp and condensation inside your home
The cost of an average UK energy bill
If you don’t have the recommended amount of insulation in your home, insulating it will make your energy bills cheaper.
According to the renewable energy provider, OVO Energy, the average yearly combined energy bill in 2019 was £1,289. It breaks down the average combined energy bill cost per size of the household too:
- £784 for a small house or flat
- £1,153 for a medium house
- £1,604 for a large house
Government research suggests that The Green Homes Grant can reduce annual energy bills by £600.
Meanwhile, the Energy Savings Trust says you will save around £150 for insulating the loft alone. It’s closer to £225 a year if you install solid wall insulation.
How to save heat energy in your home
Insulation slows down heat trying to escape through surfaces, like the walls, loft, and roof. It’s resistant to heat flow.
If you insulate your home with stone wool, it’s one of the safest and energy-efficient types of insulation. That means:
- Hot air won’t easily escape during the winter. The house stays warm, so you don’t need to have the heating on for very long
- You’re less likely to need fans or air conditioning in the summer because cool air won’t escape easily
It’s a material that helps you to manage the temperature of your home all year round, without even touching the thermostat.
Stone wool insulation is covered under the ‘primary measures’ umbrella of the Green Homes Grant.
If your home isn’t insulated at all, or there are uninsulated areas, the grant will cover the stone wool and labour up to £5,000.
If you already have insulation, but it’s degraded or poorly performing, unfortunately, you won’t be able to use the grant to replace it.
To find out more about the mechanics of the scheme and how you are able to spend the voucher, please read our guide to the Green Homes Grant.
Three benefits of using the Green Homes Grant to insulate your home
- It’s a comfortable temperature all year round
- Energy-saving, safe insulation adds value to the property when you come to sell it
- You’ll save money on your energy bills
Insulation and the EPC certificate
To get a reliable assessment of how energy-efficient your house is, look at its energy performance certificate (EPC).
The EPC gives you an estimated energy cost, plus an official energy efficiency rating in bands A-G. It’s an indicator of your property’s energy efficiency.
If you don’t have a copy of your EPC, or it’s expired, use the Simple Energy Advice postcode finder to find the most recent certificate. The service is free to use and available to everyone.
If your property is well insulated, your EPC certificate will have an energy-efficient rating and it’s not likely you’ll need to use the grant to insulate your home.
However, a low rating could suggest your property is poorly insulated throughout, or in critical heat-loss areas, like the roof. That’s where the Green Homes Grant can help you.
Can insulation improve the value of your property?
The value of energy efficiency was scrutinised in this report by Money Super Market which found a ‘strong correlation’ between a high EPC band rating and higher house price. A property with a band A/B EPC rating increased its value by 14%.
Its findings were mirrored in government research too.
In 2013, the government estimated that if you increased your EPC band from G to E, or from band D to B, you could add £16,000 to the asking price of your property. The average price increase in England was 14%, if the band moved from G to A/B.
A poor rating tells prospective buyers that the utility bills will be very expensive. It suggests there could be significant, costly issues to work on.
If you’re planning to move house within the next year, it’s worth putting the green tech and materials in your home under the microscope.
The Green Homes Grant will help you make the EPC rating appealing to buyers when it hits the market.
Types of energy-efficient insulation
The Green Homes Grant voucher will cover the cost of installing ROCKWOOL stone wool in the following areas of your home:
- Floors and ceilings
But before you apply for the Green Homes Grant, or head to a merchant’s to buy a roll, you need to speak to an approved installer.
Your installer must be TrustMark approved to work on your project, so you know their trading practices are sound and you can rely their guidance.
They’ll help you plan how to apply insulation to your home to make energy-efficient improvements.
Here’s an overview of the types of stone wool you could use to get you started:
- Batts: Also known as slab are regularly used in the wall cavity, floors, walls, and ceilings, they help to regulate the temperatures between rooms and reduce the risk of thermal leakage
- Roll: Commonly used in the loft over and between joists, it can be bought in easy-to-use sizes so you just unwrap and go.
- Fire-stopping and HVAC: Insulation for residential heating and ventilation systems, air ducts and vents.
Your tradesperson will know the ins and outs of how to apply each of the products. If they use ROCKWOOL, they won’t need official training to apply them either.
All you need to know is that ROCKWOOL stone wool needs no ongoing maintenance. Once it’s on the property, it will make it more energy-efficient and help you to reduce your energy bill.
Green, warm and comfortable homes have energy-efficient controls and technology throughout.
For more ideas about how to make your home energy efficient, check the Simple Energy Advice service.