Around half of British homes are throwing away at least £100 a year in wasted energy bill costs because they still lack proper loft and cavity wall insulation, according to new government figures released today.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) says that only 57% of Britain’s lofts have been properly insulated, and just 58% of cavity walls have been adequately filled – despite subsidised deals available.
Which? energy expert Sylvia Baron says: ‘With energy prices predicted to rise once more, there has never been a better time to insulate your home. Get it done this summer and start saving this winter.’
Cheap and ‘free’ insulation
Under the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target, or Cert, energy companies – such as British Gas, Npower, EDF, Scottish and Southern, Scottish Power and Eon – are obliged to subsidise insulation measures to customers. You can take up an insulation deal from any energy company, not just the one you’re with.
Look out for discounted cavity wall or loft insulation offers starting from as little as £100 for loft insulation, including installation. This could be even cheaper (from £1/m2) if you fit the insulation yourself.
If you are aged 70 or more, or receive certain benefits, you could get loft insulation installed free of charge, while some councils offer discounts and free insulation for ‘priority’ groups.
Finding low-cost insulation
Offers change all the time and can be location-specific, so before carrying out any loft insulation work, check whether an energy grant or special offer is available, or if you can get cheaper insulation through a DIY shop or elsewhere. You can also call the Energy Saving Trust on 0800 512 012 for details of local offers.
It’s not just through your energy company or council that you can find cheap insulation deals, either. Big-name stores including Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Marks and Spencer are also getting in on the act. Our energy grants guide has more information.
Poor cavity wall insulation advice
Make sure you do the proper research into installing cavity wall insulation beforehand. Earlier this year, Which? went undercover and found that the level of advice on possible damp problems linked to cavity wall insulation was not good enough.
Watch our undercover footage from our cavity wall insulation investigation and consult our cavity wall insulation advice to find out if your home is in an area which could be at risk of damp before getting cavity wall insulation installed.
Insulation and energy bill savings
It makes environmental and financial sense to insulate your house. On average, loft insulation can save you around £145 a year on your heating bills, whilst cavity wall insulation saves around £110 a year. And these savings will go up, as energy prices keep rising.
Lower your gas and electricity bills
You can compare energy prices and switch to a new gas and electricity supplier on Which? Switch. People who switched with us between 1 October and 31 December 2013 are predicted to save an average of £234 a year on their bills.
Which? RSS and Twitter news feeds
For daily consumer news, subscribe to the Which? consumer news RSS feed. If you have an older web browser you may need to copy and paste https://www.which.co.uk/feeds/news.xml into your newsreader.
Follow @WhichNews on Twitter for the latest news, or @WhichAction to see how we’re campaigning for consumers.