Around 35% of heat is lost from residential buildings through the walls. It is a waste of money which has an easy fix – cavity wall insulation.
Not all properties have cavities – some are solid brick – but properties built between 1920 and 1975 are likely to be of cavity construction.
The heat loss means that uninsulated buildings have a high carbon footprint ie they are using high levels of fossil fuels for heating and producing carbon dioxide emissions. Not good for a Government with a significant carbon reduction target.
This is why governments over the years have introduced legislation to force energy companies to make available subsidies and grants for low carbon propositions and energy saving measures.
Currently, there are subsidies available for so called ‘Hard To Treat’ cavity walls. HomeSun’s particular focus within the category is residential blocks of flats of three storeys and above. We have 100% funding so that insulating these blocks is entirely free of charge until 31st March 2014. It is likely that funding will be cut beyond that point, so that it will not be possible to install free of charge mid rise flats – these are expensive to complete.
HomeSun will continue with its insulation programme beyond April but the focus will be buildings under 3 storeys. We are recommending that all of those interested in insulation, contacts HomeSun as soon as possible so that they can be added to the priority list.
The UK Government has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 15% by 2020. The biggest greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide - and around 27% of emissions come from homes. So - over the years - governments have introduced various subsidies and policies which help homeowners and tenants to reduce their carbon emissions by reducing their energy consumption. This, of course, is great for news for residents - they get a subsidised improvement to their home, and that improvement helps them to cut their energy bills. Fantastic.
Some of these subsidies (or, at least, the bigger versions of them) are sometimes in the market for a brief time - the Feed In Tariffs (FITs) for solar, for example, we very generous when they first started but they have now been cut to virtually nothing. The same thing happened with HHCRO - a subsidy which enabled replacements of inefficient boilers with low carbon alternatives, and the system was entirely free of charge.
Currently, ECO is operating like a subsidy (the Energy Company Obligation). Through it, utilities are required by government to meet carbon reduction targets through energy efficiency measures in homes. They achieve this by paying selected companies (like HomeSun) to deliver programmes and our particular focus is to insulate blocks of flats which are three storeys or higher. These properties have been largely ignored to date with regard insulation, and millions of people live in them and their bills are going up. And up.
HomeSun led the transformation in the UK of solar for homes with the launch of Free Solar in 2010 using the Feed-in Tariff (FITs) subsidy.
Through FITs, energy companies have to pay for every unit of renewable electricity produced by home solar PV systems. When they were introduced, it made buying solar much more attractive for homeowners, but they would still have had to find between £10,000 and £15,000 to buy the system in the first place. HomeSun turned that 'problem' completely on its head. Instead of the homeowner buying and installing the system, we did - and we recieved the Feed in Tariff. What did the homeowner get? As much as they could use of the free solar power generated by their free solar PV system, which generally saved them around one third off their electricity bill.
Sadly, Government has made progressive cuts to the Feed-in Tariffs - affecting the whole industry just as it was showing healthy growth. 2010-2012, over 200,000 homes were installed with solar PV compared to around 5,000 in all the years prior to the introduction of FITs. The UK has seen the first 'solar streets', communities joining together to get a 'mass' installation, and social networking sites with positive conversation about energy! All firsts.