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Warning about spray foam insulation

Parishioners should be made aware that there have been some reports on Radio 4 of ‘cowboys’ selling spray foam insulation designed to be sprayed directly onto the underside of the roof, claiming to access difficult to reach eaves sections. Householders have had damage caused by the technique and considerable costs to then remove the foam, which sets like concrete, in order to be able to sell their property.

Householders should avoid this method in any approaches made to them and seek professional or trustworthy advice. The cheapest and safest insulation mats for your loft are products such as mineral wool rolls or sustainable products like sheep’s wool, recycled paper or hemp/jute batts all tested for fire safety. It is also better to use breathable products so as to avoid any moisture causing rot to rafters. Currently spray foam is not banned in Building Regulations but evidence shows this is a problematic technique.

Check the energy efficiency of your home

Improving the energy efficiency of your home can help save money on your bills and reduce your carbon footprint, helping our planet.

There are a number of schemes available to help you with the cost of work to upgrade the energy efficiency of your home.

If you do not know the energy efficiency rating of your home, or would like ideas about how to improve your rating, then use the online checker to find out what energy efficiency or low carbon heat improvements may be suitable for your home. CLICK HERE.

You can also use the Worcestershire Heat Loss Map. CLICK HERE to see how much heat your property is losing. The map is based on no energy efficiency improvements having been made since 2008.

Green Homes Grant

If you own your own home, or you are a residential landlord, then you can apply for a Green Homes Grant voucher.

The Government will cover two-thirds of the cost of eligible improvements you have carried out, up to a maximum contribution of £5,000.

If you, or someone in your household, receives certain benefits you may qualify for a voucher covering all of the cost, up to a maximum of £10,000. (Landlords do not qualify for low income support).

CLICK HERE to Check if you qualify for the low income support scheme.

Who qualifies for the scheme?

You may qualify if:

  • you own your own home (including long-leaseholders and shared ownership)
  • you own your own park home on a residential site (including Gypsy and Traveller sites)
  • you’re a residential landlord in the private or social rented sector (including local authorities and housing associations)

CLICK HERE to Check if you qualify for a Green Homes Grant

Please note:

  • You cannot get the Green Homes Grant for newly built homes which have not been previously occupied.
  • You cannot claim the grant for the cost of work already funded by the Energy Company Obligation or if we are funding you through our own local scheme.
  • If you are a landlord then the work will count towards your state aid limit.

What kind of work is covered?

The voucher covers everything from different types of insulation to ground source heat pumps and double glazing.

CLICK HERE to Check out the Green Homes Grant website for more information about what is covered by the voucher


Other energy efficiency funding schemes

If you don’t qualify for a Green Homes Grant other support is available.

Energy Company Obligation (ECO)

The Government requires energy companies to provide funding to help improve the energy efficiency of homes, reduce carbon emissions and tackle fuel poverty.

If you are on certain benefits, you may be able to get help funding, all or some, of the cost of some types of insulation or heating systems, such as a replacement boiler.

To qualify you need to be claiming one of the following:

  • Income Support
  • Income related Employment & Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Income based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Pension Credit Guarantee (not savings credit)
  • Universal Credit
  • Child Tax Credits
  • Working Tax Credits
  • Child Benefit*
  • Disability Benefits
    – Personal Independence Payment
    – Disability Living Allowance
    – Attendance Allowance
    – Armed Forces Independence Payment
    – Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit

*based on income thresholds and household composition

CLICK HERE to Check out the Act on Energy website for more information on funding for energy efficiency improvements.

Warm Homes Fund

The Warmer Worcestershire Network has received funding from the National Grid Warm Homes Fund, to install 150 first time gas central heating systems in urban areas.

This project is aimed at installing gas boilers in properties which do not currently have central heating and are close to a mains gas supply.

The project runs until May 2021 unless all funds are allocated before this date.

CLICK HERE to Find out if you qualify for a Warm Homes Fund grant.

Advice on renewable energy

  • Installing renewable energy systems in your own home can cut your energy bills and the harmful carbon emissions your household creates.
  • There are many forms of renewable energy including solar panels, wind turbines, ground source heat pumps and biomass boilers.
  • The Green Homes Grant scheme (CLICK HERE) can help you with the cost of installing renewable energy technology in your home.
  • You could also be paid for the energy you generate for seven years as part of the Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive.
  • CLICK HERE to find out more about installing renewable energy technology in your home.
  • You can also call Act on Energy on 0800 988 2881.

Ways you can save money and energy

By taking some simple energy saving measures you can save money on your bills.

Top energy saving tips

  • Using smart technology to control your heating could save up to £75 a year
  • Turning your thermostat down 1 degree could save you £60 a year
  • Switching your appliances off stand-by could save you £35 a year
  • Using a bowl to wash up in could save £25 a year
  • Replacing all your bulbs with LEDs could save £40 a year
  • Turning off lights when you’re not in the room could save £15 a year
  • Draught proofing doors and windows could save £25 a year
  • Spending one less minute in the shower each day could save £8 a year, per person
  • Doing one less load of laundry a week could save you £8 a year
  • Filling the kettle with just the right amount of water could save £6 a year

CLICK HERE to Check out more ways to cut your bills from the Energy Saving Trust.

Switch energy provider

This is one of the easiest things you can do to save you money on your bills.

Get a smart meter

A smart meter will give you near to real-time information on your energy consumption to help you manage your energy use and save money, as well as reduce your carbon footprint. It also means your billing will be more accurate as information will be sent direct to your energy provider. Smart meters can be installed for free.

CLICK HERE to Find out more about how to get a smart meter.

Join an energy switching scheme

Energy switching schemes join groups of people together. Energy companies then bid for the right to supply those individuals to supply their gas and electricity. Because it is one bulk contract, members of the scheme benefit from a lower price. Auctions take place three times a year.

Advice on keeping warm this winter

If you are not very mobile, aged 65 or over, or have a health condition such as hear or long disease, it is important you keep warm. You must heat your home to at least 18 degrees Celsius.

CLICK HERE for Advice from the NHS on how to keep warm during the winter

Warm Home Discount Scheme

You could get £140 off your electricity bill for winter 2020 to 2021 under the Warm Home Discount Scheme. The scheme is open for applications from 12 October 2020.

You do not receive any money. Instead you will get a one-off discount on your electricity bill between September and March.

You may be able to get the discount on your gas bill instead if your supplier provides you with both gas and electricity.

You may have to contact your energy supplier to find out if they offer this discount and to apply. Not all energy suppliers are part of the scheme.

How Malvern Hills District Council are reducing fuel poverty and energy use

They have an important role to play in supporting their residents to reduce their energy use and to improve the energy efficiency of homes across the district.

Their Home Energy Conservation Act Plan (HECA) sets out how they will work with partner organisations to improve energy efficiency and reduce fuel poverty. You can also read about their current achievements and their future plans.

This links to actions in the  Malvern Hills District Council Destination Zero plan, which sets out how they are tackling climate change.

pdfRead the Home Energy Conservation Act (HECA) Plan 2017 – 2019 (3.56 MB)

CHECK OUT HERE Worcestershire County Council commitment as a Sustainable Council