As Monday 25th October marks the start of National Energy Saving Week, Community Energy Plus, a Cornish charity which delivers sustainable energy projects, is encouraging householders in the county to keep the heat in and the cold out and look at how they can save energy at home and reap the rewards of lower energy bills.
Ian Smith, Managing Director of Community Energy Plus hopes that Cornish householders will rise to the challenge of National Energy Saving Week. He said: “With energy prices expected to increase by a further 60% by 2022, we all need to look now at how we can save energy to minimise the impact of higher energy bills. Taking small steps to use energy more efficiently can make surprising financial and carbon savings and I hope that Energy Saving Week will provide an opportunity for householders to get energy wise for a greener future for Cornwall.”
The latest government figures indicate that 15.5 per cent of households in the South West were living in fuel poverty in 2008, a term which is defined as a household spending more than ten per cent of their income on heating.
Rising energy costs are having a significant impact on fuel poverty figures and DECC’s recent report on Fuel Poverty identifies that fuel prices have risen by an average of 80% between 2004 and 2008. Low average wage levels combined with a particularly cold winter means that many households struggle to pay their heating bills. As just under half of homes in Cornwall are unable to access the mains gas network many households rely on expensive forms of heating which exacerbates the fuel poverty problem.
Fitting cavity wall and loft insulation is an easy way to keep the heat in and the cold out, as well as bringing energy bills down. Over the past decade Community Energy Plus’s free and discounted insulation schemes, which are funded by Cornwall Council and national energy companies, has helped over 22,000 households in Cornwall to make their homes warmer and save a total of over £2.4m per year on their energy bills.
- If you don’t have any insulation, a 270mm layer of insulation, or approximately 10.5 inches – equivalent to the height of a cereal box – could save around £150 a year.
- Cavity wall insulation could save a household £115 a year.
- Replacing all single glazed windows with energy efficient glazing could save you around £130 per year.
- Replacing a boiler which is 15 year old or more with a new energy efficient model could save £65 – £225 a year.
- Using strips and excluders to draught proof around leaky door and window frames can save around £25 a year on heating bills.
For free and impartial advice on saving energy contact the Energy Saving Trust on 0800 512012.
For further information or to apply for free and discounted insulation through Community Energy Plus visit www.cep.org.uk or call Freephone 0800 954 1956.