Following the big freeze of the county during recent weeks, the Cornish fuel poverty and sustainable energy charity Community Energy Plus has reported a record number of applications for loft and cavity wall insulation through a scheme funded by Cornwall Council.
The cold snap has encouraged many households in the county to act on the invitation to stay warm and save money by improving the energy efficiency of their homes by taking up the charity’s offer for free and discounted loft and cavity wall insulation with a record number of installations completed by the scheme in December.
Homeowners and private tenants can take advantage of a discounted rate of £99 for each type of insulation installed, while householders in receipt of certain benefits or over 70 can be eligible for free insulation from Community Energy Plus.
The scheme, which was launched in September, is already more than half way towards its target of helping 3,500 privately owned or rented households across Cornwall but with limited funds available, householders are being encouraged to act now to protect themselves from the continuing cold weather and reduce their heating bills by making sure that their home is properly insulated.
Ian Smith, Managing Director of Community Energy Plus said: “With rising energy prices and long periods of very cold weather, householders in Cornwall are recognising the value of keeping the heat that they’ve paid for within their homes and we’ve seen a dramatic increase in enquiries as the temperatures have dropped. In an un-insulated home around a third of all the heat is lost through the walls and a quarter is lost through the roof so adding insulation is a simple way of keeping warm while saving energy and money.”
Cornwall Council’s cabinet member for the environment Julian German said: “It’s great to see local residents taking steps to make their homes more energy efficient to help tackle the issue of climate change while reducing their fuel bills and enjoying warmer, healthier lives.”
A retired Redruth couple has enjoyed the benefits of a warmer, more energy efficient home after taking up Community Energy Plus’s free insulation offer for over 70s last year.
Michael and Isabel Beckerleg had insulation fitted to the loft of their bungalow last January. Michael Beckerleg commented: “We were really impressed that the installers only took a morning to complete the work and there was little mess or disruption. We noticed that our home felt warmer straight away and our gas fuelled central heating hasn’t needed to work as hard to keep the house at a comfortable temperature. It’s great to think that we’ve been able to save money on our heating bills with such little effort and getting the insulation for free was an added bonus. After realising the difference that insulation can make and the help available through a local scheme we’ve been keen to tell our friends about the Community Energy Plus offer.”