Owners of older, period or character homes are blind to the potential savings they could be making on their fuel bills by installing solid wall insulation, according to new research* by thinkinsulation.com.
The energy saving advice website surveyed 1,000 UK homeowners of properties built before 1930 and found that nearly half (47 per cent) thought that installing External Wall Insulation (EWI) or Internal Wall Insulation (IWI) in their solid wall properties would save them no more than £150 a year on their fuel bills. This is a huge £325** less than the actual estimated annual saving for installing EWI and £295*** less than the estimated annual saving for installing IWI, according to the Energy Saving Trust.
The research, which was commissioned to highlight the longstanding problem with the UK’s older, draughty and poorly insulated housing stock, revealed that despite the fact that 90 per cent of respondents had concerns about the rising cost of household fuel, 45 per cent had never considered installing solid wall insulation.
Furthermore, although around a third (30 per cent) had considered upgrading their home with solid wall insulation, they hadn’t gone ahead. Half of those(52 per cent) were put off by the installation cost and others were deterred by factors including perceived hassle and disruption to the property, lack of time and limited understanding of the installation process.
The findings come ahead of the launch of the Green Deal, the government’s planned new energy efficiency initiative to reduce the carbon emissions that come from energy used in homes and buildings. The Green Deal will provide capital upfront to homeowners for energy efficiency improvements such as installing solid wall insulation. Payments will be recouped through the savings in homeowners’ energy bills.
Lydia Sharples of thinkinsulation.com, comments: “Properties built with solid walls leak nearly half their heat through the walls if uninsulated. These inefficient homes use up large amounts of energy to heat and drain money from consumers’ pockets. The problem is that homeowners have considered upgrades to be too much hassle or too expensive to complete. However, with the advent of the Green Deal, it is no longer necessary for homeowners to pay for energy efficiency improvements upfront.”
IWI is applied to the internal surfaces of the external walls and can be installed throughout the house or on a room by room basis. An ideal time to install IWI is when re-decorating a room, or a series of rooms. Alternatively EWI can be applied to the outside face of the walls – either to the complete building or individual elevations of the building.
Some solid wall properties may not be suitable for EWI on the front elevations due to character features, listed status, planning restrictions or public right of way encroachment, but it could be ideal for the back of the property. Knauf Insulation manufactures a hybrid insulation system which incorporates both EWI and IWI and offers homeowners a flexible solution.
Lydia concludes: “An approved installer will be trained to carry out a full home assessment and advise on the best solution for each individual property. This could be IWI, EWI or a combination of both. Whatever the solution, solid wall insulation will vastly improve a home’s thermal comfort as well as enhancing the property’s overall energy performance rating, which is likely to make it more attractive to a future buyer.”
For more details about Knauf Insulation’s solid wall insulation solutions visit www.knaufinsulation.co.uk
For more information about how to save energy and money in the home, visit www.thinkinsulation.com
*thinkinsulation.com undertook consumer research with a national sample of 1,000 homeowners of properties built before 1930 to garner consumer insight into the key influencing factors driving people to install solid wall insulation and the barriers preventing them from upgrading their homes. Results were broken down by age, gender and location.
** Based on installing EWI in an uninsulated three bedroom semi-detached home.
***Based on installing IWI in an uninsulated three bedroom semi-detached home.