Home energy efficiency

The Council’s Housing Energy Action Team (HEAT) can help owner occupiers and tenants in privately rented properties make their homes warmer, more comfortable and cheaper to heat.

Making your home more energy efficient has numerous benefits:

  • Improved thermal comfort;
  • Lower energy bills;
  • Reduced carbon emissions;
  • Health benefits.

Rising energy bills

  • Average energy costs are now in the region of £1,300 per property for dual fuel households (gas and electricity), based on a 3 bedroom semi-detached home;
  • Longer term predictions suggest these costs will continue to rise to fund the carbon reduction and infrastructure investment needed to achieve the Government’s energy targets;
  • The amount of heat lost in UK homes each year, through loft spaces and walls, is enough to heat 5 million homes for a year;
  • The average household has up to 12 gadgets left on standby at any one time, wasting £740 million worth of energy each year in UK homes.

So why wait to take action? By becoming more energy efficient now, you will start to make immediate savings whilst everyone else might have to pay increasingly more for their energy bills.

Make your home as energy efficient as possible

  • Use a heating system that’s as efficient as possible. For further advice, see: Heating your home .
  • Reduce energy usage and possible wastage. For further advice, see: Insulating your home .

For more everyday energy saving tips, visit: Energy Saving Trust Top Tips

Switch energy suppliers

Switching energy suppliers is an effective and easy way to save money on your energy bills. If you have not changed suppliers within the past three years then it is worth comparing providers to see how much you could save. Ofgem have put together a range of guides and links to help guide you through the process, visit: Switching your energy supplier

Affordable warmth

Living in a warm, comfortable home helps to:

  • Prevent and ease the symptoms of cold related respiratory illnesses such as heart and lung conditions
  • Reduce the risk of falls for older people
  • It can help people who have chronic joint conditions such as arthritis, or have a physical disability or mental illness which may limit movement and / or mean that the occupant spends a lot of time at home.

Definition of Affordable Warmth

“A resident’s ability to heat the main living areas of their home to a minimum recommended comfort temperature of 21°C, without incurring debt as a result.”

Causes

There are three main causes for people living in cold environments:

  1. The first is the cost and amount of energy that is required to heat their home efficiently.
  2. The energy efficiency rating of homes and lastly.
  3. the household income and ability to pay for everything else as well as their heating bill.

Effects

There are many effects which can come with living in a cold home due to the three causes mentioned above. As a result of this Calderdale spends £1 million per year on treating cold related ill health and there is also an excess of winter deaths. The effects on children can develop into problems in later life, for example higher risk in children of developing long term respiratory and mental illness in adult life.

High Risk Groups

  • Older people.
  • Lower income households.
  • Lone parent families with young children.
  • Long term unemployed.
  • Residents with long term health conditions or disabilities.

All of these groups spend more time at home and need to use more fuel and energy to keep warm.

Where can you receive help?

There are several places you can receive help from depending on your circumstances:

  1. you can go to our Housing Energy Team for advice on affordable warmth and energy efficiency;
  2. you can get home fire safety checks and advice including smoke alarms from the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service;
  3. from Calderdale’s Citizens Advice Bureau you can receive benefit entitlement checks to see if you are entitled to more than you are already receiving;
  4. there is access to the Neighbourhood & Staying Well Projects to get people out of their homes and interacting with others in their area preventing isolation;
  5. PDFSafe and Warm Homes referral card. [PDF 194KB] .

Benefit entitlement checks

If you are on a low income, it's important to make sure you are claiming the benefits you are entitled to. This can help increase your household income and help you to cover the cost of your energy bills and other essential household costs. More importantly, it can open up access to schemes like the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) for households that are in receipt of certain qualifying means tested benefits or tax credits, see: Housing energy schemes .

Various organisations can assess your circumstances and help you to apply for the benefits which you may be entitled to. Contact one of the following for details: