Architecture / Renewable Energy

Importance of insulation in energy saving

The Globe

Image courtesy of Ray Foulk

We have already had an incentive to install solar panels on to our homes with the solar Feed-in Tariffs. Now the government has a plan to encourage more people to install insulation in their homes.

The Green Deal is part of the Energy Company Obligation (ECO). The aim of the ECO is to try to improve energy efficiency of people’s homes without increasing the cost to them, given the rising price of energy.

This means that if you want house improvements included in this scheme, such as loft or cavity insulation, draft proofing or double glazing, you can get your house assessed now. But the changes can only be put into effect from January of next year.

The way the process will work is that a Green Deal Assessor will write a report on your property makes recommendations and gives an estimate on how much you can save in energy bills by insulating your house. Next, you choose a Green Deal Provider who tells you what needs to be done and how much it will cost.

If you decide to go ahead with the changes, the provider suggests that a Green Deal Plan contract is signed, by which you pay for the work done in installments through electricity bills. And according to David Cameron, “The more work households have done, the more energy they stand to save and the more cash they receive.”

However, some think that the savings made wouldn’t cover the cost of the changes, as the Telegraph suggests customers could ‘get lost in a maze of Green Deal red tape.’ Ray Foulk, an architect and environmental campaigner, highlights the importance of insulation in energy saving. He says:

“It’s really key, because if you can keep heat in you don’t need to worry about how you generate the heat.”

Ray is part of a team who won the Council David Steel Sustainable Building Award in 2011 for redeveloping the Globe Pub in Oxford to make it more sustainable. Not only is the Globe insulated on both the inside and the out, but it also incorporates under floor heating which means that it stays at room temperature. This has the same effect as climate control heating turned on for 24 hours a day. The project has also been effective at getting people to think about sustainable architecture.

“It’s good to see the number of people who stop outside to look at and talk about the house, explaining to each other how it works- the visibility and interest generated is part of the reason I converted it,” Foulk said.

By Olivia

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