The Green Deal offers an unprecedented opportunity for householders to make energy efficient improvements to their home in an affordable way. If you are keen to live in a warmer, greener and cheaper to run house, you might be wondering where to start. Here is a guide to using the Green Deal to make your home more efficient in the right way.
Keep the heat in
Before you start thinking about renewable energy, it is important to make your home as efficient as possible. This means making it as draught proof and as well insulated as you can. Depending on the type of home you live in, you could be losing huge amounts of heat through the walls, roof, floors and windows, so it is important to address these as a first step towards a more efficient home.
What to do
The biggest heat loss frequently occurs through the walls of your home, and if you are in a detached property this is a top priority. Homes built in the last 40 years will have been built with a cavity in the wall. This cavity can be filled with wall insulation materials to reduce the amount of heat loss.
If you are in an older property, you may not have cavity walls. In this situation you can apply to the Green Deal for help with solid wall insulation. This may be in the form of cladding on the outside of the wall, or in some cases via internal wall insulation.
The roof is the second biggest area of heat loss, and in most cases is easy to treat. Loft insulation should be a minimum of 270mm for energy saving, although it really is a case of the more the merrier! If you have a loft conversion or live in a dormer bungalow, you may need to have roof insulation applied to the rafters which is slightly more complicated.
Once the walls and roof are sorted, you can turn your attention to the windows, doors are draughts. Draught proofing is simple and inexpensive to do, whereas replacing windows with new sealed units can be more expensive. Homes with suspended floors can also consider floor insulation or draught proofing wooden floors with sealant to reduce heat losses.
How the Green Deal can help
Lots of heat loss reduction measures are available under the Green Deal. These include:
- Cavity wall insulation, including hard to treat
- Draught proofing
- Duct insulation
- External wall insulation
- High performance external doors
- Internal wall insulation
- Loft, loft hatch and rafter insulation
- Pipe work insulation
- Replacement glazing
- Roof insulation
- Room in roof insulation
- Secondary glazing
- Under floor insulation
Where to start
As with all Green Deal improvements, your first port of call should be to have a Green Deal assessment from an approved assessor. You can search for an assessor here, or can contact a Green Deal Provider and ask them to find an assessor for you. They will present you with an Advice Report, which will indicate where your priorities lie, along with estimated savings achievable through the improvements.