Pages in My sustainable home
Did you know the average domestic CO2 per person in Reigate & Banstead for 2019 was 1.59 tonnes but the English average the same year was 1.38 tonnes? (Source UK local authority carbon dioxide emissions 2005-2019)
Boiler Upgrade Scheme - grants to replace your gas boiler with a heat pump
From April 2022, the government is providing £5,000 for households to replace gas boilers with low carbon heating systems, such as air source heat pumps (ASHPs). This grant would cover most of the cost and installation of a heat pump. Getting off gas helps you to reduce your greenhouse emissions because electricity (which heat pumps use) can be produced by renewable energy.
How to apply
- Find an MCS certified contractor (Microgeneration Certification Scheme website)
- The installer advises you and you agree a quote
- The installer applies for the grant, Ofgem will contact you
You must be a homeowner to apply and you can check if you may be eligible for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme here (GOV.UK website)
Other things to consider - not necessarily cheaper to run
Heat pumps are more efficient if you have a well insulated home or produce your own electricity with solar PV. In fact your Energy Performance Certificate will be checked for outstanding insulation recommendations, as part of the application process.
If saving money is your goal, bear in mind that gas is currently cheaper than electricity, so discuss this with your certified installer.
If you do decide to go ahead, email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know how you get on.
This is an informative article Heat pumps: How do they work and how do I get one? - BBC News website
Green Homes Grant
The Green Homes Grant scheme (Local Authority Delivery 2) is closed for new applications. The scheme provided eligible households with up to £10,000 for energy saving measures. To find out more see Grants available in Surrey (Action Surrey website) or call 0800 783 2503.
Reducing energy consumption
There are lots of ways to reduce your energy consumption at home, which will help you save money as well as the environment. Here are 5 top tips:
- Switch off - Most appliances can be turned off at the plug (although you may need to keep your TV boxes plugged in if you’re recording) and doing this rather than opting for standby can save money off your bills. Unplugging your chargers when they’re not in use can help too. Switching off all appliances rather than leaving them on standby could save up to £80 off your annual bill.
- Lights - Switch off again (lights this time) make sure you’re turning the lights off when you leave a room. Also replace any old incandescent or halogen bulbs with LED, which are much more energy efficient.
- Use less water - Filling the kettle up just enough or cutting your shower time by a minute means you use less energy (and of course, less water). Make sure the washing machine (and dishwasher) are fully loaded before hitting the start button.
- Draught-proofing - Some simple DIY draft-proofing around doors, windows and loft-hatches can help reduce heat loss in your home, which will help to reduce those heating bills.
- Home heating - Thermostats can help you get the right times for your heating to turn on and off, while switching radiators off in the rooms that aren’t being used can help you control your heating further.
To discuss how to reduce your energy consumptions and save money contact Action Surrey on 0800 783 2503.
There are lots of resources online if you want to explore this further, including:
Other support schemes for energy
The Government has set a target for the UK to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and has a number of schemes to support you on this journey:
- Energy Company Obligation – an obligation for energy companies to install energy-efficiency measures in homes
- Warm Home Discount – some people may be able to get a reduction in their electricity bill between September and March
OFGEM, the Government department for gas and electricity, has a list of available schemes.
On-site renewable energy generation
If you’re a homeowner, you may be able to invest in generating renewable energy or renewable heat for your home. This could include solar panels, wind turbines, air or ground source heat pumps, solar heating and a whole range of other technologies.
Some of the schemes mentioned above could help finance this. For advice about these schemes, visit the Energy Saving Trust website.
In 2021-22 a Surrey-wide discounted solar PV scheme helped 150 residents in our borough add 2000 panels to their homes. Look out for news of the next Solar Together scheme.
Renewable energy suppliers
If you can't generate your own renewable energy, you could still opt for an energy supplier that provides a green tariff. A green tariff allows you to choose an energy company that buys its energy from renewable sources.
The national grid’s renewable energy mix will change throughout the year, but the annual average is gradually increasing. While you can’t choose what mix of energy arrives at your home, you can choose an energy company that encourages the UK to make a shift to cleaner energy for all.
For more information on switching supplier, check Energy Saving Trust's advice here.
When you’re ready to switch supplier, you can visit the 'Big Clean Switch’ for help to compare suppliers and look at the savings you might make.