Home Improvements

Home Improvements to bring energy costs down

Wasted energy is wasted money!


There are some simple steps you can take to help reduce your bills, but you might also want to think about making bigger changes to your home to be more energy efficient and to save money in the longer term.


Home improvements such as loft and cavity wall insulation, upgrading the central heating boiler and fitting solar panelt or double glazing can help to save energy and reduce bills. Use the appropriate link below to find information about the options available to you - you may even be able to get help with the costs.


Remember: If you rent your home you must always talk to your landlord before making any changes to the property.




Council and Housing Assocation Tenants


The Welsh Government has set out a minimum standard that all Council and Housing Association properties should meet by the end of 2012. This is known as the Welsh Housing Quality Standard (WHQS). The Standard says that tenants should be able to live in properties that are:


  • in a good state of repair
  • safe secure
  • adequately heated, fuel efficient and well insulated
  • contain up to date kitchens and bathrooms
  • well managed
  • located in attractive and safe environments
  • as far as possible meet the specific requirements of the household (e.g. specific disabilies)

Adequately heated, fuel efficient and well insulated


The Vale of Glamorgan Council aims to achieve the WHQS by 2017 and a major element of the standard is the Energy Performanceof Council Housing. The Standards requires that all dwellings are improved to SAP/2008 score of 65. The Council can achieve this for most of its housing however there are some hard to treat housing which are difficult to acheive the standard. With these hard to treat properties the council are looking into what can be done to help meet the WHQS.


If you are a Council or Housing Association tenant and have any questions about whether any further work is planned for your home contact your landlord. You must also check with them if you want to arrange any energy saving work yourself. 


Remeber - you may also be able to reduce your bills and save energy by making small changes to the way you live.  So  be 'green' and save money!



Private Tenants


If you rent your home from a private landlord the options you can think about for keeping your bills down and keeping your property warm are generally the same as for home owners. But rememeber - if you think you need extra insulation, a new central heating boiler or any other work always talk to your landlord first.


As well as saving you money, energy saving home improvements can benefit your landlord by adding value to the property. It is also worth remembering that as a tenant you may be able to get a grant or discount for some of the work, so that your landlrod will get a good deal.


Your landlord may be willing to arrange improviements with you, and he/she may be able to claim a tax allowance for the costs of some of the work.



Home Owners


As a home owner you can consider a whole range of improvements to make your home more energy efficient and reduce your bills as a result.


As a starting point complete the online Home Energy Check to find out about the types of energy saving measures you can consider. Check whether you are eligible for a grant to help with any of these and get advice about whether they would be suitable for your property. More details of the most common home improvements are given below.


Remeber that making small changes can also help reduce your bills.


Insulation


There are a number you can insulate your home, some of which are cheap and easy to install and include measured that you might not even t hink about - such as draft proofing your loft hatch and filling gaps in your skirting boards. Its suprising how much warmenr you will feel.


Other measures have to be installed by experts but you can shop around to find the best products and cheapests deals.


The main insulation measures are:


  • Replacements windows
  • Hot water tank & pipe insulation
  • Loft insulation
  • Wall insulation
  • Floor insulation

All of these can help to reduce your energy bills - click here for more information.


Generating your own energy


There are a number of ways to generate your own energy. Not all of these are likely to be suitable for your property so use Energy Saving Trust's Home Energy Generation Selector Tool to find out about your options.


Central Heating


Heating bills can be high especially in winter months. Many households still have older boilers which use more energy than the newer energy-efficient models, or over-heat rooms that are not often used because radiator or room thermostats have not been installed.


Grants are often available to updgrage boilers and heating systems.