Heating and insulation
It is important to keep warm while the weather is cold.
If you are a tenant, your landlord should provide you with adequate heating.
Your landlord is responsible for keeping the installations for space and water heating in repair and proper working order.
You should notify your landlord of a problem as soon as possible, and you have to give them a reasonable time to do the repair. A good landlord will provide you with emergency heating such as portable electric heaters until such time as the repair is carried out. Failing this you may wish to buy some portable heating yourself.
Why improve your home insulation
If your home is poorly insulated you are wasting energy and that is costing you money.
The older your home the more inefficient it is likely to be at keeping heat in.
Insulating your loft could put £104 back in your pocket each year. Just stopping the drafts can cut fuel bills by £100. If you insulate your hot water cylinder or install improved heating controls you can save even more. Replacing single glazed windows with double glazing will save, on average, £41 per year.
The Energy Saving Trust has lots of advice about energy efficiency. Your energy supplier(s) will also have ways to help you.
Free insulation and new boilers - the ECO scheme
Free insulation and new boilers are available under the Government's ECO scheme to both home owners and private sector tenants.
The Green Deal
The Green Deal is the Government's scheme to enable anyone to improve the insulation and heating in their home without paying for the improvements up front.
The way it works is:
- You have the improvements carried out without paying for them;
- The improvements reduce the amount of energy you use and hence deliver savings on your energy bills
- A small amount to gradually pay for the works is added to the energy bills on the property, but this amount is less than the expected savings - this is called the "Golden Rule"
- Hence your energy bills should always be lower than beforehand
- If you move home, the new occupier continues to pay for the improvements through the energy bills on the property because they then get the benefit of them
- So if you move you stop paying for the improvements
The scheme is available on rented homes as well as owner-occupied homes provided both the occupier and the landlord agree.
Cash back is currently available.
Switch to cheaper energy
It is worth checking if you can save money by switching to a cheaper deal; use one of the OFGEM approved comparison Websites.
If you have a pre-payment meter you can still switch to a different supplier, even if you have debt on the meter of up to £500.
If you pay your landlord for energy then the landlord chooses the supplier, so you could ask your landlord to check that they are on the best deal.
If you don't have a pre-payment meter then the cheapest deals typically involve paying the same amount each month by direct debit, which also helps with budgeting.
If you require any further information please contact
Housing Standards Team
Tel: 01283 508680