Tag Archives: Solid Wall Insulation

Camden Energy Efficiency Planning Consultation

June 2012: Camden have issued a draft of new planning guidance to provide advice and information to householders who are considering making energy efficiency improvements to their homes in Dartmouth park Conservation Area.

This guidance aims to “provide residents with clear information about how these improvements can be made to homes without harming the character and appearance of the conservation area.  It explains which measures require planning permission, and then gives guidance on which works are likely to be granted permission.  The measures considered range from small DIY interventions to larger building projects. Some of the measure will change the appearance of buildings in the area.”

The guidance has been produced as part of a pilot project and is a precursor to guidance for all homes in Camden conservation areas. The conservation runs to 15 July 2012 and can be viewed here.

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

External Insulation for London Semis

June 2012: South Kenton and Preston Park Residents Association (SKPPRA) recently obtained a grant from the Local Energy Assessment Fund (LEAF) to externally insulate a pair of semi-detached houses on the estate to show residents how this will make the houses warmer and easier to heat. Under the ‘warmhouse’ project two houses in Wembley were clad in external wall insulation and a series of detailed reports of the project have been published and are available to download from the ‘warmhouse’ website, which will provide some valuable learning for the roll out of the Green Deal in London.

Some points of interest:

  • Detailed photographic records of the retrofit are posted in the first document, setting out the level of work undertaken to externally insulate these two homes.
  • The second report provides a useful ‘scope of works’ document, which sets out the requirements of the insulation project to the contractor – a helpful template to any other similar project being considered.
  • The fourth report highlights that, via a survey of local residents applying for to have their homes insulated, annual gas bills are shown to range from just over £400 to just under £1400 (presumably down to occupation levels rather than energy efficiency levels of the various homes?) with the majority of gas bills between £850 to £1100.
  • The average annual gas consumption across residents submitting information is 21,500kWh of gas (hot water and space heating)
  • Actual energy consumption modelling over the year hasn’t been undertaken(the project timeline most didn’t allow for this) and page 33 of this fourth report sets out a modelled indicative spread of space heating (only) consumption over the year
  • Page 34 of the report then provides an indicative idea of how space heating consumption will be reduced as a result of the using external insulating walls, suggesting a >50% reduction in energy use in the home
  • However, the FAQs set out however that “Utility bills and monthly gas readings will be required after the work is done so that the effect of the insulation on your energy consumption is recorded. As part of the preparation work a forecast will be made of the effect of the insulation on your heating energy consumption and the monthly gas readings will help to assess the accuracy of the forecast computer model.”
  • Unfortunately,  the project will not undertake a full fabric approach, the FAQs saying  “No your windows will not be replaced – the grant is for the external insulation only”, but it’s possible the homes were already double-glazed…? However, it’s not immediately clear if this is the case with the two homes insulated
  • Both external (and internal) wall insulation – and also replacement glazing (see Annex 1 of the Government’s recent response to the Green Deal and ECO consultation on the full list of qualifying measures) – will be subsidised under the forthcoming £1.3 bn a year Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme, which starts in October 2012
  • It will be interesting to see how the houses perform in their new insulated state, and hence post-occupancy evaluation reports from the project will be of great value.
Posted in Library, News | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Planning and the Green Deal

June 2012: Thinktank Future of London has added a further helpful contribution to the issue of introducing the Green Deal in London, with a short paper, building on their recent report ‘Delivering Energy Efficiency in London, highlghting how planning will have a role to the success of the Green Deal.

A number of interesting points are raised including:

  • There are around 600,000 homes in conservation areas in London, roughly half the national total (reference cited in paper here)- which will potentially be a  significant issue for the mass role out of Solid Wall Insulation (SWI) – a key technology promoted by the forthcoming Green Deal and te £1.3 bn Energy Company Obligation (ECO)…
  • …and around 60 per cent of all homes in the capital are solid wall

Download the paper ‘The Green Deal in London: Planning Q+A

Posted in Library, News | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Solid Wall Insulation Project in East London

June 2012: London has a high incidence of solid wall homes and as such has been poorly served by existing national energy efficiency schemes, which – with the exception of the troubled CESP programme – have not included support to solid wall insulation (SWI). The forthcoming Green Deal and Energy Company Obligationscheduled to start in October of this year – are to change that, with the Government very strongly focusing on a significant uptake in SWI. Such projects are not without their difficulties – being much more complex to install and fairly invasive when insulation is fitted on the inside wall of solid wall homes (Internal Wall Insulation – IWI), hence, there is much to learn from projects currently underway. An External Wall Insulation (EWI) project has recently been completed on the Coventry Cross estate in Poplar, Tower Hamlets with the “energy efficient retrofit  expected to cut residents’ energy costs by as much as 25% while achieving greater comfort.” Further information is provided on the following news release. Further information can be found here.

Posted in Energy Efficiency, News | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

London Low Carbon Buildings: video case studies

May 2012: Regeneration and construction experts Wilmott Dixon have posted videos on Youtube of two developments that they have been working on in London with a specific brief to reduce energy and carbon emissions. These are:

Retrofit Case Study of a London Victorian Property – a good example of the type of activity that will need to go ahead under the Green Deal in London, with extensive use of IWI (internal wall insulation) resulting in a reduction of 50% in the energy baseline of the dwelling.

Building the zero carbon ‘in use’ Crouch Hill Community Park, Islington – An update on the Crouch Hill Community Park project, developed with Islington Borough Council, which is to be the UK’s first zero carbon ‘in use’ school with a community energy centre that will also provide heat to an adjacent housing estate.

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hard-to-treat properties in London

23 November 2011: The excellent Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) have ” recently undertook an analysis of English Housing Survey (EHS, 2007-08) data to understand a little more about the the country’s hard-to-treat housing stock.”
The short note prepared provides some useful information on London including the fact that London has the highest proportion of hard-to-treat properties of all the regions, with 58% being solid-walled.

Posted in Library, News | Tagged | Leave a comment

Home Insulation Levels in Great Britain

17 June 2011Statistical release by DECC on the estimates of home insulation levels in Great Britain (April 2011). No regional information is provided unfortunately, however, this release does include an estimate of the number of homes with Solid Wall Insulation (SWI) for the first time – a significant issue for London due to the high proportion of solid wall homes.

Posted in Data Store, News | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Community initiative hopes to Energise Barnet

20 April 2011: Energise Barnet, a community initiative set up by local residents, plans to set up a network of ‘green’ buying groups in order to help homeowners and local businesses generate their own electricity and make their homes more energy efficient.

As part of this new scheme, Energise Barnet seeks to partner with installers of solar photovoltaics, solar thermal, heating boilers, solid wall insulation and providers of other green products and services. By helping local residents to realise their green potential, Energise Barnet hopes to bring down energy bills and increase carbon awareness.

Energise Barnet received seed funding after coming top in a competition to find ideas to accelerate the creation of a sustainable energy system. ‘Gatecrashing the UK Energy sector’ was a competition run by Forum for the Future. Read more here.

Posted in News, Renewable Energy | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment