Sunday, 31 January 2010

Case study

More house stuff I'm afraid.

It's cold. This does not mean anthropogenic climate change isn't happening. It does mean that the poor insulation of our flat is quite apparent.

So, how does one go about improving energy efficiency? I work for the government department responsible, so theoretically it should be straightforward to get it sorted. Theoretically.

Kate found a green concierge service but they don't do it anymore. Tower Hamlets offers interest free loans for energy saving but we can't get on the Warm Front scheme or London Warm Zone scheme, because we aren't on benefits (no dig intended). Tower Hamlets also offers some bloody obvious advice, but no actual information on insulating your fucking home.

The Energy Saving Trust has information of the more useful kind. We have solid walls and they have suggestions. But it doesn't actually go into any detail, doesn't provide costings and while it recommends some products, doesn't offer guidance on which ones are appropriate for you. And they don't list any internal insulation products. Solid wall insulation doesn't even feature as one of the options on their grants and loans list.

The National Insulation Association suggest that the cost of insulating internally is £42 per sq metre, which is so fucking expensive that it's no wonder no one bothers. I mean, seriously, how much is your heating bill? How much of that goes through a single square metre of wall? The payback time is probably 8 centuries.

Does anybody know how to calculate a U value?

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