Deal or No Deal?
However, there are some practical concerns. Whilst owners of new properties generally live in well-insulated, draught-free properties, the same cannot always be said of older properties. Victorian terrace houses, for example, were never intended to be air-tight or energy efficient. When it comes to refurbishment or upgrading, owners could struggle to meet the new government’s Green Deal aspirations.
A Victorian terrace typically is built of a single skin wall. So cavity wall insulation is a non-starter. There are two ways round this: external insulation, and internal insulation.
The problem with external insulation is that it changes the physical appearance of the property (think pebble-dash type rendering), which may not go down well with the planners. The problem with internal insulation is that, because it effectively builds a new wall inside the home, the property will lose internal space – and that is quite an issue for Victorian cottages, which are already on the small side.
But the real problem with both solutions is that they are expensive. The so-called ‘golden rule’ of the Green Deal is that upgrading must not cost more than it will get back over the period of repaying the initial loan. For some owners, it is a real problem – particularly landlords who have these older properties. Although they get up-front grants to pay for energy improvements, it will actually be their tenants who repay the costs, which will be added to their utility bills.
So, do landlords improve their properties, but then have to lower their rents in order to give their tenants the financial ability to pay higher utility bills? This makes little sense for landlords, and whilst tenants might be attracted by the thought of living in a low-energy home, they will get no pay-back.
So concerned are landlords about this that one group, The Residential Landlords Association, has set up a technical committee to explore the whole issue of how – and indeed, even if – older properties can be made to be more energy efficient.
Whilst we are all big supporters of the Green Deal at Ecopower Heating– everyone who can have double glazing, and cavity wall and loft insulation should, in our view – there are times when low-cost, practical solutions serve the purpose best.
Well-lined, thick curtains make a surprising difference to how cosy a home feels in the winter. Modern, Economiser Energy Efficient Electric Radiators are ideal for upgrading older Victorian and Edwardian terrace homes: they take up little room, look just like conventional radiators, are very effective at pumping out the heat though both radiant and convected heat, and because they are so programmable (unlike old-fashioned storage heaters), they waste no energy in creating unwanted heat in any area at any time. This also makes Ecopower Heating’s range of electric radiators particularly ideal for a landlord’s typical tenants – younger people who are out at work all day.
And the Ecopower Heating take on the Green Deal? Green is good – but sometimes value for money and simplicity are even better!
To find out more about the Ecopower Heating range of energy efficient Economiser Radiators, Vantage Thermodynamic Radiators, Heated Towel Rails and Heat Pumps, visit us today at http://www.ecopowerheating.co.uk/ or call us on 0845 474 1478. We love to talk!
Ecopower Heating Blogger