The type of heating that you choose for your property is as important as the bricks and mortar. We’ve said it before. There is, however, another factor that is equally important. As with any kind of heating system, whether it is electric heating, gas, or oil, it is imperative that the heat generated is used effectively and efficiently. Insulation is the most important factor and without it, you may as well throw your money away.
According to a September article in The West Highlands Free Press, written by Michael Russel, residents in Portree were paying up to £50 per week to run their electric heating! For three years, residents thought that their electric heating was to blame for increased electricity bills. As complaints rose, the housing association conducted a thermal imaging survey which revealed that sub-standard insulation was the problem – not the under floor electric heating system that had been installed. The firm involved with the development of a large number of properties had failed to install adequate insulation.
One resident commented “When he came round to do the imaging survey, Mr Stephenson told us that we had no insulation in our porch and that there were big problems in our living room,” said Angus MacLennan. “Then came the ‘big one’ when he looked at our loft and discovered that there was no insulation at all round the edges. This meant we had a gale in the loft when the wind came through the vents.”
“We were shovelling money into our heating system and even then the house wasn’t that warm. Surely it is fair that the housing association offers some kind of compensation to everyone who was affected.”
Michael Russel goes on to write that 130 square meters of insulation was required to bring this particular property up to standard which left the tenants confused as to why the Housing association had signed-off the original work at all. The article also describes how some of the properties that were inspected fell well below standard, with no insulation at all.
A tenant is quoted in the article as saying “The guys who conducted the (thermal) imaging survey were speechless when they did my house,” he said. “Then a couple of guys came round and put a borehole in the hall wall and it went right through to the block work —there was no insulation there at all.”
Apparently, the work to improve insulation levels in this case is now being billed to the contractor who originally worked on the homes. Other properties in the area are having the under floor system removed, and replaced with radiators as part of a cost-saving scheme.
It seems incredible that so many properties in the UK are still so poorly insulated, especially given the rise in energy costs over recent years. Installing cavity-wall and loft insulation save the average bill payer around £300, and savings of up to £650 per year are acheivable in many older properties. These figures go to show that poor insulation can spell disaster for those paying the electric heating bill, even when the most efficient electric radiators are used.
When fitting a new electric heating system, it’s essential to consider other areas for improvement, and the insulation and glazing should be high on any list. Everyone in the UK is entititled to government-funded grants to pay for cavity wall insulation, yet only around 12% of those eligible have actually applied.
Anyone over the age of 70, or anybody on qualifying benefits, including child tax credits, housing benefit, or income support can have their home insulated totally free of charge. Even those not eligible can benefit from a 40-70% discount. Companies involved in the scheme will usually advise their customers on the scheme and assist with the application. Simply having the right level of insulation can reduce electric heating costs significantly.
The Ecopower Heating take on home insulation?
Simple! Get 40-100% of the insulation improvement carried out on your home for free, and watch your electric heating bills tumble.