Green Sparks and green energy options

Feb 4, 2023

Thank you to everyone who came along on 10th October, especially our speakers and helpers. It was wonderful to have so many people together discussing such an important topic.  We’re hoping that this discussion evening was just a start. We’re busy thinking about what next – so please share your thoughts and ideas.

Key Messages from the Green Energy Options Discussion Evening

First thing to consider is insulation – choose insulation that is suitable for the construction methods and materials of your property. Older properties may need to ‘breathe’, to avoid condensation, damp and mould.  

Keep it simple – add-ons and gizmos can add to both installation and running costs, especially if they are either easily damaged or tricky to maintain.

There’s no single option that will work for every property. Seek advice specific to your property. For example, CAfS (Cumbria Action for Sustainability) carry out retrofit assessments, helping you identify appropriate options for your property. See https://cafs.org.uk/for-your-home/home-audits-for-energy-efficiency/

You don’t necessarily need a ‘whole house’ solution – Depending on the construction of your property it might be worth considering scaled down versions for one or two rooms.

Space – have you got room for an appropriate tank, the necessary controls, and any other equipment? Are there restrictions on where these can be located?

Contingency – Consider how you will manage if there is an extended power cut or if your technology is out of action for some reason.

Plan ahead for maintenance – Check servicing requirements. If you need scaffolding to install it, will you need scaffolding to clean, check, maintain or repair it? What’s the likelihood of you needing to do this? If it’s outside, what needs to be done to keep it free of debris?

Planning – Most green technologies are considered ‘permitted development’ but you should check with the planning authority. Issues may occur if your planned adaptations affect other households or if you are in the National Park, but this is not necessarily the case. You can ask planners for advice.

Funding – e.g. Cumbria Sustainable Warmth Grant Scheme (NB eligibility criteria apply) SEE Sustainable Warmth Cumbria Grants (carlisle.gov.uk) NB Carlisle City Council is running this scheme on behalf of all the Cumbria Councils.

https://www.which.co.uk/reviews/home-grants/article/guides

https://www.gov.uk/improve-energy-efficiency

https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/utilities/free-solar-panels/

Heat pump efficiency – https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/advice/in-depth-guide-to-heat-pumps/

Other useful information – There are loads out there, we’ve focussed on non-commercial sources. For articles describing different technologies and installation advice try:

https://www.which.co.uk/l/heating-energy-and-air-treatment

https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/

https://cafs.org.uk/for-your-home/ Also offers information about insulation for pre-1920’S housing

https://www.cse.org.uk/advice

https://cat.org.uk/info-resources/free-information-service/

https://www.hiesscheme.org.uk/ for Information about how to find tradespeople

https://www.gov.uk/find-energy-certificate – find an energy performance certificate

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