What difference will upgrading or installing insulation make to my home?
Installing insulation, or upgrading existing insulation levels, in the floors, walls and roofs of the home reduces heating costs. The Green Homes Grant scheme aims to make those savings available to more households by allowing eligible homeowners in England to apply for a voucher that covers some of the cost of having insulation measures installed.
Beyond the savings that better energy efficiency delivers, there are other benefits that should not be forgotten. The Green Homes Grant has increased awareness and interest in domestic retrofit. When retrofit is done correctly and done well, the outcome is better homes that feel very different to how they felt before.
Reducing energy costs using thermal insulation
Installing or upgrading thermal insulation reduces heat loss from the building. By slowing the rate of heat loss, demand on the heating system is reduced. That in turn lowers the use, and therefore the cost, of energy for heating, as well as reducing the associated carbon emissions. This makes a substantial difference to the cost of running a home.
The Energy Saving Trust estimates the following costs and annual savings for different insulation measures, all of which are covered by the Green Homes Grant.
Of course, the cost of purchasing and installing the insulation must be met before the savings are realised. By comparing the annual savings on fuel bills to the up-front cost of the insulation measure, it’s possible to calculate the length of time it takes a measure to pay for itself (the payback period).
A longer payback period does not make one type of insulation less suitable than another with a shorter payback period. Insulation measures should always be chosen based on the needs of the individual property. You can read more about that in our blog post, ‘What Green Homes Grant measures should I consider for my home?’.
It does mean that in a poorly insulated property it is possible to achieve some ‘quick wins’ in terms of having the most impact for the money spent. However, the availability of the Green Homes Grant funding also means that the cost to the homeowner can be significantly reduced.
With a voucher covering a significant proportion of the cost, the payback for the homeowner’s contribution is reduced. That will play a part in the decision-making for properties where more than one measure might be suitable and could make it worthwhile considering more expensive measures that would normally have longer payback periods.
What other differences will insulation measures make to my home?
A lot of work has taken place in recent years to improve retrofit standards, ensuring that work is carried out in a planned and considered way that benefits the building in the long term. Such an approach improves the condition of the building fabric and delivers multiple additional benefits beyond reduced heat loss.
One of these benefits is reduced maintenance. Increasing the longevity of the building fabric by eliminating issues such as damp, condensation and mould means materials and components deliver their performance for their intended lifespan or longer.
It’s impossible to say what unplanned issues might have occurred that would have required maintenance, and therefore what costs have been saved by not having to address them. Even so, it should be kept in mind when considering the financial benefits of retrofit.
By creating better indoor environments, good retrofit can also deliver healthier, more comfortable buildings. Better indoor air quality, more consistent temperatures, lower energy and maintenance costs; all of these things combine to give homeowners greater peace of mind.
It is similarly impossible to put an economic cost on the benefit of this feeling of security, but it is a benefit that is frequently demonstrated by retrofit projects of all sizes.
How can Saint-Gobain Insulation UK help you to make a difference with your home?
For homeowners applying for Green Homes Grant vouchers and engaging with registered contractors to install insulation measures, Saint-Gobain Insulation UK have a range of solutions and resources to support your project.
To find out more about the Green Homes Grant and the solutions available from Saint-Gobain visit our dedicated page here.
 Energy Saving Trust data summarised here: https://www.renewableenergyhub.co.uk/main/insulation-information/insulation-cost-and-savings/
 Estimated £200 annual saving described here: https://www.thegreenage.co.uk/5-energy-saving-measures-biggest-payback/