Did you know greener homes can save money and fight the climate crisis at the same time by reducing the amount of energy used to heat your home?
We need to drastically reduce the amount of harmful gases such as carbon dioxide and nitrogen dioxide we release into the atmosphere, products of burning fossil fuels such as oil and coal, and heating our homes makes a huge contribution to this process.
Failure to act now could lead to things like drought, extreme weather, food shortages and huge loss of nature and biodiversity being felt not just globally, but right here in Ealing.
This is why Ealing Council has launched its climate action strategy, a plan to make significant changes to combat the effects of climate crisis and build a better borough for local people.
One of the main themes of this action plan is energy – how we heat our homes and what we can do to reduce the harmful emissions as part of this process.
The council is moving to ensure that all new council homes in the borough will be designed to zero carbon standards by 2022
There is also plenty of support available for residents to make positive changes to their homes – and alongside helping the planet, they could end up saving significantly on energy bills.
Helping your home to go green
There are a number of initiatives available to residents to increase energy efficiency in their homes:
The council is leading on delivering £15m of Green Homes Grant across the whole west London region. This is helping local people to carry out energy efficiency upgrades including insulation, low-carbon heating systems and controls, replacing doors or single-glazed windows, draught proofing, and more.
The scheme is open to low-income homeowners and landlords with qualifying tenants. Homeowners may be eligible for grants of up to £10,000 and landlords may apply for a grant of up to £5,000 (with a third matching contribution of up to £2,500).
Residents can apply through Healthy Homes Ealing by calling 0800 083 2265 or online.
Work is now underway to introduce energy efficiency retrofitting to 68 council-owned houses and flats in South Ealing as part of the pioneering Energiesprong (‘energy leap’) method. Originating in the Netherlands, Energiesprong is so called as it aims to jump straight to net zero in a single bound.
The method effectively wraps a house in what has been described as a ‘tea cosy’ by installing protective external insulation and generating solar power from solar panels put on the roof.
At least 5,000 of the council’s properties have been identified as being suitable for the Energiesprong method – a third of its entire housing stock. The council is hoping to secure funding to rollout the programme further in the near future.
Healthy Homes Ealing has also resumed in-person visits for those who want them, and can help with installing small energy efficiency measures, switching to the best energy tariff, and offering practical advice for reducing energy costs.
The Council has also partnered with EcoFurb, a cooperative of retrofit installers who can help local people to plan their own retrofitted home improvements and cut down on their carbon footprint. Homeowners can use EcoFurb’s Plan Builder App to learn what measures will have the biggest impact on reducing carbon and fuel bills, creating a bespoke work plan for your home.
‘Reducing energy consumption vital to achieve our aims’
Councillor Deirdre Costigan, deputy leader and cabinet member for climate action said: “The costs of ignoring the climate crisis are catastrophic. Things that right now sound like a plot to a science fiction film, such as droughts, food shortages and extreme weather could become a reality in our borough.
Around 40% of the UK’s carbon emissions – which are harmful to the environment – come from households. And almost half of these come from heating alone.
“This means that reducing energy consumption is absolutely vital if we are to achieve our aims of combating climate crisis and becoming carbon neutral as a borough by 2030.
“As a council we are ensuring that all our new housing being built from next year will be net zero in carbon emissions. We are also making it easier and more cost effective for local people to be supported in making their homes more energy efficient with a range of initiatives.
“I encourage anyone who thinks they could benefit from saving money on fuel bills and reducing their household’s carbon output to look into how they can get involved. It is vital that we all take action now to make a difference.”