Skip to main content

Environmental charity Hubbub have created a ‘Keeping The Heat In’ guide for Craven residents on how to protect against rising energy bills and get your home fit for the future with better insulation. Jess Wiles from the charity, talks through some quick wins and bigger impact measures plus talks to some local residents who have made changes.

So what is retrofit? Retrofit means ‘to fit afterwards’, so when it comes to energy, it’s about making changes to your home to make it warmer and more energy efficient. This could include installing insulation, better ventilation, new heating and hot water systems or renewable energy technology.

What are the benefits of retrofitting insulation?

Annual energy bills are predicted to go up to £400 on average per household from spring 2022, so acting now to retrofit your home and take advantage of available funding will protect you from price rises.

By retrofitting your home, you could also benefit from a more comfortable home with fewer drafts and cold spots, a better maintained home protected from damp mould or damage, potentially increasing the value of your home and knowing you’re helping to do your bit to tackle climate change, by reducing your home’s carbon footprint.

Where should I start?

Retrofit can be expensive and disruptive, but there are also some quick wins to be had. Loft insulation, for example, is relatively affordable and easy to install yourself and will pay back within 1-2 years in many cases. Make sure you have the recommended 270mm (10.6 inches) of insulation, such as mineral wool insulation. You could also consider treated sheep’s wool insulation. An uninsulated loft can leak a quarter of your heating bill!

Other measures such as solid wall insulation or replacing windows can be more costly and require more work, but they also result in bigger savings too – both for your bills and the environment in reducing your home’s carbon footprint. Many stone buildings in Craven are likely to have solid walls which, while beautiful and historic, can leaf a lot of heat. These can be insulated either internally or externally.

For bigger measures, considering these when you’re having other renovation works or moving home makes sense, to reduce costs and minimise disruption. You could also consider retrofitting part of your home or doing it in stages.

Sally – Small Changes, Big Difference

Inexpensive and simple improvements have made a big difference to Sally in Newby. By installing new radiator thermostats, switching off radiators in spare rooms and using a chimney sweep, Sally has found that her stone bungalow is now much better at keeping the heat in.

Having only recently made the changes, she hasn’t seen any financial impact yet – but it’s likely that she’ll be keeping out draughts and additional future heating costs.

Paul – Keeping Warm in a Conservation Area

Living in a conservation area hasn’t stopped Paul from making improvements to his home in Settle. After getting planning permission, Paul replaced all his windows with triple glazing and installed insulation to the walls and roof – resulting in a much cosier and warmer home. Whilst the windows were provided by different contractors, Paul decided to get stuck in a installed the insulation himself.

But it’s not just about the big impact investments, Paul says; “We’ve done some major work on the house, but small changes can make a big difference too”.

Warm & Well helps people and communities living in cold homes or struggling with energy bills to stay warmer and well in winter, to keep you fit for the future. Residents are encouraged to call the freephone number to find out what support is available: 0808 278 7900.

Hubbub are working with Craven District Council to help residents reduce energy bills and save energy to tackle climate change.