We all know that insulating our homes is an important way of saving energy and bills. The gas price hike is making the case even stronger for spending a bit more money on keeping our houses warm. But where do you start? Which are the most cost-effective measures?
From draught-proofing snakes to solid wall insulation, there are a huge range of things you can do, at varying costs. Organisations such as the Energy Saving Trust explain different insulation options, but each home is different. To understand your home, you need to know where heat is leaking most and tackle that.
Enter the C.H.E.E.S.E. Project! (Cold Homes Energy Efficiency Survey Experts – C.H.E.E.S.E)
This Bristol-based not-for-profit uses thermal-imaging cameras in combination with a blower door to survey your home and work out where it is losing heat. Their team suggests solutions, tailored to your property. Fixing the leaks can be low cost, and crucially, you know that you’re putting the money into the area that will have the biggest impact.
They key to the project’s success is that the householder can watch and play-back the video of the survey. “When you see it, you know you can fix it” in the words of one client. £100 spent on DIY draught-busting can save up to a third of your energy loss.
One of our directors, Simon Pyne, got a C.H.E.E.S.E survey on his home in Sea Mills, Bristol. Watch this video to see some of the things he has done on his home since:
Here’s a breakdown of what Simon spent his money on to insulate his home – ranging from small to large changes.
- £5 home-made insulation-snake at the foot of the patio doors
- £20 insulating foam and draught excluding tape
- £50 on radiator panels
- £600 for cavity & loft insulation
C.H.E.E.S.E. has been going for more than 5 years with excellent feedback, with around 70% of clients taking targeted remedial action within a month.
The project benefited from Bristol Energy Coop’s Megawatt Energy Fund back in 2017 plus additional support, helping to support its running costs.
Until now, surveys have only been available in the Bristol and Bath area. However, they have recently announced that a substantial new grant from Energy For Tomorrow will help expand this into a UK-wide social franchise!
For Bristol residents interested, surveys start at £135 (depending on your house size). Free surveys may be available for those experiencing poor housing conditions or fuel poverty. Find out more here: https://cheeseproject.co.uk/home-surveys