Help stop fuel poverty NOW!November 18, 2019
Shocking figures relating to the number of deaths in the UK relating to fuel poverty make depressing reading. Last winter, there were 10,000 deaths attributable to cold homes.
Kevin Welman, CEO of the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE) believes that heating engineers are in a prime position to help in the fight to prevent these avoidable deaths.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy says that a staggering 11% of UK households exist in fuel poverty.
In an article in HPM Monthly, Mr Welman states:
“Combatting the fuel poverty epidemic requires strong leadership from the government, to establish long-term strategies which will address the crisis. Initiatives, such as Hy4Heat, exploring the future of fuel are essential and welcomed, but in the short-term, members of the plumbing and heating industry can contribute to beating a problem in need of immediate action.”
What installers can do to help fuel poverty
As a domestic installer, you’re in a unique position in that you’re on the ground – in people’s homes – more than perhaps any other profession.
- Keep your eyes open for signs of fuel poverty and incorrectly specified and installed appliances that are not as energy efficient as they should be
- Keep abreast of the latest technological and legislative changes
- Offer your customers professional advice on managing fuel consumption
- Inform the relevant authorities if you see someone who is suffering
The power of energy efficiency
Energy bills are a great concern to many people. Energy efficiency is about using less energy to achieve the same level of comfort – to reduce energy wastage and consequently costs.
There are lots of ways to improve home energy efficiency, depending on property-type and budget. We’ve just produced a free downloadable guide to energy efficiency, which will bring you up to speed and ensure that you’re able to offer your customers the very best advice.
Here are some ideas to kick-start a more energy-efficient winter:
Prevent heat loss: According to the Energy Saving Trust, around 1/3 of heat is lost through walls and another ¼ through the roof so it’s important to ensure that insulation meets current guidelines. Windows and doors and pipework are also culprits when it comes to heat loss. Double glazing obviously helps prevent wastage – as do draught-proofing and pipe-lagging.
Get Smart: Smart meters help people get a real picture of their energy usage, so encourage your customers to take-up smart-metering as part of the national roll-out. You might even consider training to become an installer yourself. In order to meet the government’s commitment to offer every household in the UK a smart meter by the end of 2024, we’re looking at a total of 51.6 million installations. That’s a lot of work! For details of our Smart Meter qualifications, please click here
Boost boiler efficiency: Replacing a 15 year-old boiler with a new, high-efficiency combi-boiler could save as much as £300 a year in energy costs. Smart heating controls and thermostats will help ensure no heat is wasted.
Keep it simple: Simple measures such as turning down the heat at home by one degree and putting on a sweater will reduce heating bills by £80 a year.
It’s time to take responsibility for the energy we use and make sure we don’t waste it. By taking the lead and encouraging your customers to make sensible changes, you’ll be able to contribute to cutting fuel poverty in the UK.