In the news this week, Ofgem fined two energy companies for £39m.
These companies failed to meet the home insulation targets set by the watchdog.
Other members of the big six are also being investigated and verdicts pending. The situation is further exacerbated by the fact that many of these unfulfilled contracts were for thousands of pensioners.
The fines are a ‘slap’ on the wrist; a drop in the bucket for companies of this size.
Trust me, a few million is nothing to these companies. Just think about how much we pay for energy and how it has steadily risen in the past decade.
We are not here to discuss the vast fraud going on in the energy sector, but rather how we can protect ourselves against it. Imagine if it was your Nan whose home was skipped over in this debacle. Instead of simply telling Nan to take less baths and more showers, how can you help her stay warm in the coming months?
As sad as it sounds, we are heading into yet another eat or heat dilemma. The energy companies, once again, show us they care more about our cash than providing energy. Even Ofgem predicts that with wholesale costs coming down this year, most energy firms will make THREE TIMES as much profit as they did in 2013. The government has studiously failed to tackle this rot and finally, the average home owner has to take a stand.
Weatherproofing, (weatherization in the USA) is the practice of basically modifying a building to help reduce it’s energy consumption and optimise energy efficiency. You would be right to immediately think of loft insulation as the primary method, but it’s only one of many.
Preparing your home to help with reduced heat flow can be done in many ways through weatherproofing.
The list below shows major sources of heat loss and how you can stop them from increasing your energy bill:
1. Seal cracks, gaps or holes.
Take the time to ‘tour’ your home. To spot zones with drafts , you can use the smoke from an incense stick to help locate areas where air leaks through. Having found these, prepare caulk or insulating foam and seal them up. These gaps or bypasses can occur around patio doors, pipes, windows, and wiring that passes through the floor. If you have the space available, you can plant a row of bushes to create a wind barrier to protect the windy side of your home.
2. Keep pipes unfrozen.
A cold snap can lead to frozen and, potentially, burst pipes. Regardless of if you are in a new building or a heritage cottage, the ensuing flood is never good news. To keep pipes unfrozen, ensure there is adequate pipe insulation on all pipes. All lagging on pipes must also be securely fitted. Under NO circumstances, should you ever try to use a blowtorch to thaw frozen pipes. There have been too many case of explosions and fire resulting from this silly method.
3. Examine all doors.
Make sure you replace old and draughty ones with tight-sealing doors. Old windows can be replaced or retrofitted with low-E, double or triple glazed windows.
These three are the most common home weather proofing options we know. Join us next week for a list of ways to reduce your’s (or your Nan’s) energy expenses. Some of these tips are straight DIY jobs and can be accomplished with a trip to the local hardware store. A few require professional input. Regardless of the complexity of the job, take the time to explore the house and see where you can save during the coming cold days.
At SRL Limited, our bi-fold and patio doors are guaranteed to help keep your family safe and cosy.