I read with interest the features on energy in this week’s issue. Of particular interest was the article “Homeowners want cheaper bills not greener measures” (page 23).
True, I would like cheaper energy bills, but here’s the rub. I own a Victorian house that has solid brick walls and some rooms with sloping ceilings under the roofline. It has, then, poor thermal performance.
So, could I get a grant towards installing insulation? Nope.
Actually, that’s an exaggeration. I could get some funding for a fibreglass quilt for the roof, but nothing towards stripping and reslating, vapour barriers, and so on, needed to undertake this work properly. As for asking for a grant towards rigid insulation? Yes, but only to the value of fibreglass insulation. If I had a house with cavity walls and a proper loft, no problem.
Where’s the logic in this? The occupants of the oldest housing with the worst thermal performance don’t get much help. The 1860s, no; the 1960s, yes.
I suppose the oldest housing could be demolished and then newly built, but if it’s like mine, there are conservation issues. Winter draws on, then …
Vaughan Castell, Estates Department, University of the West of England, Bristol