The Dangers Of The Green Deal Homes Scheme

Worries have recently arisen over the consequences of the Green Deal Homes scheme, as it is thought that the houses involved could become dangerously overheated. The aim of the energy saving scheme has started to become irrelevant as measures such as insulation have made the temperature of these houses rise to an alarming level. Elderly residents (as well as those who are seriously ill) could be suffering from a poor quality of air as heat builds up in the day and can’t easily dissipate at night. Other individuals at risk are those who live on the top floor of tower blocks (particularly older blocks built in the 1960s), as the heat rises to those particular floors. The idea of helping the environment and saving money on energy bills becomes insignificant when your health is put at risk, and some elderly people could even die from overheating – a shocking but true fact.

What is the Green Deal Homes Scheme?

Basically, the idea of the scheme was to allow both homes and businesses to become more energy efficient (especially with saving money on winter fuel bills), but without immediately having to pay all of the upfront costs that can come to be quite expensive. Things such as insulation and double glazing can help houses and buildings keep in heat, leading to less reliance on central heating and huge money savings. First, the property would have to be assessed in order to know which improvements could be made (and how much money could be saved on energy bills). The tenant or business owner could then use this information to apply for the Cashback Scheme (it’s worth noting that not all homes or businesses qualify for this scheme). A specially chosen Green Deal provider would then carry out the required work, once a contract – the Green Deal Plan – has been written up. After all of the work has been completed, the cost will be paid off by the individual through their electricity bill in easily affordable instalments.

Why is this overheating happening?

Many tenants and homeowners jumped at the chance to be involved in the Green Deal Homes Scheme, as it is an attractive offer with double results: save the environment and save money. This led to many people getting energy-saving measures such as putting in insulation in lofts, ceilings and walls, but the trouble came because not every property needs this much insulation. Inappropriate levels of insulation can indeed cause some buildings to become far too hot; something which the tenant, of course, won’t realise until after the contract has been drawn up and the work completed. While it can work wonders during the winter months, the insulation can have devastating effects during the summer when buildings are already naturally warmer.

What happens now?

The Government is aware of the issues that insulation can cause, and guidance is available to those affected by the scheme. More action, however, needs to be taken. While there are an estimated 25,000 deaths each year due to cold conditions, there are also around 2,000 deaths each year due to the heat, and some studies suggest that this could change to 5,000 by 2080. It’s always good to make your home more energy efficient, but make sure you get expert advice before carrying out any large changes.

How To Be More Energy Efficient In Your Home

These days, people are more concerned with going ‘green’ and being environmentally friendly than ever before, but there are so many more reasons to watch the energy and electricity you consume in your daily life. An important reason for many people is that of money; by following these tips on energy efficiency, you can start saving both energy and money on your bills, giving you the best of both worlds.

Watch Your Windows

The first thing you can start with is your windows. Old or unsteady frames can cause you to lose heat from your house – the last thing you want during a harsh British winter. Tinting your windows can help keep the heat in and the cold out, but some people dislike this idea as they find tinted windows ‘unattractive’. If you’re not too bothered about their aesthetic appearance, go for it. The type of frames you use can determine your heat loss as well; vinyl frames, for instance, are more resistant to heat transfer, so it may be worth looking at getting your existing frames changed or upgraded. Last but not least, use your windows for what they were made for – letting in the light! Keep all curtains and blinds open for as long as possible to fill your homes with natural light, and keep those lamps turned off.

Increase Insulation

One of the more obvious energy-saving solutions is that of insulation. If done properly, insulation will slow the rate that heat flows out of your house (or into the house if it’s summer and is actually hot and sunny for a change). Even if you already have insulation, it can be worth taking another look at it and perhaps adding on some additional insulation to various areas of your house (ceilings, walls, loft etc). Another thing you can do is make sure all doors and windows are sealed properly, as even the tiniest draft can make a room seem chilly, no matter how much insulation you may have. Just beware: some houses do not need extra insulation, and it could become dangerously hot if you introduce any more than is needed.

Be Kind To Your Appliances

You can save money on your electricity bill by replacing old, power-hungry appliances with newer, more energy efficient models. Yes, this may be pretty pricey in the short term, but in the long run it could help you to save a lot of money (and stress – no one wants their washing machine breaking down on them just before laundry day). Just make sure you take the time to do a little research before splashing the cash on any new white goods in order to get the most energy efficient ones. It’s also worth noting that reading the manual properly for each appliance you have can help you to use it as it should be used. This can include the more environmentally-friendly settings on washing machines and even on freezers. Maximise the use of washing machines and dishwashers as well: make sure you’re doing full loads at a time. After all, every little helps, and anything you can do to save energy in your home today will help you with your bills in the future.