Retrofit your Home

The UK’s homes contribute to 20% of its CO2 emissions, and much of that energy is wasted. Targets for homes include a 24% reduction from 1990 levels by 2030, and near zero by 2050. By improving your home’s energy rating now, you could significantly improve its value.

Your home could be losing 70% of its heat through its roof, walls and windows.  It makes you cold and unhealthy, and it’s expensive.  The good news is that there are plenty of tools to help you make changes to your home to make it warmer, greener, energy efficient and cheaper to run.  You can make the changes that are within your budget and prioritize those that will suit your house.  You can make a start by obtaining your home’s energy certificate

We’ve suggested a number of areas to think about if you are planning to retrofit your home, but The Centre for Alternative Technology will help make sure that your choices are eco-friendly and will save you money while being better for the planet.


Changes you can make to your heating system include installing thermostats on your radiators, using a smart thermostat, or having zoned heating panels.  If it is time to replace your old and inefficient boiler, you could simply upgrade to a combi boiler and get rid of the immersion. Better yet, think about using a biomass or wood pellet boiler.  You could add off-peak storage radiators to supplement your current heating, using green energy.

Heat Pump

An air source heat pump uses electricity to extract low grade heat from the external air and convert it into high grade heat to heat your home and hot water. They can have efficiencies upwards of 200% because the energy you pay for is used to concentrate free energy in the air. A ground source heat pump takes the energy from the ground.  They have higher installation costs, but save a lot of CO2.

Smart Meter

draught proof

Insulate and Ventilate

It’s a no-brainer to insulate your home, and it’s important to consider every aspect of the house, including ventilation when your house is insulated and airtight.  Start with the roof, where at least 350mm of mineral wool or natural fibre insulation should be used.   Cheap fixes include draught-proofing old sash windows, doors and letterboxes, and using a chimney balloon to stop heat escaping.  Close curtains and shut doors where rooms aren’t in use.

Wall insulation must be done carefully, because cavities in walls are designed to move moisture around and prevent damp.  But natural insulating materials such as wool, wood fibre, cellulose and hemp have a much lower carbon footprint than fibreglass or mineral wool, and they have comparable thermal and sound reducing qualities.  Companies such as ecomerchant  offer natural building materials and advice.   You can insulate cold walls with thermal wallpaper or blocks.  If you have a suspended floor, you can insulate between the joists with natural fire-retardant material, and you’ll keep the sound out as well.

You can install double glazing for its heat-retaining benefits as well as security and reducing condensation, but the benefits are modest compared to other improvements.  If you plan to insulate walls, upgrade your double glazing at the same time to prevent heat leaking around the windows.

Schemes and Grants to Save Energy

Horsham District Council have put together a list of schemes and grants to help you achieve your energy saving goals. These include:

  • Small changes, big savings: Quick tips to save home energy and cut your bills.
  • Warmer Homes grant funding.
  • Energy saving advice and support.
  • Are you eligible for a Warm Homes Discount?
  • Winter Payments to help reduce your energy bills.
  • Retrofitting advice.
HDC energy saving