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Green Corner




An A-Z of the environment & issues

by Peter Hatswell



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I is for Insulation


You do not need me to tell you how important this simple energy saving method is becoming, both on a local and national level. 25 years ago the British Standards Institute issued tables on the ‘economic thickness’ of insulation based on the comparative costs of fuel and the cost of fitting of insulating materials. Whilst fuel is now much more expensive insulation services have not increased nearly so much so now is the ideal time to act. You will not only be saving yourself money but your home will be more comfortable and you will be reducing the amount of CO2 entering the atmosphere.

In future, as more and more of our gas supplies come from abroad, these savings will help to keep down our country’s balance of payments deficit.


Almost 1/3 of the heat in a modern house is lost through the roof and the recommended thickness for loft insulation has increased from about 2” in the 1970’s to 10½” in 2006. Many grants are available to help with loft and other forms of insulation especially for elderly people. Your local Energy advice Centre on 0800 512012 or Energy saving trust website can tell you whether or not you qualify.


Grants come from Central Government, South Beds District Council and some fuel supply companies. Powergen for example offer cavity wall insulation from £210 (which can save £235 a year in gas cost) and loft insulation from £190.


Double or triple glazing uses the insulating properties of trapped air to halve heat losses through windows. The cost compared with those described above is high but brings with it other significant practical benefits.


We all have a responsibility to save energy and reduce pollution. If this means we cannot walk round all year dressed in summer clothing then so be it. Perhaps we should follow the example of a monastic chapel in Germany where instead of heating the building they encourage the use of appropriate clothing and supply the congregation with hot water bottles!




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