We’d like to thank Historic Environment Scotland
for providing such detailed and relevant
information for free as part of their Inform: Information for Historic Building
Owners series of leaflets and factsheets. For more information on their full
range of Inform titles go to the Historic Environment Scotland Publications Page.
Fire is the single biggest threat to the occupants, building fabric and contents of any building, but traditional buildings are particularly at risk. According to Historic Environment Scotland , between 2007 and 2009 there were over 900 recorded fire incidents in Scotland’s listed buildings. With listed buildings making up only a small fraction of traditional (classed as pre-1919) building stock, these numbers give a small insight into the scale of fire damage to traditional properties.
Traditional Building Construction
While fire safety is nothing new, traditional buildings tended to be built without any deliberate fire protection measures. As a result of this, traditional buildings tend to be particularly vulnerable to fire and its effects. This is due to a number of factors, including the heavy use of timber in construction of traditional properties; combustible linings; hidden voids; open roof spaces and previous uncontrolled building alterations.
Luckily, good housekeeping and placing fire prevention at the forefront of your mind can ensure that most fires are prevented. As long as one works to keep the three key “ingredients” of a fire from meeting (oxygen, heat, fuel) then maintaining a hazard free environment will become second nature. The main focus of any fire prevention plan should be to maintain a hazard free environment; keep fuel sources and potential heat sources separate from each other; and being vigilant of hazards and removing or controlling them.
Identifying potential heat sources
There are many potential heat sources that could potentially ignite a fire. These include, but are by no means limited to, faulty wiring, overloaded sockets and extension leads, defective electrical equipment, misused portable heaters, smoking, candles, cooking, open fires, and unswept chimneys.
Identifying Potential Fuel Sources
In a domestic setting, the potential fuel sources for a fire are numerous and can include furniture, textiles, paintings, carpets and rugs. Attics and roof spaces can be of particular concern since they tend to store an array of loosely stored household items that may include a mixture of ignition and fuel sources. It is therefore important to ensure that attics and roofspaces are kept well organised.
Furthermore, depending on the age and construction of the building, many of the building elements may also add to the overall available fire fuel sources, such as wall and ceiling linings, timber flooring and the supporting roof structure.
Identifying Oxygen Sources
Open windows and doors can often provide enough oxygen to feed a fire. That is why it is important to ensure that good compartmentation is practiced in buildings to create fire tight cells, redicing the amount of oxygen available to a fire. Within one’s own home, closing doors, particularly at night, can assist in cutting off oxygen supply to a fire.
While prevention is always the preferred course of action, once a fire is in effect fire protection measures are essential to ensuring the protection of building occupants in the event of a fire.
Creating Fire Compartments
As mentioned above, compartmentation contains the outbreak of a fire within the area of origin. Vast continuous spaces and voids typical of traditional buildings are the antithesis of compartmentation. It is therefore important to consider upgrades such as the application of fire retardant paints or varnish on timber elements such as doors, particularly internal doors; subdivision of roof spaces by inserting flexible or solid cavity barriers; inserting fire resistant materials into the void under floorboards.
Detection and Alarms
Fire detection is essential to life safety and should include standard battery smoke alarms, but also mains wired smoke alarms. Having both types will ensure you are protected in any eventuality. Heat detectors in kitchens can also be more beneficial over the issue of false alarms.
First Aid Fire Fighting
Including various extinguishers for relevant and likely types of fires, as well as ensuring building occupants are aware of fire extinguishing, protection and evacuation procedures can make all the difference. However, where fixing a fire extinguisher to a wall may be damaging to architecturally protected walls, free standing options are also available.
Fire in any kind of building poses a serious threat to life and to property. Wherever possible, a robust fire prevention plan should always be in place.
Glaze & Save InvisiTherm bespoke magnetic secondary glazing is completely fire retardant to Fire Class YB54 76 Part 7 . Don’t take a chance with cheap alternatives: InvisiTherm’s fire proof rating means that it wont go up in flames, shatter or blow out, reducing the available fuel and oxygen sources for a fire. Contact us today to arrange your FREE no obligation survey.
Living in the heart of Edinburgh is certainly where the action is, but with a young family in a basement flat in a busy location, Eleanor was finding the noise a problem. On top of that, the flat had a terrible condensation problem, with water regular pouring down her son’s bedroom window.
Living in a listed building, Eleanor at first went with expensive replacement slimline double glazing. “It was such a hassle, it took months to complete!”
Her experience led her to seek out other options for the family home. After finding that traditional secondary glazing would not accommodate the working shutters, Eleanor turned to Glaze & Save.
“The huge advantage,” explains Eleanor, “was the cost. We were only going to get one window done, but because of the great value combined with the HEEPS interest free loan , we decided to get the whole house done”.
Compared to her encounter with the double glazing installers, Eleanor was in for a pleasant surprise. “I couldn’t believe how quickly the installation was carried out! The team couldn’t have been here for much more than half a day”.
Since the installation of InvisiTherm into her home, the condensation has completely disappeared from her windows. “It might have taken two or three weeks,” says Eleanor, “but the condensation is completely gone”.
Not only that, but she finally has some quiet
in the house. “There is a noticeable difference in the noise. The flat is so
much more peaceful now”.
Glaze & Save InvisiTherm bespoke magnetic secondary glazing eradicates condensation without compromising your original windows. Contact us here
to book your free no obligation survey today.
We start off a new series here on our regular business blog, responding to commentary and advances in the secondary glazing, glass and construction industries. We hope you find these new pieces interesting: feel free to let us know in the comments!
A blog post back in September from The Double Glazing Blogger asked the question of why the pool of talent in the glass and glazing industry appeared to be shrinking:
"A chat with an industry friend of mine inspired this post. It was about fitters and where to find them. Turns out it’s not the easiest job in the world to find a fitter these days. Who knew?
We agreed that the talent pool of available fitters in our industry is actually more like a talent bath, soon to become a talent bowl. There seems to be less and less skilled workers out there available to installers who are wishing to grow and push on…
We all know that our industry has a severe shortage of skilled people that is only getting worse. In fact I don’t think we’re that far away from full blown break down. The country has been promised a swathe of three million new apprentices, but even if that does happen, how likely is it that a big enough proportion are going to come the window industry’s way?"
It seems that one of the issues underpinning the shortage of skilled, enthusiastic and ambitious talent in the glass and glazing industry may be the fact that a huge proportion of fitters engaged in the industry are not employed. Self-employment of fitters in the glazing industry I rife and some might say it is a massive turn off to attracting new blood to the industry.
It’s something that we’ve been aware of and keen to do differently at Glaze & Save. Our team of installers are employed by the company, and fully trained and equipped at the company’s expense. Why? Well, in the first instance it guarantees the quality of our installations and conformity of customer experience. We can be assured of the level of knowledge, training and experience each of our installers has, because they have been employed for their previous skills before being trained to our high standards.
We offer pay that exceeds the Living Wage, and are Living Wage Approved employers, as well as paid annual leave and flexible working hours. Offering such pay, conditions and training allows us to attract the best calibre of staff.
As the gig economy continues to grow and freelance, contracted and self-employed work becomes more commonplace, we will always strive to ensure that our workers have the security of employment. It’s not only good for our staff: it’s good for our customers, good for the company and good for business.
Glaze & Save offers bespoke magnetic secondary glazing and draught proofing across Scotland. We specialise in historic buildings, domestic and commercial, but our innovative system can be installed over any type of glass. Contact us here to arrange your free no obligation survey today.
Whether a decorative glass door panel in a domestic dwelling, or grand
collection of historic fragile glass in a cathedral: it can all be called
stained glass. Comprising of multiple elements, coloured glass, enamel,
metalwork and binders, stained glass is delicate and requires careful to ensure
that it endures for years to come.
Every component of a stained glass window is crucial in ensuring its longevity. Well-made and maintained stained glass can last for hundreds of years, but the failure of one component or another can cause irreparable damage to the entire window. This is why proper maintenance and care is vital to keeping your stained glass at its best.
It’s important to frequently check your stained glass windows for signs of potential damage such as:
· Drops of water on the glass
· Discolouration or pitting of the surface of the glass
· Loose glass panels
· Bowing or bulging
· Loss of colour or degradation of paint
· Green algae growing on the glass
· Rusting iron framework or cracked lead dividers
· Structural damage around the window
Causes of Damage
The most common causes of damage to stained glass windows, particularly historic stained glass, are excessively damp conditions and condensation. Causes of damp and condensation in stained glass are much the same as those in regular glass: external issues like ineffective gutter and drains, or internal issues such as problems with ventilation and heating. Stained glass can benefits from the condensation eliminating properties of InvisiTherm bespoke magnetic secondary glazing to completely eradicate condensation on the glass.
Although condensation and damp are the most likely causes of damage to stained glass, there are other issues that may arise. Windows can crack or bulge if there are structural defects in the window such as inadequate support and failure or lead or copper ties. Paint-on stained glass can flake or degrade if they have not been adequately fired.
The most simple way in which to clean stained glass is to use a dry cloth of soft brush to remove dust and debris. However, if a deeper clean is required, it is important to ensure that the solution you use to clean the window is pH neutral and mixed with water. This is because acidic solutions such as vinegar or lemon juice, can break down the metal bindings that support the glass panels, weakening it over time. Equally, it is important to use a soft cloth in the cleaning of stained glass as rough cloths or scourers may scratch the glass. Use cotton buds to clean hard to read or narrow corners.
Scheduling monthly checks to looks for loose panes, caulk, findings or any other aspect of your windows will ensure that any issues are caught and dealt with early. If your budget allows it, have your stained glass windows inspected every couple of years by specialists, where they will inspect the paintwork, caulking, metalwork and putty for any issues.
Replacing Loose Putty
Contrary to popular belief it is perfectly possibly to replace loose putty yourself: particularly where the damage is minimal. Wherever you see flaking or loosening putty be sure to quickly replace it to ensure the continued good health of your window.
Time, effort and a small financial outlay will ensure that your stained glass lasts for as long as possible. It will also delay, if not stop completely, the need for expensive and often invasive restorative work. With a good cleaning routine, regular maintenance and observing for potential issues, your stained glass can be expected to last for generations.
Glaze & Save InvisiTherm is an excellent solution for stained glass windows. Our patented bespoke magnetic secondary glazing systems completely eradicate condensation, reduce heat loss by 63% and reduce noise by a minimum of 48%: all while leaving your stained glass windows completely intact. Contact us here to book your free no obligation survey.
Winter is coming.
The chill is in the air and for those of us who work in an office
environment, the upcoming multi-month Big Freeze just makes our days less
productive and less pleasant!
Being cold at work causes more than a little discomfort. It has been shown that the cold can actively cause productivity to decrease, especially for women. A study from Cornell University found that when office temperatures were raised from 68 to 77 degrees, typing errors decreased by 44 percent and typing output increased by 150 percent.
We’ve looked at twelve ways in which you can make your office warmer this winter: no more wearing coats during conference calls, or lacking heating in your meetings!
1. Get Moving!
Walk when you’re on a call, walk to your colleague’s desk to speak to them rather than sending an email, invest in standing desks…whatever you do, move! This will raise your core temperature and make you feel warm inside.
2. Deal with draughts.
A draughty office is a cold office, and it could be adding to higher levels of noise and pollution to boot. Invest in draught proofing for the upcoming winter, and not only could you save around 10% on your heating bills, but it will also be quieter, cleaner, and even cooler in the summer!
3. Heat Yourself
There are all manner of heated gadgets to warm even the most discerning of extremities. A quick Amazon search shows USB heated treats for every conceivable body part, so there’s no excuse to be left out in the cold. Try USB Fingerless Gloves for frosty fingers, or heated slippers for chilly feet.
4. Get your Radiators Ready
If your office is heated with radiators, then investing in some clever technologies can help your have your warmest winter yet. Radiator foils reflect up to 95% of heat back into the room and saves it from being absorbed by the wall. You can also add a liquid additive to the inside of the radiator: this works by breaking down any sludge or debris in the radiator, allowing the water inside to be adequately heated.
5. Work on your Windows
Did you know that around one third of the heat from a building can be lost through inefficient windows? That’s a lot of cold mornings in the office! Retain 63% of heat, while instantly draught proofing and eliminating condensation by installing an intelligent secondary glazing system like InvisiTherm .
6. Get Thermostat Smart
Make sure the office thermostat is set to go off a little before everyone leaves for the day, and stays off (or for extreme cold, maintains a low temperature) until an hour before everyone arrives for work the next day. By saving energy when you don’t need it, you can be smarter about using it when you do need it. No more freezing cold office for you.
Glaze & Save can get your office winter ready: our bespoke magnetic secondary glazing systems and innovative, non-invasive draught proofing are the perfect solution to reducing heat loss and draughts, while offering a quick installation time and minimal disruption. Contact us here to arrange your free no obligation survey today.
October is National Home Security Month: a month long awareness raising programme to help you keep your home safe and secure. National Home Security Month (NHSM) is here to raise awareness around the importance of home security so you can be safe in the knowledge that your home, family and belongings are protected.
National Home Security Month launched with a bang on Monday the 2nd of October, hosting competitions, offers and incentives for homeowners to get the latest home security products. Throughout the month you can find information, advice and guidance here .
We’ve decided to have a look at ways in which you can keep your traditional windows safe and secure without sacrificing aesthetics or heritage.
According to The Crime Prevention Website , if well maintained and properly locked, a traditional sliding box sash window will provide a reasonable level of security.
However, with the exception of smashing the glass, an unlocked traditional sash and case window can be opened in two different ways:
1. Attacking the centre catch
There are two different types of centre catches which are relatively easy to open. A simple pivot catch can be knocked open using a knife between two sashes. A finger screw catch can be knocked clean off of a sash using a screwdriver of slim line chisel. The half moon catch is is more sturdy and less liable to failing the event of a deliberate attack; however it is worth baring in mind that this type of catch is not a lock as it does not have a key operation.
2. Levering the bottom sash
Levering the bottom sash of your window involves using a crow bar or spade to create a vast amount of pressure to lever the window open. Many of the windows that succumb to being forced open with a crow bar tend to be overpainted to the point where the sashes will not close properly. However, well maintained sashes can also be overcome with the use of a spade, which creates an enormous amount of pressure on the sash. This is why it is so important to ensure that wherever you keep your gardening tools (such as a shed or outhouse), is firmly and properly secured to prevent thieves gaining access to the tools that will make their lives easier!
Ensuring you have lockable sash windows is therefore vital for home security. In fact, your insurance likely depends on it, with Page Security noting that 90 percent of all insurers require key-operated window locks on all windows accessible from the floor or a flat roof.
Installing a key-operated lock is a relatively simple job for a locksmith to carry out , and there is also a good selection of key operated locks on the market to suit your taste and budget. Most key-operated locks can allow the window to be locked while fully closed, or locked with an open gap of around four inches to allow for extra air circulation without compromising security. Commonly known as sash stops or sash restrictors, these are the best on the market for ensuring window security, particularly since even if the glass of your window is broken, and intruder cannot then manipulate the lock to slide the sash, a common issue with catches.
There are a couple of different key-operated locks available. They may either be auto locking, or manually locking, but both types require a key to open them.
1. Sash Stops
Sash stops prevent the inside lower sash from moving past the outer sash. You also have the option of fitting a sash stop on top of the inner frame to prevent the window from moving entirely, which is a great option for windows you never open. Sash stops can also be fitted higher on the frame to allow air flow. For windows over 600mm Page Security advise fitting locks to both sides of the window.
2. Sash Bolts
Sash bolts have a brass casing that is drilled into to lower sash. A bolt is then screwed through the inside lower sash into the outer sash and locked into place with a key. This effectively affixes both sashes together, meaning that they cannot be opened without a key to remove the bolt.
Living in rented accommodation needn’t
stop you from creating an energy efficient home. While landlords will have a legal obligation from April 2018 to meet a minimum standard for energy
, it’s highly likely that you’ll want to make some changes yourself. Luckily
there are plenty of energy efficiency measures you can install in your home
that are entirely removable and demountable, and leave no impact on the fabric
of the building.
Whether your lease is long or short term, there are plenty of inexpensive and easy things you can do to save energy while slashing your utility bills. So without for ado, let’s look at eight energy saving tips that you can carry out today to increase your comfort while reducing your energy bills in your rented home.
1. Switch off unused appliances
Switching off unused appliances can save hundreds of pounds per year! While your microwave costs a modest £10.24 a year to run, and electric shower can cost a whopping £245.70 per year. Perhaps most shocking is the cost of running an electric fire for a moderate amount of time (for four hours a day): you could be looking at a heart stopping £873.60 per year for one fire. It pays to get wise to your appliances: you can splash out on a home display monitor, or just be sure to turn off any appliance that you are not currently using. You could save yourself hundreds of pounds, and without a deposit-risking measure in sight.
2. Adjust your thermostat.
It is estimated that around 40-48% of home energy goes towards heating and cooling , so it’s not difficult to see how making little changed to your own habits can have a major effect on your energy consumption. We have written about this here. Some further tips can include ensuring that your thermostat is set to 18-20 degrees Celsius. Or if you home is already well insulated and draught proofed, then try putting your thermostat down by a degree or two. You’ll be surprised how comfortable your home remains.
3. Draught proof your home
Draught proofing your home is one of the best things you can do to keep your home energy efficient while increasing your thermal comfort. By draught proofing your home you could cut your energy bills by up to 25% . If you have the flexibility in your tenancy, then consider a liquid silicone draught proofing product such as InvisiSeal. However, if you are limited in what you can do in the property, consider draught snakes up against doors, stuffing holes and gaps old socks, or investing in a chimney balloon or chimney sheep . Make sure you are tackling every door, window, skirting board, gap and crevice.
4. Install secondary glazing
While it is your landlord’s responsibility to ensure that your property meets a minimum standard for energy efficiency , you may require a little bit more, particularly where your windows are involved. Consider installing removable and demountable secondary glazing like InvisiTherm , although always check with your landlord before going ahead. If secondary glazing is out of the question, then consider insulating window films such as InvisiFilm .
5. Energy efficient light bulbs
One of the simplest things that you can do to increase the energy efficiency of your property is by replacing old-style incandescent globes with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) or light emitting diodes (LEDs). CFLs use around 20% of the energy of an incandescent light globe and can last between 4 and 10 times longer.
6. Hot Water
Hot water accounts for about a 25% of household energy use . The recommended setting for thermostats is above 60°C on storage hot water systems; or 50°C on instantaneous systems. If you're away for more than a few days, turn off your storage hot water system. When you return, allow plenty of time for the water to heat back up to above 60°C and remain at that temperature for a minimum of 35 minutes to kill any bacteria that may have grown. It could take several hours for the water to heat before you can safely use it. Don't overheat the water as this wastes energy.
7. Adjust your fridge
The idea temperature for your fridge is between 3-5 degrees Celsius; the ideal temperature is between -15 and -18 degrees Celsius for your freezer. Every degree lower requires a whopping 5% more energy to process!
8. Flushing toilets.
If you have a single flush toilet that your landlord is not considering replacing, using a water displacement device or using a plastic bottle filled with water could save you 51L of water per person per day.
Did you know that
around 60% of aerosols are made from tin-plated steel and approximately 40% are
made from aluminium? Or that 60% of items in the average waste bin could
actually be recycled? These are just some of the stats that Recycle Week wants
to highlight this year.
This year’s theme is ‘Recycling – It’s Worth It’ , which aims to demonstrate the wonderful things that can happen to your waste when you choose to recycle.
While a whopping 80% of you in the UK believe that recycling does make a difference, 25% of people cant see a direct benefit in recycling.
Scotland’s recycling rate has increased from just 5% in 2005 to 44% in 2014, but we can all still do better, and indeed we need to in order to meet the Government’s recycling target of 70% by 2025. By signing up for Recycle Week, we can all help to boost recycling rates and contribute to our zero waste targets.
At Glaze & Save we are passionate and absolutely committed to recycling: so much so that we’ve made it a fundamental part of our business!
Reduce Reuse Recycle
All aspects of the manufacture and installation of InvisiTherm™ are done with sustainability in mind:
Any offcuts that can be recycled into other installations are then used to reduce waste. Smaller offcuts that cannot be used in other installations are recycled into Grade 2 polycarbonate.
All polycarbonate shavings from the cutting and planning process during installation are also recycled into Grade 2 polycarbonate.
Even the polycarbonate shavings which are produced from cutting the polycarbonate are collected using a vacuum cleaner, the contents of which are then recycled into Grade 3 polycarbonate.
We separate all our waste on site using clear recycle sacks, allowing no contamination to our waste. Our recycling is then uplifted by a local company for processing. We even have a list of people who will come to the warehouse to uplift our bubble wrap for reuse and our business cards are made from recycled paper!
Not Just Recycling
Wherever possible, we purchase IT and office equipment second hand to reduce demand for new goods and to support reuse and recycle efforts.
We have robust recycling practices in place for all office and general waste in our premises. With all Eco products used in washroom, no paper towels, compost collection for food waste.
We limit printing only to absolutely necessary documents, preferring to send receipts, invoices, quotes and other information by email. When we do print, we use climate controlled paper which is FSE certified.
Our marketing is mostly based online, however the little direct flyering we do is printed on recycle paper and limited to the neighbourhood of our installations, in appropriate properties and carried out by our own team on foot.
How You Can Take Part in Recycle Week
There are many ways you can participate in Recycle Week. For businesses, Zero Waste Scotland is recruiting an army of ambassadors to in a bid to get Scotland recycling even more.
There is still time for organisations to take part to take part, from hosting events and introducing new recycling services, to sharing Zero Waste Scotland’s messages on social media.
To sign up to Recycle Week and play your part go to www.zerowastescotland.org.uk/recycleweek2017
Historic buildings, and the glaze that comes with them, have
often been seen as problematic properties requiring excessive utilities and
invasive solutions to bring them up to speed with modern innovations in energy
efficiency and thermal comfort. It’s a sad fact that this attitude has led to
the degradation and destruction of much of our built heritage. But it doesn’t
have to be that way!
For historic buildings, where the retention of original features and fabric is paramount, secondary glazing allows the original windows to be retained in their unaltered state; reducing air leakages and heat losses while retaining the historic fabric of the building. Heat loss by conduction and radiation through windows can be reduced by over 60% by using secondary glazing. The innovative polycarbonate material that makes InvisiTherm™ boasts reduction in heat loss of up to 63%.
But thermal efficiency without compromising the integrity of your original windows is not the only reason to choose a secondary glazing product like InvisiTherm™. Unlike double glazing, InvisiTherm™ can offer numerous other benefits to the historic building.
What is Secondary Glazing?
Secondary glazing is an entirely independent glazing system affixed to the interior of existing windows. The original window remains in its original position, and can be left untreated, or restored with draught-proofing treatments such as Glaze & Save InvisiSeal™.
Secondary glazing has suffered from something of a bad reputation in the past. Bulky aluminium frames, heavy glass panels, and ugly intrusive fixtures and fittings rendered secondary glazing the poor relation to double glazing. Glaze & Save InvisiTherm™ changes all of that. Our demountable polycarbonate panels are lightweight and easy to remove, and our innovative magnetic strip ensures that there are no bulky frames and unsightly fittings. Our bespoke systems are virtually invisible once affixed to your window, making them perfect for retaining the charm and beauty of your historic building.
So let’s get to those reasons as to why Invisitherm™ bespoke magnetic secondary glazing is the best choice for historic buildings.
Fuel Poverty is a serious problem in Scotland. As energy
tariffs get higher and wages stagnate, more and more households find themselves
struggling to cope with the monthly or quarterly utility bills and can end up
in fuel debt, ill health, or living in homes which are just too cold. Inspired
by some great training and advice from Home Energy Scotland Strathclyde and
, today’s blog takes a look at what Fuel Poverty is, what causes it,
what its effects and impact is across the country, and what we can do to stop
The U.K as a whole is the “cold man of Europe” , where we rank 14th out of 16 for fuel poverty in Western Europe, and a worrying 16th out of 16 for the proportion of people who cannot afford to adequately heat their homes.
What is Fuel Poverty?
It’s easy to talk about “fuel poverty” but what do we actually mean by the term? Energy Action Scotland , which Glaze & Save is a member of, uses the Scottish Government’s definition:
A household is in fuel poverty if, in order to maintain a satisfactory heating regime, it would be required to spend more than 10% of its income on all household fuel use.
A household is also said to be in extreme fuel poverty if it is required to spend more than 20% of household income on all household fuel use.
As of 2015, there were 748,000 households in fuel poverty with 203,000 households identified as being in extreme fuel poverty.
What is a “Satisfactory Heating Regime”?
To maintain a satisfactory heating regime, the Scottish Government states that the following conditions must be met :
The currently accepted, satisfactory heating regime means achieving for elderly and infirm households a temperature of 23°C in the living room and 18°C in other rooms, for 16 hours in every 24. For other households a temperature of 21°C in the living room and 18°C in other rooms should be achieved, for a period of 9 hours in every 24 (or 16 in 24 over the weekend) - with 2 hours being in the morning and 7 hours in the evening.
Does your household meet the satisfactory heating regime?
Of course, the actual heat of the household, real and perceived, will depend on many different factors such as the preferred thermal comfort of the home; the make-up of the household (babies, the elderly, working adults, etc.); the type of heating available in the household; the weather; the number of occupants of the household; the energy efficiency of the property and the affordability of the available heating methods.
Although official figures are lower, the End Fuel Poverty Coalition puts the number of ‘fuel poor’ households in the UK at 4.5 million. Many people are spending more than they can afford, or going without what most consider a basic human need.
Fuel Poverty is about more than just feeling the cold. Ongoing fuel poverty can lead to a host of negatives issues arising, such as householders need to make the choice between heating and eating; the accumulation of fuel debt; physical and mental health issues; disrepair of properties and householders and their families being forced to make other sacrifices (such as going without holidays, new clothes, etc.). In all, an existence in fuel poverty is not a happy or healthy one. In fact, there is a proven link between fuel poverty and cardiovascular, circulatory and respiratory diseases .
What causes Fuel Poverty?
While many people would automatically blame ever-rising fuel prices as the main cause of fuel poverty, there are actually several other factors that contribute to the incidence of fuel poverty. These other factors are arguably more easily tackled than rising fuel costs!
Other factors that influence fuel poverty include:
· Lower incomes
· Poor energy efficiency of properties
· Under occupancy of homes
· Aging population who generally require warmer household temperatures.
· Fuel Poverty and Energy Efficiency
Energy efficiency and fuel poverty are inextricably linked. According to the End Fuel Poverty Coalition , 96% of fuel poor homes in the U.K are poorly insulated, and there are 21 million homes in the U.K with poor energy efficiency (defined as being below a Band C on an Energy Performance Certificate. You can find out more about Energy Performance Certificates here ).
The Energy Saving Trust estimates the percentage of heat lost from various areas of a house as follows:
· Walls 33%
· Roof 26%
· Windows 18%
· Doors 3%
· Floors 8%
· Draughts 12%
Of course, these figures depend on the type of property you live in and the type of energy efficiency measures you already have installed, but it is easy to see how important retrofitting energy efficient measures to your home can be for tackling fuel poverty in the home.
The Government’s Role in Tackling Fuel Poverty
According to the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 , the Scottish Government is was required to eradicate fuel poverty as far as reasonably practicable by November 2016. That target has not been met and a new target is to be announced in autumn 2017. http://www.eas.org.uk/en/target-to-eradicate-fuel-poverty-in-scotland_50553/
Local authorities also have a duty to tackle fuel poverty through their Local Housing Strategies .
What can Individuals do to Tackle Fuel Poverty?
While the main causes of fuel poverty, rising fuel costs and lower wages, isn’t necessarily something we can do much about individually, there are still several steps you can take to tackle fuel poverty.
· Contact Home Energy Scotland for a Home Energy Check During the Home Energy Check, the staff at Home Energy Scotland will make you aware of energy efficiency measures that you can carry out, changes in behaviour that could save you money, and link you up with potential funding options to help make your home more energy efficient.
· Adopt more energy efficient behaviours For example, making simple behavioural changes such as turning off appliances and closing curtains before dusk can save you £130 per year.
· Consider retrofitting energy efficient technologies in your home For example, Glaze & Save InvisiTherm reduces heating bills by 22.5% in rooms with treated windows.
· Maximise your income Contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau to find out which benefits you may be entitled to.
· Switch you energy supplier Using a comparison site makes it easy to find the best energy deal.