It was the rising cost of fuel that prompted Norman and Irene Clark from Cleckheaton to invest in external solid wall insulation.
Having lived in their semi-detached property since 1969, the Clarks were keen to find a real solution to their rising energy bills.
"They’ve always been cold houses on this estate" explained Norman. "We were spending between £75 - £80 a month on fuel. But when you take into account that we go off in our caravan for at least three months of the year, this was still pretty high. As soon as I received the leaflet from YES Energy Solutions I rang up straight away and the response was immediate.
"Since the walls were done our house feels so much warmer. Our heating’s not on as long and the rooms just feels cosier. We could tell the difference as soon as they put the boards on, even before they applied the top coat. It just keeps the heat inside the house. Our bills have come down to under £69 a month now and that's partially down to the wall insulation!"
Before the Clarks had any work carried out they noticed that several of the council properties on the estate were also getting energy saving makeovers.
"We previously enquired with the council who gave us details of a couple of insulation companies. But up to press I am still waiting for an answer from the emails I sent back in May. YES Energy Solutions we’re on the ball and got someone out to see us straight away."
A few years back the Clarks had their property externally rendered, but due to wet and windy weather conditions their walls had started to corrode. Getting external solid wall insulation installed seemed like a good way to improve both the look and feel of the property.
"The paint was cracking and water was getting underneath the render," explained Irene. "Especially on our gable end. To get the house repainted it would have cost us around £900 anyway, so we thought we may as well improve everything at the same time."
When the Clarks applied for their insulation work, they were able to take advantage of the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund – a Government scheme which provides homeowners with cashback for their energy saving upgrades. Some residents were able to claim back over a third of the cost of the work. Like hundreds of homeowners in the UK, this fund helped the Clarks make their installation affordable.
"It could have been too much without the Government grant," said Norman. ‘We probably wouldn’t have been able to afford it and had to look at monthly payments…but to be honest I think it would have been too much. So I think it’s great that there was support available and it’s about time Energy Companies started giving money back to the public."
The Clarks were keen to tell others about the benefits of the scheme and how to get involved.
"They’ve done a good job. To me the house looks the bees’ knees! Quite a few people around here have got their walls done because of us. They saw how nice it looks and decided to go for it. We were the first to sign up with YES Energy Solutions on the estate, so we were keen to spread the word."
Since having external solid wall insulation carried out, the Clarks have now made saving energy their priority.
"We’ve got central heating and one of those new condensing boilers. The loft's insulated and all the windows are double glazed. Now that the walls have been done our house is as energy efficient as it can be. We hope to think that by making these upgrades we are not only saving money but doing our bit for the environment.
"Helping people save energy is important and I think it’s a good use of Government money. But I think we could do more in this country. I’ve watched programmes about what other countries do - such as Denmark where they use incinerators to burn all the refuse so that whole towns can benefit from the energy produced; and Poland where people get hot water for nothing. It makes you think what else we could do differently to help people save on fuel."
Norman and Irene are now enjoying the benefits of a warmer home that’s cheaper to heat. They have joined thousands of pioneering residents that have made their home’s more energy efficient through external solid wall insulation.
"We’re really glad we got the work done at our home as it will help us save energy and stay on top of our bills. We would certainly recommend it!"
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