Can community energy reduce rising energy price fears?

According to Kingfisher’s 2014 European Home Report, in which 17,000 people across 9 European countries were surveyed, rising energy prices are one of the biggest fears to households across Europe. The report found that 65% fearing rising energy prices and 40% worrying about paying bills.

Initial costs of energy retrofit in homes can be off putting. However, the long term savings on energy bills mean that the initial investment can be paid back. The Department of Energy and Climate Change estimates that installing cavity wall insulation can save households, in a semi-detached property, £165 per year in energy bills and this costs between £500 and £1,500 to install. This means that the initial costs will be paid off in between 3 and 9 years and will save households money in the long run, as well as reducing carbon emissions.   

In a trial scheme, carried out by the social housing provider Gentoo, £5,000 worth of energy efficiency improvements were provided to 12 poorly insulated house in Sunderland. Double glazing, efficient boilers, loft, cavity and wall insulation improved the EPC rating of these properties from G to D. This study found that not only did the health of the participants improve but energy bills were reduced by £29.91, on average, per month. One resident said “Overall we’re definitely saving money. I know because I’ve been able to put more money aside for food shopping.”

Simple energy efficiency measures can save households money on their energy bills which can pay back the initial investment over a number of years. Importantly, these projects can give the householder a sense of control over rising energy prices. Have you heard of any energy efficiency projects that are helping residents save money on their energy bills? Let us know and join in the discussion.

Read more about the Gentoo Project in Sunderland visit:

SmartKlub is publishing a series of blogs on the benefits of community-led energy efficiency programmes. Read about an inspiring case study in Nottingham, find out more about our work with the UKGBC’s task group, learn more about the health benefits of retrofit and the NHS savings that can be made.