Siberian temperatures hit Britain but homes continue to leak energy

Homes in the UK will face higher bills as the coldest snap of the year is set to hit Britain this week with temperatures reaching well below freezing if their homes are not energy efficient.
Wednesday has been pointed out as the worst day of the week and rural areas will be the hardest hit.
The Met Office has issued cold-weather alerts for the whole of the UK, urging people to ensure that the vulnerable and elderly are kept safe and warm.
The UK has some of the worst housing stock with many properties leaking energy from wall, doors, floors, roof and fireplaces.
With fuel poverty on the rise it is very important that people make their homes as energy efficient as possible and this can be done very inexpensively.
In November, the Heating and Hotwater Industry Council (HHIC) launched a national, ongoing energy efficiency campaign called Hole in the Roof. This is supported by leading environmentalist and ex Friends of the Earth Tony Juniper, BBC’s DIY SOS Charlie Luxton, financial expert and daily newspaper columnist Jasmine Birtles, and Saga. With the launch in October 2012 of the government’s major new retrofit programme, the Green Deal, energy efficiency will be high on the political agenda.
Hole in the Roof is an innovative and quirky campaign and will be launched on November 12 2012. It will raise awareness of energy efficiency by encouraging people to make changes in their homes that will save money, improve their living conditions and reduce greenhouse gases too.
Through Hole in the Roof, HHIC’s message is that consumers can change their behaviour and stop wasting energy that is metaphorically disappearing through the roof, as well as hitting them in the pocket.
We want the public to think more about heating systems in their home. Most people rarely do, unless their boiler breaks down or they have a much higher energy bill than expected.  For some, we need them to consider replacing their old G rated boiler with a new condensing model.  Alternatively, a new renewable technology may seem adventurous but it could be the best solution that suits their property, if it’s off the gas grid for example. But we can’t all afford such measures and there are other cost-effective ways to save energy.
One cheap way to cut heating costs is to purchase a fairly inexpensive set of controls. Other measures could include draft proofing, sealing an unused chimney or using radiator reflectors. Our campaign is highlighting all the ways we can make our home more energy efficient.
Consumers can view the Hole in the Roof website and click on any technology or heating system measure to find out what change could suit them best.
Dr Ros Altmann (pictured right), Director – General of Saga said: “We support the idea of making older people’s homes more energy efficient as it can help them afford to live more comfortably and in better health. It is important however, that people research any free services available to make their homes energy efficient (such as those on offers from energy companies or grant funding) and ensure they get the best deal possible and a quality service on things they are paying for.”
Roger Webb, HHIC director said: “We are delighted that Dr Ros Altmann from Saga is supporting our campaign. It is vital that vulnerable people get the support they need and that is why we are raising awareness of how important it is to make our homes more energy efficient. People can make simple measures like draught proofing or having more modern heating controls so that energy is not wasted. There are many inexpensive ways for example blocking key holes to prevent draughts that are easy to do. Our website provides simple information that is user-friendly for the consumer.”

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