Making your home warmer

Domestic heating currently accounts for 25% of UK energy use. We use so much energy for heating because many of our houses have little or no insulation, are draughty and lack basic energy efficiency technologies.

Cold, damp homes cause excess deaths in winter, particularly among the elderly. Living in a cold house greatly increases the risk of contracting a serious illness.

If you are concerned about your energy costs or would like ideas on how to save energy there is help available through the simple energy advice website.

Ways of insulating and draught proofing your home

There are many easy and inexpensive ways to improve the energy efficiency of your home.

Installing better insulation is the most effective way to improve domestic energy efficiency and raise the standard of UK housing. As well as reducing the carbon emissions from domestic energy use, a better insulated home will save you money on bills.

The table below outlines the main ways homes and other buildings can be adapted to keep them warmer.  It also gives some of the latest cost breakdowns, information about payback periods and yearly carbon dioxide (CO2) savings.

MeasureAnnual savingInstalled costPayback period (years)Yearly C02 saving
Cavity wall insulation£115£5004 years610kg
External wall insulation£400£10,500 - £14,50026 years2,100kg
Internal wall insulation£380£5,500-£8,50015 years2,000kg
Floor insulation£50£100 (DIY)2 years270kg
Filling gaps between floor & skirting boards£20£201 year110kg
Loft insulation - full 270mm£110£2502 years800kg
Loft installation top up to 270 mm£30£500 or £200 DIY16 years installed or 6 years DIY230kg
Draught proofing£20£200 or £90 DIY10 years or 5 years DIYup to 155kg
Hot water tank jacket£35£12 DIY6 months190kg
Primary pipe insulation£10£10 DIY1 year60kg
Double glazingAbout £90VariesVaries740kg

Loft insulation

‌Loft insulation helps create an even temperature in your home, keeping it warmer in winter and cooler in summer.

Many householders will know that they have some loft insulation, but may be unaware of the current recommended standards of 270mm (12 inches). In order to achieve the current standards, insulation is placed between the ceiling joists and over the joists.

All materials used should comply with British Standards BS 5803. If you’re installing loft insulation on a DIY basis, protective clothing should be worn including gloves and a face mask.

Tank and pipe insulation in the loft

One result of laying insulation in the loft is that the roof space itself will then be colder, so any tanks and pipes in the loft will be more liable to freeze over in cold weather.

Hot water pipes should be insulated so the heat loss is reduced and cold water pipes so that they are protected from freezing.  Polyethylene foam or synthetic rubber moulded sheaths which clip around the pipes and should be carefully joined and taped to fully cover the pipes.

If you are looking to install insulation yourself, most large DIY stores will stock it, often with special offers.

Cavity wall insulation

Insulating cavity walls is one of the most effective energy saving measures for your home. Around 35% of heat loss can occur directly through walls compared to 10% through windows.

Insulating your walls typically saves around £115 a year on heating bills. These savings will increase in future as fuel costs rise.

Work is guaranteed for 25 years by the Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency. Call 01525 853300 to find out more or visit the CIGA website.

How do I know whether I have solid walls or cavity walls?

You can usually tell by the pattern of brickwork. Cavity walls only became widespread after the 1930s and only after the mid 1980s were homes generally insulated during construction.

If you can see the ends of the bricks, apart from around doors and windows, that’s a sign of solid walls without a cavity.

DIY solid wall insulation

SEMPATAP thermal solid wall insulation is 10mm thick, specifically developed as solid wall insulation. It has been in use in the UK and Europe for over 20 years.

This thermal insulation is applied inside the property on the external walls, substantially reducing heat loss and making rooms immediately feel warmer. It is sometimes referred to as magic wallpaper, insulated wallpaper or flexible insulating lining.

SEMPATAP is as simple as wallpaper to apply with hardly any mess and can be decorated with virtually any finish - emulsion, wallpaper - it can even be tiled. It can be redecorated and has a life expectancy of 30 years. It can be easily applied on a DIY basis.

Find out more about SEMPATAP, including handy installation videos.

Financial help for low income households

If you’re a Newark and Sherwood resident on a low income, we want to help you to heat your home at an affordable cost. We’re here to help you find a better quality of life by living in a warm and comfortable home.

We do this by:

  • advising on offers and grants available
  • working with other local councils in an Energy Partnership (LAEP)
  • seeking funding opportunities to support residents with the cost of installing energy efficiency measures

For more information and advice, contact our energy team on 01636 650 000 or send us an email on

Be vigilant about Green Homes scammers

We’ve recently been made aware of a scam around the Green Homes grant scheme (in particular spray loft insulation funding). We advise that all residents are vigilant when speaking to individuals regarding the scheme.

We’re not working with Energy Support Link or Energy Saving Grants Ltd. If you receive a letter implying that we are, please let us know on 01636 650000. View an example of one of the scam letters (PDF File, 55kb) from Energy Support Link.