Insulating your home – from quick tips to big projects

Suggestions on this page range from free and quick tips to whole house retrofit projects.


When a new house or extension is built, it must have a certain level of insulation. This will be added under the floor, within the two layers of the wall and in the roof. The external doors and windows will also have to reach a certain level of energy efficiency. The level of insulation recommended to make your home more energy efficient has increased over the years so your house may have insulation which could be improved.

Insulation will prevent heat escaping quickly making your home cosier, draught free and use less energy which will also reduce your bills.

The Energy Saving Trust’s website contains lots of advice and information about types of insulation for your home.

Many of the measures needed to insulate your home can be quite costly. The government and local councils often provide grants and initiatives to help. Grants will hopefully become more readily available in the near future as we need to meet our Net-zero carbon target.

Grants and funding available now

ECO – Energy Company Obligation

ECO is a government scheme to help reduce carbon emissions and tackle fuel poverty. Under this scheme customers with low incomes can apply to their energy supplier for help with energy efficiency measures, such as loft or wall insulation, or even boiler replacement. The aim is to reduce the cost of heating their homes. Medium and large energy companies (with over 150,000 customers) are obliged to provide a certain number of efficiency improvements according to their market share.

It’s a first come first served scheme, as once the energy companies have fulfilled their obligation within the current scheme, they may stop taking applications. The current Eco scheme (ECO 3) runs until 31st March 2022. The good news is that ECO 4 will run for four years from April 2022 with a planned expenditure of £1 billion per year.

6.5 million homes are eligible for help under ECO – You can find out whether you are eligible here . If you are eligible, you should contact your energy supplier for further information on services they provide.

Information on ECO from simple energy advice website

ECO funding information for EON customers

Cost effective ways to save heat energy

It doesn’t have to cost the earth to reduce the amount of energy we use to heat our homes. Some things we can all try:

  • Close doors to empty rooms.
  • Put thermostats on radiators. Turn radiators off to rooms you are not using.
  • Make your own radiator reflectors. Cut a piece of cardboard to fit down the back of a radiator. Cover with tin foil and slip back down behind the radiator to reflect heat back into the room.
  • Close curtains before it gets dark to conserve heat. Tuck behind any radiators.
  • Fix lining to curtains to make them thicker. You can often find bedding or curtains in a charity shop which will work well as curtain lining.
  • Net curtains help to keep a room a little warmer.
  • Fit a long, heavy curtain over the front and back door. Cheap offcuts of material or long curtains can often be found in charity shops or online in places such as eBay or locally on Facebook marketplace, Freegle or the Friday-Ad.
  • Make draft excluders for doors.
  • Add another layer of clothing.
  • Exercise warms you up, is good for circulation and keeps you fit!
  • Keep a throw in the room for snuggling on the sofa.
  • Use a hot water bottle.

Retrofit solutions

  • Choose a good underlay – this will prolong the life of your carpet. natural materials are more insulating and can be recycled more easily.
  • Adding insulation to solid floors. It is possible to break up a solid floor to add insulation and concrete over but the energy and resources needed may not be recovered in the energy savings. The room will feel warmer so this will need consideration. Insulation can be added on top of the concrete. This will add height so skirting boards and doors will need altering. Adding foil insulation under carpets will bounce some heat back into the room. More information on insulating a concrete floor here.
  • The Centre for Sustainable Energy website contains factsheets about a range of energy efficiency measures for your home.

Remember that if you are significantly improving your home insulation, you should also review ventilation.

Understanding insulation

Whether you are planning to do your own insulation, or pay someone else to do it for you, understanding the different options available and how they are used most effectively can prevent you from making costly mistakes.

Independent advice

If you have the budget for significant retrofit measures in your home, then you may wish to get some independent advice. Warmer Sussex provide impartial, expert advice to help you make your home more energy efficient. They also liaise with a network of vetted tradespeople who are able to carry out retrofitting. Their services include a whole house plan identifying priorities and the most cost effective measures; providing quotes from vetted contractors and project managing your retrofit and checking that all work meets quality standards.

Suppliers of eco friendly insulation products

What will you pledge to do to improve your home’s insulation?

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