- Apply links menu
- Adult learning course list
- Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction
- Allotments list
- Jobs at the Council
- Bus pass
- Library membership
- Carer's assessment
- Council housing services
- Planning applications
- Council tax and business rates
- Property licence
- Disabled parking
- Recycling and waste services
- Free school meals
- School places
- HomeChoice Bristol
- Social services assistance
- Pay links menu
- Report links menu
- My Account links menu
For free and impartial advice on how you can save energy in your home please see:
- Bristol Energy Efficiency Advice Centre website
- Energy Saving Trust website
- Cheap and simple energy measures for your home (pdf, 109 KB) (opens new window)
For information on grants and help available to homeowners please see our homeowners section.
Whatever the age of your home, there are always things that can be done to make your home more energy efficient. Not only will it be warmer but cheaper to heat.
There are two types of external insulation available. These are:
- Rigid board which is fitted to the outside face of the wall and rendered. This is often 70mm thick and requires rainwater pipes and gullies to be moved and even the extension of window sills and roof verges.
- A thinner render system which includes expanded polystyrene balls within the render mix. It is claimed to reduce heat loss through the wall by 70%.
Both approaches are usually unacceptable in conservation areas or for listed buildings
Traditional internal insulation involves fixing plasterboard with an insulated backing to the inner surface of external walls. This can reduce energy loss by 80%, however, this system will reduce room size. When installing internal insulation it is particularly important to avoid cold bridging that can make condensation problems worse.
If your home does not have loft insulation a large amount of heat will escape from the roof. The current standard is to have 270mm (10.5 inches) thickness of loft insulation. Anyone with less than 100mm should consider increasing the amount of insulation. It is important to ensure any pipes and tanks in the roof space are also lagged and that adequate ventilation is in place to prevent condensation.
Hot water cylinder insulation
If your hot water cylinder does not have an integral foam insulation you should ensure that it is lagged with a jacket of at least 80mm thick with no gaps. These jackets can be purchases for under £10. They are easy to fit and can repay the cost of buying within a year through savings in fuel bills. If in doubt put another over the top of the existing jacket.
You can achieve savings in heating costs and carbon emissions by switching to more efficient forms of heating. If you switch to gas and fit a new high efficiency gas boiler for space heating, the resulting carbon dioxide emissions are only 0.21kg for every kW of heat produced, compared to 0.45kg for electricity. The cost of gas is also approximately 30% that of peak rate electricity.
Energy performance certificates that have been introduced for house sales also reflect the benefits of gas heating over electricity.
Heat pump technology
Heat pumps have the advantage of delivering up to four times as much heat energy as the electricity consumed to run them. They do however have high capital costs and ground source systems require major disruption to the outside areas of the home, when the pipes are installed underground. Air-source heat pumps are slightly less efficient, but they do not require any external excavation and are much cheaper to install. Heat pumps work best with under floor heating but can also be used with radiators if the house is well insulated.
If you are unable to fit double glazing e.g. if your home is listed, you can make significant savings by draught proofing your home. Draught proofing materials are easily obtained from all good DIY shops and are relatively easy to fit. Make sure that essential ventilation for any “open flu” heaters is maintained.
Radiator panels are foil-like panels that can be fitted behind radiators fitted to external walls. They reflect heat back into the property and are particularly effective in solid walled properties. They are cheap and easy to fit quickly, paying for themselves through reduced fuel bills.
If your home does not have enough loft insulation a large amount of heat will escape through the roof. We will ensure, where possible, that every home with a loft is fitted with a minimum of 200mm thickness of loft insulation. If you think your loft does not have enough insulation please contact the Repairs and Maintenance Service on 0117 922 2200 (Option one).
Cavity Wall Insulation
If your home was built after 1940 it is likely to have a cavity wall. A large amount of heat can be lost if the space between the inner and outer wall is not insulated. We have a programme to install insulation to all homes which have a cavity wall. If your home has a cavity wall and you think its not insulated please contact the Repairs and Maintenance Service on 0117 922 2200 (Option one).
Gas Central Heating
When we replace or fit gas central heating, we only install "A" rated boilers. These units are very energy efficient and are part of our commitment to ensure that all our properties meet the Bristol Homes Standard.For more information please see our central heating handbook. (pdf, 132 KB) (opens new window)
Combined Heat and Power Plants
Combined Heat and Power (CHP) is the simultaneous generation of usable heat and power (usually electricity) in a single process. We have fitted a number of CHP units in our tower blocks. Not only do they provide hot water for central heating, but the electricity produced is used to power communal lighting, lifts etc.
If we need to replace a heating system due to age, but it is not possible to install gas central heating, we try to install heat pumps. Although commonplace in Europe heat pumps are fairly new to the United Kingdom. Heat pumps work using the same technology as a fridge. They extract heat from the outside air (even when it is freezing outside!) and use it to provide hot water and heating. For more information please see our air to water heat pump handbook (pdf, 270 KB) (opens new window).