There are numerous different types of energy efficiency improvements that you can make to your building(s). These include;

  • Changes to the building itself e.g. installing insulation, draft proofing and new glazing
  • Changes to the heating system e.g. installing advanced heating controls and/or more energy efficient heating source
  • Changes to you lighting e.g. installing more energy efficient bulbs and/or advanced lighting controls
  • Installing renewable energy technologies e.g. photovoltaic (PV) panels or solar thermal hot water

The section below provides a basic description of each of the energy efficiency measures, outlines what the benefits of installing them is, the likely changes that will be required to your building and the level of disruption that could be caused by the works. Simply click on the measure you are interested in learning more about to reveal more detail.

Lighting controls for presence detection

Description Benefits Changes Required to Building Level of Disruption
With presence detection lighting the lights automatically turn on when movement is detected and go off after a set time when there is no movement. Installing these controls in appropriate areas can reduce energy use and save money on electricity. In addition, presence detection can reduce slips, trips and falls if staff and residents move around the building at night. Adding motion sensors to the corners of the rooms and wiring them up correctly should be the only change required. Minimal disruption.

Lighting controls for daylight sensing

Description Benefits Changes Required to Building Level of Disruption
These controls detect the levels of ambient daylight and adjust the electric lighting requirements accordingly. Used in appropriate areas, they can reduce energy use and save money on electricity by ensuring lights are not left on when there is sufficient daylight. Adding daylight sensors to the correct part of the rooms and wiring them up correctly should be the only change required. Minimal disruption.

Light fittings

Description Benefits Changes Required to Building Level of Disruption
Installing more energy efficient light bulbs can reduce electricity usage and save money. They often require a relatively small outlay, resulting in a short payback period. LED lightbulbs are the most energy efficient bulbs on the market and can save you money on your energy bills. Only change required is swapping the bulbs. Minimal disruption.

Internal or external wall insulation (for external walls)

Description Benefits Changes Required to Building Level of Disruption
Depending on your external wall construction type there are a variety of insulation types that can be installed either on the outside or inside of the walls. Adding insulation to internal/external walls can reduce the amount of heat lost and gained through them and save money on heating in the winter and cooling in the summer. For solid walls internal insulation is generally cheaper than external. External wall insulation can also improve weatherproofing and sound resistance and reduce draughts. A layer of insulation is added to either the inside or outside of external walls. Internal – Can be very disruptive, room will have to be empty and floor area will be slightly reduced. Can make it hard to fix heavy items to walls. Any penetrating or rising damp must be rectified before installation. External – You may need planning permission for external insulation but can be carried out at the same time as other external work to reduce the disruption.

Loft or rafter insulation

Description Benefits Changes Required to Building Level of Disruption
Adding extra insulation in the loft floor or between roof rafters or switching to a more insulating material in the loft can reduce the amount of heat lost through the roof. Less heat lost via the roof means you spend less on heating as the heat is more effectively contained within the building. All items in loft/roof space being insulated must be removed. If your hot water tank is in the loft then this will need a tank jacket, and all pipes must be insulated before the insulation is laid. Make sure ventilation gaps are maintained. Disruption should be minimal during installation provided access is available. Laying enough insulation for a small to medium sized care home only take a day for a trained professional.

Ground floor insulation

Description Benefits Changes Required to Building Level of Disruption
There are a variety ground floor insulation types that can be installed depending on the floor’s construction type. Insulating the ground floor can reduce heat loss through it and save money on heating. Flooring will all need to be pulled up and re-laid. In a suspended timber floor, all joists should be checked to ensure they are dry using a moisture meter. Very disruptive, the room(s) must be emptied and the whole floor will need to be taken up. This can take weeks in larger buildings.

Replacement glazing

Description Benefits Changes Required to Building Level of Disruption
Replacing external glazing in windows, doors, and roof lights, with a newer double or triple glazed system can reduce heat loss and save you money on your heating bills. New double glazing is designed to keep the maximum amount of heat in the building, reducing external noise, drafts, and condensation as well as saving money on energy bills. In the majority of cases minimal preparation is required, just taking down blinds/curtains and clearing furniture away from the windows. Minimal disruption, about 1 hour per window (although additional decorative works may be required after installation in some instances).

Draught proofing

Description Benefits Changes Required to Building Level of Disruption
Adding draught proofing measures around doors and windows reduces heat lost from the inside of the building. Installing draught proofing around doors, windows and other openings can reduce heat loss and save money on heating as well as increase resident comfort by reducing cold draughts. Adding draught excluders to doors and windows. Minimal disruption.

Heating controls: simple time control

Description Benefits Changes Required to Building Level of Disruption
A simple time control that turns the heating on and off at a fixed time each day can ensure the heating is on only when needed. Installing timer-controlled heating can reduce the amount of heating waste and energy consumption and save money on your heating bills. Generally, very few (if any) changes to the heating system are required, however if your current boiler is very inefficient it may be beneficial to change this also. Minimal disruption unless a new boiler is required.

Heating controls: optimum start control

Description Benefits Changes Required to Building Level of Disruption
An optimum start heating control switches the heating on so that the building reaches the desired temperature just in time for when the area is going to be occupied. These controls reduce wasted energy used to heat unoccupied areas. Installing these can reduce energy consumption and, save money on your heating bills. Generally, no changes are required to the heating system itself, however if your current boiler is very inefficient it may be beneficial to change this also. Minimal disruption unless a new boiler is required.

Heating controls: weather compensation control

Description Benefits Changes Required to Building Level of Disruption
A weather compensation heating control automatically alters the internal temperature by adjusting the heating level according to the outside temperature. The boiler will burn the exact amount of fuel needed to match the heat lost from the building. This ensures you don’t heat the building to higher temperature than necessary. Installing a weather compensation heating control can reduce energy consumption and save money on your heating bills. Many weather compensators operate the boiler circulating pump continuously, so consideration of the distance from boiler to rooms should be given. Some weather compensation controls still require a boiler programmer and room thermostat to be installed. Minimal disruption unless a new boiler is required.

Photovoltaics 

Description Benefits Changes Required to Building Level of Disruption
Photovoltaic panels (more commonly known as PV panels) convert sunlight into electricity. Installing PV panels reduces the amount of energy you need to buy from the grid and can save money on electricity bills. Site assessment will be required to determine best orientation. If the equipment is being placed on a roof, the roof should be inspected beforehand to ensure the roof is strong enough. Additional analysis is required to confirm access to a south facing roof without excessive shading. Installation takes 1-2 days for a standard house sized roof. Will require longer for larger roofs and access will be needed to attic space.

Solar water heating

Description Benefits Changes Required to Building Level of Disruption
Solar water heating panels use the heat from the sun to heat your hot water. Installing these panels can reduce the amount you spend on heating hot water using gas boilers or electric immersion heaters. Site assessment will be required to determine best orientation. If the equipment is being placed on a roof, the roof should be inspected beforehand to ensure the roof is strong enough. A new water storage system may need to be installed. Installation takes around 2 days for a standard house sized roof. Will require longer for larger roofs and access will be needed to attic space.

Air source heat pump

Description Benefits Changes Required to Building Level of Disruption
An air source heat pump transfers heat from the air and uses it to heat the building. Changing the heating system to be a source heat pump system can reduce, or eliminate, the need for using other less efficient gas or electric heating systems, saving you money on your heating bills. An inspection will need to be carried out beforehand to determine the heating needs of the property. Air source heat pumps require appropriate space around the system to function properly. Additionally, air source heat pumps require larger than standard radiators to heat the property effectively, these will need to be installed. Before installing a heat pump, you should ensure the property is properly insulated and airtight. Installation takes around 2 days, however for care homes/larger properties this can be significantly more. The installation of new radiators will increase the time required.

Ground source heat pump

Description Benefits Changes Required to Building Level of Disruption
A ground source heat pump transfers heat from the ground and uses it to heat the building. Changing the heating system to a heat pump system can reduce, or eliminate, the need for using other less efficient gas or electric heating systems, saving you money on your heating bills. Ground source heat pumps work best on low heat systems such as underfloor heating. Radiators are unlikely to achieve the same heat with ground source heat pumps when compared to a boiler powered central heating system. For water heating you may need a separate electric immersion heater. Before installing a heat pump, you should ensure the property is properly insulated to avoid wasting money. Enough space is required outside to dig a hole for the system. Installation at a standard sized house would take around 2 days, however, for care homes/larger properties this could be significantly more. The installation of new underfloor heating system will increase the time required.