Energy Surveys Project
Building on the success of last winter's energy survey project we're back with a Surrey-wide offering for FREE surveys. We have secured funding via the Local Energy Advice Demonstrator (LEAD) fund to scale up in-person energy advice and thermal imaging surveys in our Surrey-wide HEAT project (Home Energy Advice Taskforce), to help your home stay cosy in Winter and cool in the summer.
Read on for more information about the project, find out how the surveys work, see what current grants are available for energy efficiency improvements, or use this form to register your interest in a survey.
Become a paid Energy Champion:
Earn £25 per survey, all training provided. Next training session is 13th Jan in Reigate. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
HEAT - Home Energy Advice Taskforce
ZCG is absolutely thrilled to have been have been awarded funding from the Local Energy Advice Demonstrator project fund, via the Greater South East Energy Hub. We have teamed up with Surrey County Council in a 2-part project, which will provide significant upskilling and retraining of Surrey through our Home Energy Advice Taskforce, with the wider project consisting of:
1. In-person energy advice is delivered via HEAT's Energy Champions to Surrey residents. ZCG is coordinating this part of the project, in partnership with a number of great community groups across the county
2. SCC will develop a One Stop Shop, an online platform which provides tailored advice in a high-level retrofit plan, based on house type, budget, when the cost of technologies are expected to come down, and provide recommended installers
Over 80% of the British public is concerned about climate change, and all of us want comfortable healthy homes, but very few of us have a spare £20,000+ to throw at retrofitting our homes. The LEAD project helps to tackle this issue through a combination of education and quick wins via the in-person surveys, coupled with long term strategic planning on making your home more efficient via the One Stop Shop.
The One Stop Shop is expected to launch in Spring 2024.
Zero Carbon Guildford teamed up with Energy Action Redhill & Reigate to deliver free home energy surveys through the Leaky Homes Project in winter 2022-23. Funded via UK Power Network (UKPN) we were able to deliver free energy surveys across a large part of Surrey.
We learned a huge amount, and managed to give energy efficiency advice to hundreds of residents, as well as signposting folks who were eligible toward retrofit funding.
The leaders of Waverley Borough Council join What Next Godalming's HEAT launch in Nov 2023. What Next will be running energy surveys across Waverley.
Examples of Last Year's Problem Solving!
This hole had been wallpapered over and was costing a Guildford resident money - until our Our Energy Champions found it with the thermal imaging survey!
After a quick bleed of this inefficient rad we found it was 6 degrees warmer 20 seconds later! You can borrow a radiator bleed & balance kit, or TRV kit from our Library of Things!
How Do The Energy Surveys Work?
Firstly, register your interest using this form.
The surveys are free to eligible residents, no strings attached, no obligation to do anything else. The LEAD funding means we can pay our surveyors but you get the service totally free.
Our funding has target audiences attached to it, who are deemed to benefit the most from a free home energy survey. If you're eligible for a free survey, your coordinators will pass your details to the local Energy Champions conducting surveys in your area, who will be in touch to arrange a suitable time and date.
The surveyor will visit your home, conducting a thermal imaging survey (providing there is adequate temperature differential between indoors & outdoors), and chat with you about any issues you have.
If the The Energy Champion identifies areas that your home is losing heat, they may be able to provide you with free remedial measures, such as draught tape, chimney pillows, secondary glazing film. Note they cannot install these for you, it is down to the householder to ensure the measures are installed.
Surveys last 45-60 minutes. The Energy Champion may leave some relevant information leaflets with you, but usually they will return home, write up their recommendations and upload thermal images, and then either the Energy Champion or our central coordinator will send you a written report, with guidance and recommendations suited to your personal situation and issues with your energy efficiency.
Please note that our surveyors are trained Energy Champions, they are not Retrofit Assessors / Coordinators. Anything beyond the scope of their training will need to be referred to an appropriate Retrofit Assessor or service.
What's ZCG's Background With Energy Surveys?
During the winter of 2022-23 Zero Carbon Guildford and Energy Action Redhill and Reigate teamed up to create a network of trained Energy Champions, funded by UK Power Networks, who carried out home energy surveys and events to support residents wanting to reduce their energy bills and keep their homes cosy. We were trained by experienced energy surveyors, and
We conducted 181 energy surveys in Surrey homes, and supported 1,263 residents with in-person energy advice and remedial measures to stop heat loss in homes, providing 644 energy efficiency measures to residents.
Our Energy Champions undergo training across a variety of subjects, from meter readings and understanding confusing energy bills, to addressing fuel poverty issues, to supporting the able to pay market with retrofit options such as solar panels or heat pumps, and signposting residents to the most appropriate form of financial support or grants to make the changes that they want. The Energy Champions also complete National Energy Action's Delivering High Quality Energy Advice course.
What Does This Project Achieve?
Energy Champions are not Retrofit Assessors, who take calculations of the property and advise on specific measures. We do however work closely with Retrofit Advisors, so when something is outside the scope of the Energy Champions training we will consult a professional for you.
Our Energy Champions cannot touch any controls or components in your home, so please don't ask them too. They are not qualified plumbers, and whilst many simple fixes are very easy, they are instructed by us to avoid touching any system or control, so please do not blame them if they refuse to bleed a radiator, adjust your boiler etc.
Why Are Home Energy Surveys Important?
Everyone hates waste! But unfortunately, most of us are wasting energy - and therefore money - without even realising it!
We lose over 30% of the heat from our homes through our walls, and over 50% when you include windows and loft. Home energy surveys can provide tailored guidance on how to reduce this energy waste, and make huge savings on your bills.
What's more, small leaks from around doorways, windows, even your letterbox, that go unnoticed result in your boiler firing more often than needed, and your cosy warm air leaks into the great outdoors.
Our home energy surveys use a thermal imaging camera to highlight exactly where your areas of heat loss are, thereby providing both quick wins, and longer term improvement suggestions to cut your energy bills. This can also have positive benefits to the health of residents in your home, as cold and damp properties are more likely to cause illness, especially in the respiratory system.
A whopping 30% of Surrey's emissions are attributed to residential energy - in fact, gas & electricity in our homes are the 2nd largest emissions source after transport! Energy efficiency is therefore a way that we can all contribute to reaching the county's emissions targets, whilst cutting waste and saving money at the same time! It's win-win all round.
Are Energy Efficiency Retrofit Measures Expensive?
They can be, yes! There's a number of factors to consider when planning retrofit measures - but you don't need to do everything at once, and a home energy survey will highlight where you can best focus your efforts in the short, medium, and long term. You might be surprised how much some small efficiency measures such as draught exclusion, loft hatch covers, and filling any gaps around windows will make! You can find lots of useful information on your home's energy use and efficiency on ZCG's Energy webpage.
Additionally, there are funding mechanisms available for some residents who may be eligible for it. Currently, these are the available retrofit and energy efficiency grants, who is eligible, and what you can get
Home Upgrade Grant (HUG2): Off-gas properties (no gas central heating), some auto-eligible postcodes, household income below £31,000 or in receipt of means tested benefit. Insulation / solar / air source heat pumps. Apply or check postcode.
Energy Company Obligation (ECO4): In receipt of benefits within the Help To Heat group, living in social housing with poor energy effiency, some availability under ECO Flex. SOlid wall insulation / low carbon heating / connection to heat network Apply Here.
Great British Insulation Scheme: Council tax bands A-D, EPC of D or below, 1 insulation measure. Check eligibility.
Boiler Upgrade Grant (BUS1): Can be used for residential or business premises. You must own the premises / be the landlord. The grant is to replace fossil fuel boilers. You receive £7,500 toward an air source or ground source heat pump. Note that with all Govt heat pump funding you must have adequate insulation, and no outstanding recommendations for insulaiton on your EPC Applicaiton guide.