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Calderdale Council fits solid wall insulation to old houses

A project undertaken by Calderdale Council has revealed how to improve the thermal insulation qualities of 40,000 old stone houses in the district.

The Halifax Courier reports the local authority has spent £100,000 examining how to boost the energy efficiency of dwellings that are difficult to treat and with heating costs that are often significantly higher than those of new builds.

Dry lining insulation was fitted to the inside of the roof and solid wall insulation was also utilised for the properties, which typically do not have cavity walls or loft spaces.

Councillors are now putting pressure on parliament to come up with a way for these domiciles to have the upgrades they need, noting there is a lack of clear information and subsidies available to boost the market.

"We are not asking for more money, just for the existing funding to be better used so that more people can access it," Calderdale Council leader Janet Battye was quoted by the news source as saying.

The pilot project examined 40 older houses in the borough and tested varying methods to reduce their heat loss, as around 25 per cent of the region's households are currently spending more than 10 per cent of their income on gas and electricity bills, which means they are in fuel poverty.

However, they also spend around £90 annually subsidising the loft and cavity wall insulation of other modern properties through their energy expenditure.

Hebden Bridge homeowner Anne Handley told the publication she has saved around £300 due to the renovations to her abode.

This "almost halved" her gas consumption over the winter months, she declared, adding that the refurbishments "turned an uncomfortable old room that nobody liked sleeping in into the cosiest room in the house".

Solid wall insulation is generally more expensive than standard lagging but also results in greater reductions to energy bills, while cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 1.8 tonnes annually when it is fitted internally and 1.9 tonnes if it is external.

Posted by Paul Taylor