Warm Homes

Here you can find information on the ways in which South Cambridgeshire District Council are making our tenants homes warmer through a number of ways, as well as finding user guides on how to get the most out of your heating system.

To date, the Council has installed over 2,000 solar panel systems, over 150 air source heat source pumps and improved over 450 homes with external wall insulation among a number of other energy saving measures. Tenants benefitting from these improvements have seen their fuel costs drop significantly.

Solar Panels

Photovoltaic (or PV) panels have been installed on over 2000 of our tenants homes.  Here are some useful tips on how to get the best out of them

  • Use your appliances during the day, when the sun is shining
  • Make sure the higher wattage appliances are used later in the day when the sun is at it's strongest (between 11am and 4pm)
  • make the most of timing devices on equipment if you are out during the day
  • Use one big appliance at a time so you are not using more electricity than the panels are producing - otherwise you will get charged for it

or you can find more information in this PV user guide for tenants

Dimplex Quantum storage heaters

Quantum is designed to be a responsive heating system that optimising energy use.  The heater releases heat in two ways:

1.    A small amount of heat is dispersed by 'natural' convection and radiation from the heater case

2.    Most of the heat is released using the built-in fan that pushes hot air out from a heat outlet at the bottom of the heater

This makes better use of the stored energy as you can 'turn off' the heater when are out or do not need it.  You can refer to the Dimplex Quantum operating instructions to help you get the most out of your heaters.

Storage Heaters

Here you can find instructions on how to use the conventional storage heaters. You can also see how to use a Night Storage Heater here.

Air Source Heat Pumps

These need to be on constantly as they run "low and slow". It takes 4 hours for the system to make any change (heat up or cool down), so if you want to control the heating using a timer you will need to take about 4 hours off the time you go to bed, or get up in the morning. For example, if you go to bed at 10pm you will want the heating to go off round 7pm, so not getting too cold. If you get up at 7pm you will want the timer to come on at 3am, so it's warm when you get up.

If you need help using your Air Source Heat pump, you can have a look at the User Guide.

External Wall Insulation

If your home is of solid wall construction and you have not yet had the property insulated, don't worry we still have 3 years to go on our programme, subject to funding availability and the contractor, Conerstone, will contact you in due course.

For after care, have a look at our External Wall Insulation Aftercare guidance.

Useful Tips

Energy bills can be a struggle at this time of year and with energy prices constantly on the rise too, we hope you will find the following tips and information useful:

  • Turn down the thermostat by at least 1 degree, but try to keep the heating to at least 16oC (60oF)
  • Thermostatic radiator valves - you could turn these down to 1 or 2 for rooms that aren't used very often.
  • Consider monitoring usage when the heating is on a timer (say for a week or two), and then when it is on constantly but at a lower temperature, you may be surprised by your findings.
  • If you have Storage Heaters, make sure you are on an Economy 7 or Economy 10 tariff.
  • When buying new appliances for the home, try to get the highest energy efficiency rating that you can. A rating of A or above is best.
  • Consider changing light bulbs to LED bulbs as they use a lot less electricity.
  • Fill the kettle with the amount of water needed for the number of cups.
  • Turn off the lights in rooms not being used.
  • Turn off appliances, rather than leaving on standby.
  • Portable fan heaters use more electricity.
  • Check you are getting the best deal from your supplier. Consider switching energy supplier to save some money on your bills.
  • Consider getting a smart meter from your supplier, make sure you give meter readings at least once a quarter.
  • Draught-proofing doors and windows using thicker curtains (double up with an old pair or using a thermal lining) or rolling up old clothes or towels and tying at both ends is a cheap and easy way to reduce heat escaping. Just remember that air needs to flow in and out of your home so it stays fresh & dry, Make sure you don't block or seal any intentional ventilation. 
  • Portable fan heatters use more electricity, so use sparingly! You would actually be better off getting an oil filled radiator and plugging that in.

For mor information check out 10 Ways to Save on Energy Bills

Oil Buying

You can pay more for your oil delivery if you need it quickly so try to give at least a weeks notice. If you have a monitor (for example a Watchman), or you can work out when the oil is running low to give 2 - 3 weeks notice you can get a much better price. 

Always check to see if the village you live in has an Oil Buying Group as you save a penny or 2 off the price per litre. Alternatively call around suppliers for the best price, or check prices online as many domestic suppliers have prices on their websites. If you can't pay in full, have a chat with the supplier as there may be a way you can pay in instalments.

Useful Contacts

Useful contact numbers for information, or help with switching energy supplier:

Citizens Advice Bureau - 03454 04 05 06

My Home Energy Switch - 08000 014 706

Winter Fuel Allowance - 03459 151 515 (for those born on or before 06.05.1953)

Cold Weather Payment - 03456 000 723 (£25 for each 7 day period of very cold weather between 1 November and 31 March; automatically paid if you are eligible)

Age UK Cambridgeshire - 03006 669 860

U-Switch - 08006 888 557 or visit www.uswitch.com

For more information or any questions contact the Warm Homes team at Warm.Homes@scambs.gov.uk

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