Home energy efficiency

Advice and information

Being energy efficient can save you money and help the environment. You can be energy efficient by looking at ways to conserve energy through to making decisions about how ongoing energy needs are met, such as using renewable sources.

In-person support and resources

West Suffolk Council is part of the Suffolk Climate Change Partnership and together with our partners Groundwork East residents and communities can access support for improving the energy efficiency of their homes. This comes in two categories either full support were Groundwork’s Green Champions will visit your community to raise awareness and engage with residents to provide in depth advice. Alternatively, light support package where Groundwork will provide residents and community groups with all the tools required to engage among themselves on domestic energy efficiency.

In both categories energy saving recommendations will be no to low cost (less than £500) however, advice on more expensive measures can be provided where residents have a particular interest. To access the support available and find out more information please see Green Suffolk - Community Advice Service

Online support and resources

Saving energy in your home might not be as complicated as you think. The Energy Saving Trust provides information about:

  • methods of insulation
  • reducing heating and hot water bills
  • how to use less electricity

Getting a smart meter installed can help you understand your energy usage and helps the wider integration of renewable energy into the National Grid. More information can be found at Smart Energy GB.

If you are interested in generating your own energy you may be able to access one of the financial support mechanisms which pay you for energy generated and or exported to the National Grid. Read more at Energy Saving Trust - Financial support

Additional support can be found using the following links:

Financial support and generating an income

West Suffolk Council declared a climate and biodiversity emergency in July 2020 and has agreed a package of actions which will enable the council to produce net zero emissions by 2030. To find out more see our Environment and Climate Change Taskforce page.

The council is supporting the residents and communities of West Suffolk to improve their home energy efficiency and the government has launched a series of funding initiatives to support home insulation and renewable energy installations.

Sustainable warmth funding

Residents in Suffolk can benefit from free energy efficiency measures including loft, cavity wall and external wall insulation, solar panel systems and air source heat pumps. Eligible households include those with a total household income of £30,000 or below per year and live in a property with an EPC rating of E, F or G.

You can find your EPC rating at: GOV.UK - Find an energy certificate

More information can be found in the following press release: Energy efficiency work will help residents in low-income homes

Please refer to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Privacy Notice for information on how your personal data will be used.

To register your interest please contact: environment@westsuffolk.gov.uk

Renewable heat incentive

A subsidy scheme to promote the use of renewable heat technologies including solar thermal and heat pumps. Under this scheme the resident must fund the initial installation cost but will receive quarterly payments for seven years based on the amount of renewable heat generated in the home heating system.

To be eligible for the renewable heat incentive you must either own your home or be a private or social landlord.

If you are looking to install a renewable heating technology, you can find out how much money you likely receive by using the GOV.UK - Renewable Heat Incentive calculator

For more information visit: OFGEM - Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)

Smart Export Guarantee

An initiative to support small scale renewable energy generators where you can be paid for any excess electricity you generate and export to the grid. You can claim the tariff if you have any of the following technologies installed with a capacity of up to 5megawatt (mW), or up to 50kilowatt (kW) for Micro-combined heat and power (CHP).

  • Solar photovoltaic
  • Wind
  • Micro combined heat and power
  • Hydro
  • Anaerobic digestion

The energy suppliers that offer smart export payments are only required to offer you a tariff that is greater than zero therefore the rate each energy company pays is likely to vary. You should compare the tariffs available before agreeing a contract. Furthermore, the tariffs may be fixed or variable similar to your existing electricity tariff, but they are managed separately.

For more information visit: OFGEM - Smart Export Guarantee (SEG)

Suffolk Greener Homes interest free loan

Loans of up to £5,000 at 0% APR to help homes cut their energy use. Loans are available for energy saving measures. Loans are only available for the installation of approved materials and technologies by accredited installers.

  • Solar photovoltaic panels
  • Solar thermal
  • Air source heat pumps
  • Ground source heat pumps
  • Domestic wind turbine
  • Biomass boiler
  • LED lighting
  • Loft and floor insulation, cavity wall fill, internal and external solid wall insulation
  • Draught-proofing
  • Double and triple glazing
  • Electric vehicles and charging points
  • Water conservation measures (for example rainwater harvesting)

For more information on loans, see Green Suffolk - loans for energy efficiency

For more information on domestic energy efficiency visit: Simple Energy Advice - Green Homes Grant

Planning permission

Some settings may require planning permission is granted before solar panels can be installed. More information on planning and building regulations in conservation areas or on listed buildings can be found in West Suffolk Council's Solar photovoltaics (PV) and planning and building regulations in conservation areas or on listed buildings guidance document.