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Act on Energy

Are there any grants for double glazing?

Unfortunately there are very few funding pots for double glazing. The current government grants are based on carbon savings, and although double glazing can make a great improvement to the comfort of your home, the carbon savings are relatively low.

Visit our projects page and discover the available projects near you.

Act on Energy

Are there any grants to install renewable energies?

There are currently no grants to install renewable energies but once they are installed there are some benefits. Unfortunately the Government have recently scrapped their feed in tariff scheme installations that create electricity but for any installation that creates heat a household can still access a renewable heat incentive (or RHI).

Act on Energy

Can I have a new boiler?

There are a number of local and government schemes around at the moment to help people access new boilers. Visit our projects page and discover the available projects near you.

Orbit Residents

Can I install a satellite dish with EWI?

If you have a satellite dish, we will discuss the options with you before the works take place. Attaching items such as satellite dishes, hanging baskets etc. to the exterior of your home after EWI has been fitted can be difficult and it can cause damage to the insulation which then compromises its effectiveness.

Specialist fittings are required to ensure no damage is caused to the EWI when fitting items such as satellite dishes and to ensure the item does not blow off in high winds.  The Lovell surveyor will discuss this with you when they visit and, when the works are complete, you will be provided with advice on how to ensure your EWI retains its maximum performance for years to come.

Act on Energy

How do I know if a contractor who has contacted me by letter/phone is reputable?

If you feel uncomfortable at all with a contractor then they are probably not the contractors for you. We have a list of installers which we have worked with for a number of years and have a good working relationship with. Otherwise ask around, find someone you can see the work of and that you have a reference for, there are also a number of find a trader type websites which will have references from local people so you can get a feel for their work. You can check to see if a contractor is gas safe registered here, this will also tell you what they are qualified to do. We would always recommend that you get at least 3 quotes so you can compare prices.

Act on Energy

How do I know who the best energy supplier is for me?

No one energy supplier is best or even cheapest for everyone. It all depends on you, your home and how you use your energy. The best way to find out is to do a comparison online on an ofgem accredited switching site. If you feel this is not something you would be comfortable with you can call us and we can do a comparison over the phone with you. Just so you know, it is illegal for anyone to switch energy suppliers for you, so any comparisons you do with either us or a switching site will not automatically switch you but will provide you with information on which would be best for you.

Orbit Residents

How long will the improvement works to my home take?

The improvements should take between six to nine weeks. Scaffolding will be erected before the work starts and will be dismantled afterwards. You will be notified in advance of this.

Act on Energy

I have a loft conversion; can I still insulate my roof?

You can insulate a loft using ‘room-in-roof’ insulation which involves insulating the roof rather than the loft floor. Usually this will be done by fixing solid insulation boards between the rafters, these can then be covered in plasterboard. To find out if there are currently any funding opportunities in your area call us or visit our installer list to find local contractors who can do the work.

Act on Energy

I have just bought a house, is there any funding to do it up?

Most local schemes will need you to have been living in the property for at least 12 months, although some areas and projects require longer. The current Government ECO scheme for boilers, loft and cavity wall insulation do not have this clause on them but your household and/or your property will have to fit into the criteria, call us for more information on this and to talk to us about your personal circumstances.

Orbit Residents

I’ve got a conservatory or lean-to shed. Can I still have EWI?

Yes, but we may need to remove or adapt the conservatory or lean-to.  We will discuss the options with you in more detail before the work starts.

Orbit Residents

What are the benefits for me?

Improvements made will not only make your home warmer and more comfortable, but it should also be more cost effective and more environmentally friendly to run.  Our partners Act on Energy will be on hand to help you maximise the benefits of the improvements.

Orbit Residents

What is External Wall Insulation (EWI)?

External wall insulation (EWI) is a layer of insulation material, fixed to the outside walls of a house. This is finished with a layer of render.

Older style properties with solid walls (i.e. no cavity) lose a lot of heat through the walls. Covering the outside walls with a layer of insulation can reduce this heat loss through the wall by up to 80%. The benefit to you will be a much warmer home.

Orbit Residents

What is the Government’s Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF)?

The SHDF Demonstrator is a UK-wide scheme which will upgrade around 2,000 social homes currently EPC rating D or below, using a whole house retrofit approach, with energy efficient products such as floor and wall insulation, windows and doors and low carbon heating.

Act on Energy

What is the best setting to leave my night storage heaters on?

Older storage heaters usually have an ‘input’ and ‘output’ dial. The input dial determines how much energy is stored in the heater overnight and the output dial determines how much heat is released through the day. The higher the input dial the more energy will be stored and the higher the output dial the quicker it will be released. The output dial needs to be set to how much heat you want now and the input dial needs to be set for how much heat you want tomorrow. If the heater runs out of heat in the evening you may need to turn the input dial up or the output dial down.

In the summer when you do not need any heat it is best to turn the heaters off at the wall not just down to 0 as this will still use energy.

Newer storage heaters can usually be set to come on and off throughout the day and are much easier to control, you can also set different temperatures for different times of the day. These storage heaters have a much higher heat retention and you will often find they have heat a lot later into the evening than an older storage heater.

Orbit Residents

Will I have to empty my loft?

If you have any belongings in your loft, we will require them to be removed in advance of the work starting. If you are unable to move them or have nowhere to store them and need help, please let your Resident Liaison Officer know.

To get the maximum benefits from your home improvements, we recommend not storing belongings in the loft after the work has been completed as this may damage the insulation and reduce its effectiveness.

Act on Energy

Am I eligible for loft/cavity wall insulation?

The funding varies from area to area; you can find out by using the filters in our projects page.

Orbit Residents

Do I have to pay for it?

No, there is no cost to you.

Orbit Residents

How long will the Lovell pre-start survey take?

The pre-start survey should take no longer than 60 minutes.

Act on Energy

I am a landlord with an F or G rated property, can I access funding to improve this to fit in with the new Government guidelines?

Unfortunately the Government do not allow landlords to access funding for F & G rated properties through ECO or ECO flex, this is so that landlords fulfill the obligation themselves. If your property is E or above you will be able to access funding but you will need a tenant in the property as funding will be determined on their personal circumstances. There is no funding for vacant properties. Local schemes may offer some funding for F & G rated properties but a tenant will still need to be in the property, visit our projects page to find more about this or give us a call.

Act on Energy

My walls do not have a cavity, is there a way that I can insulate them?

There are ways to insulate walls that do not have a cavity, the two main ways are internal or external wall insulation. Internal wall insulation is attached to the inside if your walls and can come in a number of different varieties, it is much cheaper than external wall insulation but does reduce the size of the room and would mean that redecorating will likely be needed. External wall insulation is attached to the outside of the walls, it causes minimal destruction inside the property but is expensive.

Orbit Residents

What are the next steps?

A pre-start survey of your home will be conducted by Lovell and this is expected to take place by February 2022.

You will be contacted directly by Lovell to arrange the survey at a time that is convenient for you. Once complete and the pre-start survey has been reviewed, a schedule of works for your home will be finalised.  

Additional surveys may be required for some homes and we will notify you of these in advance.

Orbit Residents

What does retrofit mean?

Retrofit means upgrading an existing property to make it warmer, cheaper to run, less draughty and more comfortable to live in. This is done by improving the insulation, air permeability and heating system. It also includes a ventilation system to provide good air quality in your home. By improving the energy efficiency, retrofit also reduces carbon emissions and improves the appearance and the security of your home.

Orbit Residents

What energy efficiency improvements will be made to my home?

The energy efficiency improvements installed in your home will depend on the pre-start survey. You will be contacted directly by Orbit’s contractor, Lovell, to arrange this. Improvements may include:

  • external or internal wall insulation
  • loft and floor insulation
  • external doors and windows
  • a smart thermostat
  • a new heating system (for example an Air Source Heat Pump)
  • a ventilation system
Orbit Residents

What is a Smart thermostat?

A Smart thermostat is a digital thermostat that allows you to control your central heating (not storage heaters) and hot water. It also monitors indoor temperature and humidity to help Orbit resolve any problems in your home and ensure the new energy efficiency improvements are proving effective.

Act on Energy

What is the different between a combi and standard boiler and a condensing and non-condensing boiler?

A combi (or combination) boiler heats both the radiators and the water as it passes through the boiler, this means you will get instant hot water and will not need to heat up a tank to get this.

A standard boiler has a separate water tank which is heated from the boiler through elements in the tank, you will need to heat this tank once or twice a day to guarantee hot water on demand, a hot water tank jacket can help insulate the tank so that the water remains hotter for longer.

A condensing boiler will be more efficient as it has a bigger heat exchanger that it uses to recover more heat from the burning gas, this will be the case for almost all boilers installed since 2005. If it was installed before this date then it is likely to be non-condensing.

Orbit Residents

What will the pre-start survey involve?

The Lovell prestart survey will give you an opportunity to meet your Resident Liaison Officer. They will explain the works that will be carried out, provide information on timescales and talk to you about any additional requirements you may have such as mobility, sight, shift working patterns, children and/or pets.

The Resident Liaison Officer will be accompanied by a second Lovell representative who will take exact measurements of your home for any improvements, such as new external doors and windows, and they may also take photographs of the areas of your home where the works will be carried out. They will be on hand to help answer any questions you may have.

Orbit Residents

When will the improvement works to my home start?

The project, which is improving the energy efficiency of 69 homes in the Stratford area, is expected to start in February 2022 and will be complete by June; work to each property will each take around six to nine weeks. We will give you plenty of notice before the works start on your home.

Orbit Residents

Who are Act on Energy?

Act on Energy is a local independent Energy Efficiency Charity and is here to answer your questions and provide ongoing support before, during, and after the installation.

Orbit Residents

Who is doing the work?

Orbit’s appointed contractor is Lovell. Lovell will be working with a variety of specialist contractors to do the work.

Lovell is appointing a Resident Liaison Officer who will be your contact throughout the works. You will receive a letter with their contact details, and they will arrange a visit to your home to introduce themselves.

Orbit Residents

Why has my home been selected for these improvement works?

Orbit, in conjunction with Stratford District Council, has been awarded £1.45 million by the Government’s Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF) Demonstrator to install sustainable technologies in a number of our homes in Stratford. Alongside the SHDF fund, Orbit are investing a further £2.2 million into the project.

Your home has been identified as one that may benefit from some free energy efficiency improvements as part of this project.

Orbit Residents

Will I get a choice of colour for my external walls?

The render for your home will either be in neutral off-white colour, a brick effect finish to match the existing brick, or a combination of these two types.  This is decided by the local planning department to blend in with the street scene.

Orbit Residents

Will I have to move out?

We do not expect anyone to have to move out of their home whilst the work takes place. The work will inevitably cause some disruption, but we are committed to minimising this as much as possible.

When the Resident Liaison Officer visits your home, they will explain the work that is due to be carried out and will answer any questions you may have. They will also look to establish any additional requirements you may have such as mobility, sight, shift working patterns, children and/or pets. This will allow Lovell to plan the works in order to minimise any inconvenience.

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