Reducing energy bills

There are lots of ways to save energy and money on energy bills. 

Green Camden Helpline

Contact the Green Camden Helpline on 0800 801 738 or email Green Camden for advice including:

  • Top tips to make your home warmer and save money
  • Fuel tariffs and switching supplier
  • What to do if you are in fuel or water debt – there is help available
  • Eligibility check for energy efficiency grants and services:
    • Well and Warm home energy advice visit
    • Warm Home Discount (£140 off your energy bill)
    • Private sector energy efficiency grants

No-cost tips

  • Turning down your thermostat by only 1°C could reduce your heating bills by up to 10%. 
  • Set your hot water tank to 60°C to prevent water from being overheated.
  • Conserve energy by not leaving electrical items on standby. Prevent further wastage by not keeping laptops and mobile phones charging unnecessarily.
  • Draw your curtains at dusk to retain heat in your home.
  • Take a 3 minute shower rather than a bath – showers use a lot less hot water.
  • Wash your clothes at 30°C, with a full load each time.
  • Keep internal doors closed to reduce draughts.
  • Use ‘eco’ mode on appliances where possible.
  • Bleed your radiators every so often to keep them working efficiently.
  • Request a smart meter to allow you to keep track of your energy use.

Low-cost tips

  • Look for energy efficient alternatives for your lighting.
  • Insulate your hot water pipes to stop heat escaping.
  • Fit your hot water tank with an insulating jacket.
  • Use programmable heating controls to turn your heating on only when it’s needed.
  • Fit thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) to keep frequently visited rooms warm whilst turning off radiators in rooms that aren’t being used.

Financial support if you're in hardship


Find out about financial support available

Renewable energy at home

Before you consider renewable energy systems for your home, make sure you have addressed the cheaper and more cost-effective energy efficiency measures first. The more you reduce your energy demands at source, the greater the proportion of your energy will be met by the new renewable system. 

Find out more and links to useful guides provided by the Centre for Sustainable Energy below.

Planning permission

To install renewable energy technologies in your home, you may need planning permission.

Solar power

Solar power captures energy from the sun to power items around your home. The two main types currently used are:

  • Solar water heating systems
  • Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems

Solar water heating systems

Solar water heating systems use thermal energy from the sun to heat water in the home. On average they can provide a third of the home’s hot water usage in a year – typically the majority of this is supplied in the summer with significant top-up heating required in the winter.

Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems

Solar PV panels convert sunlight into electrical energy. PV panel performance depends greatly on their location, with even minimal levels of shading from chimney breasts or nearby trees having a significant impact on performance. 

It is unlikely that you’ll be able to meet all your electrical demands through PV because they generate in the day when lighting and energy use tend to be low, but the energy they produce can be more cost effective than buying from an energy provider. 

Wind power

Wind turbines convert wind energy into electricity. Despite being a clean and low carbon method of producing energy wind turbines are unlikely to work well in a built up area such as Camden because urban density creates wind turbulence that slows wind speed. Planning permission is also likely to be problematic.

If you do want to install a wind turbine, the first step should be to determine the available wind speed at the proposed location using the Energy Saving Trust’s wind predictor tool

Biomass

Biomass heating systems, such as wood burning stoves, are not supported as a renewable fuel in Camden because of the negative local air quality impacts. 

Heat pumps: ground source and air source

Ground source heat pumps (GSHP) use heat from the ground to raise the temperature of a liquid contained in a coil or loop that is buried in the ground. The liquid is then passed through a compressor to raise its temperature and heat the home. You will need to have a garden if you are considering a GSHP.

Air source heat pumps (ASPs) work by extracting warm air from the atmosphere, before compressing it to provide usable heat.

Although the pumps use electricity, the heat they extract from the ground and air is constantly being renewed naturally which is considered to outweigh the carbon impact of the electricity being used.  


Micro combined heat and power (CHP) units use natural gas to generate both heat and electricity for the home. Although not strictly speaking a renewable technology, they can help reduce emissions.

Renewable energy grants and incentives

We are committed to helping you make sustainable energy improvements to your home.

Find out if you could benefit from financial assistance to help make your home more energy efficient:

Insulation

On average, 80% of the energy used in homes is for heating. Using good insulation can reduce the amount of energy you use, helping to cut your fuel bills and carbon emissions.

Here are a few recommendations for making your home more energy efficient with detailed downloadable guides from the Centre for Sustainable Energy. You may be eligible for financial support to help make these improvements.

Draught-proof your windows and doors

According to the Energy Saving Trust, draughts are responsible for 15% of the heat lost from a home. Full draught-proofing could reduce your energy bills.

What’s more, draught-free homes are comfortable at lower temperatures – so you’ll be able to turn down your thermostat, which could save you money.

Draught-proofing is really easy to install – you can even do it yourself.

Loft insulation

Most household heat is lost through the walls and the roof. Installing loft installation or cavity wall insulation could save you money.

You can insulate your roof in two ways. Either using loft insulation blankets, also known as quilts, which you can do yourself or with blown insulation, which uses specialist equipment to blow loose, fire-retardant material into the loft.

Already have loft insulation? Adding another layer to bring it up to the recommended 270 millimetres could save you more energy and money.

Cavity wall insulation

Most housing built since the 1930s has cavity wall construction, which means that there is an exterior wall with a second wall next to it. The space between the two walls is called the cavity, and this is filled with insulation material. Insulating your cavity walls will help to heat your home more efficiently.

Solid wall insulation

If your home was built before the 1930s it is likely to have solid external walls. Unlike cavity walls, solid walls have no gap allowing nearly twice as much heat to pass through them if they are uninsulated. Solid walls can be insulated either with internal insulation or external insulation.

External wall insulation involves putting an insulating layer on the outside of your home and then cladding it. Internal wall insulation uses insulation boards or a wooden frame filled with insulation attached to the inside of your walls. Both methods can help your home retain valuable heat, as well as saving you money.

Energy efficient glazing

We recommend installing either double or triple glazed windows in your home. They are an effective way of keeping your home both warmer and quieter, whilst saving you money.

The costs and savings of double and triple glazing will be different for each home and each window, depending on the size, material and installer.

If your home is a listed building or in a conservation area there may be certain restrictions. Before making any changes to your windows, please check our planning guidance guide.

Heating and hot water

On average, boilers are responsible for 60% of CO2 emissions from a gas heated home.

By replacing your boiler with a high efficiency condensing boiler or an air source heat pump you could significantly reduce your CO2 emissions and potentially save money.

Types of space and water heating systems:

  • Air source heating
  • Solar water heating
  • Gas heating replacement: From 2010 any new gas boiler installed must be an A-rated or 88% efficient condensing boiler.

There are two types of condensing boiler:

  • Combination (also known as 'combi’) boilers provide heated water for radiators and under floor heating – they are able to supply instant hot water without the need for a hot water cylinder
  • System or open vent also provides heated water for radiators and under floor heating, however they require a hot water tank to heat and store hot water for when it is needed.

Thermostats and heating controls

Using heating controls allows you to keep your home at a comfortable temperature as well as giving you the freedom to monitor your hot water and heating to come on and off when you need it. 

Some of the most common heating control instructions can be found below:

Storage heaters
 

 

Ecofurb home renovation service

Ecofurb is a new approach to make London’s homes energy efficient by focusing on taking the uncertainty and hassle away from homeowners planning a renovation.

It’s an end-to-end service to:

  • Advise on which improvements will have the biggest impact on the energy efficiency of your home
  • Help plan these together with any other works you may be carrying out
  • Get quotes from vetted local contractors via their cooperative of contractors
  • Provide specification, quality assurance and sign off.
     

Ecofurb home renovation service

Retrofit webinar series

We have hosted a series of webinars to help residents make their homes warmer, cheaper to heat and more energy efficient. Each webinar looks at a different theme relating to the retrofit challenge.

Webinars

Topic

Date

Presentation

Recording

Camden Energy Café

Power Up North London (PUNL), Transition Kentish Town and Camden Friends of the Earth hosted a series of ‘Energy Cafes’ to help residents with energy advice, ranging from switching suppliers to tips for keeping warm and understanding what retrofit is.

10 and 24 November 2020

Enhabit

Power Up North London (PUNL)

Camden Council

Groundwork

 

Not available

Green Homes Grant

Exploring the new government Green Homes Grant funding to help homeowners and landlords install energy efficiency measures.

29 November 2020 Presentation slides Video recording

An Insight into Home Retrofit

Retrofit experts Enhabit and Sanya Polescuk Architects share their insights into what retrofit could look like in the home, including retrofit opportunities dependent on budget available and overcoming barriers in more complex domestic buildings.

15 December 2020 Presentation slides

Video recording

Retrofit for Businesses

Guest speakers from BuroHappold explain how heat pump technology works and how they can drive energy efficiency improvements for businesses.  Funding opportunities and support available are also outlined.

25 February 2021 Presentation slides Video recording

Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards – Domestic Landlords

All rental properties in the borough are required to meet EPC E unless an exemption has been registered. This webinar will outline the responsibilities of landlords under the MEES and signpost to support available.

If Camden is to meet its carbon reduction targets by 2030, we want to help engage as many landlords as possible to go above and beyond this benchmark to drive energy efficiency in the private rented sector.

29 April 2021 Presentation slides Video recording

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Solar Together

The Solar Together group-buying scheme is open to all Camden residents who own their own house (or have permission from the landlord to install a solar PV system). Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and some Commonhold Associations are also eligible for the scheme.

The scheme helps residents to purchase low-cost, high-quality solar panels which also helps to tackle the climate crisis in Camden by providing clean energy, cutting carbon emissions whilst also reducing the cost of energy bills.

Do you already have solar panels installed? You can also register to have battery storage added to your existing solar panels to maximise the benefits of your system.

How does it work?

  1. Registration: you can register from 7 February until 15 March for free and without obligation at solartogether.co.uk/camden. To register you simply provide details about your roof, such as its size and orientation.
  2. Auction: an ‘auction’ will be held on 15 March where our pre-vetted solar installers will submit bids for the work. The more people that register, the better the deal should be for each household. The installer with the lowest bid will win the auction.
  3. Personal recommendation: from 4 April you will be contacted with your personal recommendation, based on your registration details. This includes your costs and specifications of your system.
  4. You decide: the decision is then yours as to whether you want to accept your recommendation. There is no obligation to continue. You will have until 13 May to decide and will be invited to an information session.
  5. Installation - If you accept the offer, the winning supplier will contact you to survey your roof and set an installation date. All installations are planned to be completed by the end of October 2022.

For more information, visit Solar Together Camden where you can leave questions and contact the helpdesk.

Register for Solar Together

Freephone helpline is also available (0800 060 85 09) Mon – Fri, 8am – 5pm, to answer any further questions.

Planning Guidance

You can perform certain types of work to your property without needing to apply for planning permission. These are your "permitted development rights", which are subject to certain conditions. Permitted development rights also apply in most Conservation Areas.

Camden’s Solar Together – Household Planning Guidance document provides all the information required to determine whether you need to apply for planning permission.

Camden’s Planning Portal – Household Pro-forma will also ensure you submit all the information you require if you wish to apply for a Lawful Development Certificate or require Planning Permission or Listed Building Consent.

The Solar Together – Non-Domestic Planning Guidance and Planning Portal – Non-Domestic Pro-forma documents provide the respective advice for business and community groups with non-domestic premises.