Fuel poverty a hot topic once again in the cold weather

Will Chan Business Development Manager for social housing window and door repairs and maintenance specialists Mila Maintenance considers the options available to land lords in response to a recent report which suggests that the UK generally is only ahead of Estonia in terms of fuel poverty

“I have been observing the comments of the Energy Bill Revolution campaign for quite some time; but their recent statement that Britain is only ahead of Estonia in terms of its fuel poverty levels took me by surprise. The point I guess is that, with the recent cold snap in the weather, fuel poverty has become a hot topic once again”.

Fuel poverty a hot topic once again in the cold weather

“Their message to whichever government is in power, after the May elections, is that they must make insulating homes a non-negotiable priority and are suggesting that this should be paid for out of the infrastructure budget”.

Housing providers in the UK have been extremely responsible…. “My own take on the subject is somewhat different; like everybody else I believe that the country’s housing stock should be the most thermally efficient it can be, and whilst we must accept that they are talking about housing in general in the UK, I believe that social housing providers have been extremely responsible and pro-active over many years in this regard”.

“Of course there is always more that can be done, and of course if further funding was available more would be done and without hesitation”.

“But addressing the issues of fuel poverty can be done in many ways, and can be done extremely cost effectively. From our twenty five plus years in business, during which time we have repaired or maintained well over one million windows and doors, we know full well the positive impact that this can have on the thermal performance of a resident’s home”.

Fuel poverty a hot topic once again in the cold weather

Efficient windows and doors play a significant part…
“Keeping window and door seals and window and door locks at the operational integrity that they were first installed with makes a surprisingly significant difference to their thermal performance, and by extension to the resident’s comfort and the amount of fuel they use. Fluctuations in external temperatures on a seasonal basis will always dictate the amount of fuel a person uses ahead of any other criteria, but fully efficient windows and doors play a major role in ensuring that no more fuel is used than is necessary to meet their needs”. “Similarly, modern upgrades to glazing for a small investment relatively speaking in terms of capital outlay, with clearly defined pay-back periods, can go a long way to ensuring that nobody needs to be in a position where they cannot turn the heating on for fear of being unable to pay their bills”.

“Simple cost effective measures such as these are significant contributors to long term thermal efficiency in the home and can take away concerns about fuel usage and, by extension, fuel poverty”.

Other options for clients looking to address fuel poverty…
 “What’s more, and from our experience over a long period of time working in high rise applications, window re-modelling to complement rendering and over-cladding projects is another readily available option for landlords looking to fully reduce their resident’s reliance on fuel”.

“On numerous occasions now, we have fully re-modelled windows to suite in with a wider thermal building upgrade. Often windows which have been installed for many years, through our joint efforts with the client, can go on being efficient in their thermal performance and modern in their usability for many further years to come”.

“Fuel poverty needs to become a thing of the past; it should no longer exist. The great thing is that even in buildings which have already been insulated, further cost effective upgrades can enhance their thermal performance even more”.

“I don’t believe that there needs to be a revolution in terms of our energy thinking, just continuing evolution and a continuing commitment to look at every option available to make homes in the UK the most thermally efficient anywhere”.

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