Home energy advice

With Coronavirus (COVID-19) now affecting many areas of our services to the residents and businesses of Amber Valley, we are keen to keep you right up-to-date with the changes we are being forced to make. Read more about your council services.

We have produced a useful guide on services in Amber Valley to support residents struggling to keep warm.

The government has recognised that local councils have a unique position to support the delivery of energy efficiency and to help tackle fuel poverty.

Councils are required to publish a document setting out how they aim to support the government's own targets. From March 2013 this should be completed and published every two years.

Amber Valley Borough Council is a member of the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Local Authority Energy Partnership and actively supports the delivery of work across the two counties. A new HECA Plan has been prepared and approved by AVBC cabinet. 

To make this process more effective and efficient the council has decided to refresh its affordable warmth plan every two years so that the HECA Plan and affordable warmth plan are the same document.

We are committed to improving the energy efficiency of properties throughout Amber Valley and to help achieve this, we are working with partners to help reduce fuel poverty and improve the energy efficiency of homes in the borough. You can find out more by using the links below.

Rural Action Derbyshire is operating an oil buying scheme to help reduce the heating costs of people who rely on kerosene to heat their homes. 

There are communities across the whole of Derbyshire which are off the gas grid and the majority will use kerosene to heat their homes. The cost of kerosene is very volatile and has been rising steeply over the past few years and contributing to rising fuel poverty particularly (but not exclusively) in rural areas.  The oil buying scheme uses the power of collective purchasing to achieve lower prices for everyone. 

The oil buying scheme is open to anyone in Derby and Derbyshire, to domestic users, community groups and businesses. For more information visit the RAD website

Insulating your home can save you money on your fuel bills and make your home a warmer, more comfortable place to live.  It also helps to keep you cooler during the summer and your home will therefore have a better balance all year around.

Cavity wall insulation - Around a third of all the heat lost in an un-insulated home is lost through the walls. If your home has cavity walls, insulation is a good way to reduce the amount of energy you need to heat your home and could save you around £110 a year on your fuel bills. 

Loft insulation - Without proper loft insulation a lot of the energy you use to heat your home will be lost through your roof.  The recommended depth for loft insulation is 270mm and this could save you around £145 per year on your energy bills if you don't have any insulation at the moment. 

Solid wall insulationIf your home was built before or around 1920, its external walls are likely to be solid rather than 'cavity walls'.  If you have solid walls you can either insulate them with external or internal insulation, saving you around £375 a year on your energy bills.

Floor insulationInsulating beneath floorboards will reduce heating bills and improve the comfort of your home. You could save around £50 a year by insulating your floors. Gaps and cracks around floors and skirting boards are easy to fill yourself using a tube of sealant - reducing heating bills by around a further £20 a year.

Draught proofingUsing strips and excluders to draught proof around leaky door and window frames can save around £25 a year on heating bills. If everyone in the UK draught proofed around doors and windows, we'd save nearly £200m per year!

Tank and pipe insulationBoth tank and pipe insulation keep your water hotter for longer by reducing the amount of heat that escapes.

If you are wanting to enquire about what support might be available to increase the warmth of your home, Amber Valley Borough Council is working with Marches Energy Agency to provide access to advice and support. Please visit www.mea.org.uk for further information.

Additionally, see The Warmer Derby and Derbyshire site at everybodys-talking.org/staywarm for advice and guidance.

If you are a landlord and make energy saving improvements to your property, you could reduce the tax you pay. You can do this by claiming the landlord’s energy saving allowance (LESA). Find out if you are eligible, what the allowance covers and how to apply for it.

Who can claim LESA?

You can claim LESA if you are a landlord renting out residential property and are either:

  • an individual landlord - someone who pays income tax on profits from letting 
  • a corporate landlord - someone whose rental business is registered as a company and you pay corporation tax on profits from letting

For more information www.gov.uk/hmrc-internal-manuals/property-income-manual/pim2072.

Energy suppliers are obliged to offer a range of free services, known as the priority services register, to their most vulnerable customers. These services are free to join and are available from all mains gas and electricity suppliers.

The scheme is available to all household gas and electricity consumers who:

  • are of pensionable age
  • have a disability
  • have a hearing and/or visual impairment
  • have long-term ill-health

For more information www.consumerfocus.org.uk/get-advice/energy/households/help-for-vulnerable-consumers

Smart meters put consumers in control of their energy use, allowing them to adopt energy efficiency measures that can help save money on their energy bills and offset price increases. For more information www.gov.uk/guidance/smart-meters-how-they-work.

Solar PV and feed-in tariffs

From 1st April 2010 those who generate electricity through solar PV panels receive payments from energy suppliers.  The scheme guarantees a minimum payment for all electricity generated by the system, a separate payment for any excess electricity exported to the grid and savings made on bills. The payments you are eligible to receive vary depending on system size and when it is installed.  The payments are index linked and are guaranteed for 25 years.  See www.energysavingtrust.org.uk for further information.

Feed-in tariffs

With the introduction of Feed-in-Tariffs there are a number of organisations offering customers the opportunity to have free solar PV panels instead of the homeowner buying the panels.  See our guide for further information.

The main energy suppliers in England are offering a rebate of £135 off the electricity bills of households which receive guaranteed pension credit. For more information visit www.gov.uk/the-warm-home-discount-scheme/overview

Some of the energy suppliers also offer this to other vulnerable customers in receipt of other income related benefits. For more information please call your energy supplier directly.

A free phone line is available to give people living in Derby and Derbyshire impartial advice on how to stay warm at home and cut their energy bills. The Warmer Derby & Derbyshire service is a partnership between the Marches Energy Agency charity and the Local Authority Energy Partnership (LAEP).

You can call for advice about:

  • energy bills
  • switching tariff
  • how to make their homes more energy efficient
  • how to apply for grants for heating systems and insulation

Ring 0800 677 1332 and you won’t be charged a penny for the call. Home visits are also available to those who need more help.

The winter fuel payment is a yearly payment to help people aged 60 and over with the costs of keeping warm. The amount you will get depends on your circumstances.

For more information, call the winter fuel payment helpline on 0845 915 1515, or 0845 601 5613 for minicom users. You can also visit www.gov.uk/winter-fuel-payment/overview.

Need further help or information?

Contact the team directly on 01773 841335 or email eh-housing@ambervalley.gov.uk