Most of you will know that just after the last newsletter an Energy Survey was carried out of as many homes in the village as possible. More than 30% of you replied to the questionnaire – a very high response rate so thanks to all who sent back their forms.
Energy survey early findings
The main findings were presented at the Community Association AGM and for those of you who were not there this is some of what was found: yes, it was thought that the results would show the old stone cottages and farms are hard to heat and very costly on energy and those of us that live in nice modern houses built more recently would be saving money and using less energy. Well, that turned out to be quite wrong.
A number of different kinds of information was collected about what kind of energy was used e.g. oil, wood, electricity etc., and how much it cost. All the data indicated that the most costly houses to heat were those built after 1970, mostly out of concrete block. Brick came next and last of all the older stone buildings.
Average Spend per Room by property type
|Total Properties||Total Rooms||Total Spend||Avg Spend per Room|
|Concrete / Insulated Blocks||17||164||£39,703||£242|
There was difficulty in comparing different property types without understanding (in a simple way) how big the properties were in terms of rooms. The table above gives the average spends per room for each material type. It is interesting to note that stone built houses have the lowest spend. Is this to do with room size, use of free wood, life style of occupants etc? There are also a lot more detached houses and bungalows than the Wales average.
More needs to be found out before these questions can be answered.
A second finding was that here in Llanfallteg, a great deal more is spent than the Wales average or the UK average per household and this appears to be because there is not access to mains gas.
Local average annual cost: £1,689.32
UK average annual cost: £1,105.00
The most widely used fuel for heating is oil. Everyone uses electricity, some for lighting only, many for additional heating or water heating. Many people use wood.
The survey indicated that here there is a very high proportion of renewable heating and energy production, much higher than the Wales or UK situation.
There is a much better understanding of the age and family profile in the community and also the range and numbers of property types as well as how well they appear to perform in terms of energy use. Many of the differences between people’s spend on energy is due to differences in lifestyles and behaviour. Almost all of us have double glazing but many of us in the more recently built properties probably are well below current building regulations for loft and wall insulation. This is because when our houses were built the regulations required lower levels of insulation than is currently required for new build – this is something we should look at more carefully as householders and maybe we could reduce our bills. British Gas has a special offer until November for qualifying households which is free loft and wall insulation.
What is not known, because we did not ask, is how well people here can afford their heating and lighting costs. Fuel poverty means spending more than one tenth of your income on energy – the Energy Team would like to do what they can to help reduce everyone’s energy bills and the Energy Team will be meeting soon to look at planning some work towards this. It may be possible to access grants and cheap loans to get more PV on our roofs, it may be possible to offer a service to look more closely at where energy, and therefore the associated costs, are used in your house and help you work out how to reduce the cost whilst keeping the conveniences of modern life.
It was no surprise to learn that the most costly households on energy were those with children between 5 and 18 so perhaps we need to look at how to spread the word among young people.
If you have any good ideas, or if you would like someone to look more closely at your energy use, please get in touch.
This page is also available in: Welsh