As the cost-of-living crisis continues, Kensington and Chelsea Council is pioneering a new scheme to help residents identify where heat is escaping from their homes which involves lending people thermal imaging cameras. This innovative scheme is designed to help people keep their energy bills down by insulating cold spots in rooms.
Kensington and Chelsea is the first council in the country to launch such a scheme, and it could be rolled out across the borough if successful.
The pilot has been started on the Lancaster West Estate, and it has revealed some surprising spots where heat can escape from flats, including plug sockets, electrical fittings in walls and ceilings, and even light switches. These are areas that are often poorly insulated in older homes. The town hall is offering draft excluders, smart thermostats, and radio reflectors to improve insulation and ventilation across the estate. The thermal imaging camera pictures will be used to prioritise retrofit works.
The project is part of the Council’s £120m major works programme to upgrade windows and insulation across the estate. It is designed to provide the residents of Lancaster West Estate with the tools to identify problems with heat insulation in their homes, during a time when energy bills have soared.
Deputy Leader of the Council, Kim Taylor Smith said: “We’re proud of this pioneering thermal imaging equipment loan scheme which will help us make Lancaster West a paragon 21st Century estate with safe, secure, and warm homes. The scheme will help people identify fast fixes in their homes while we roll out our program of major works across the estate. This will help us be a carbon net-zero council by 2030 while also helping residents keep their energy bills lower once work has been carried out in their home.”
The team at the Council, responsible for implementing this, has been shortlisted for four national Unlock Net Zero Awards. These awards recognise and champion progress on the housing sector’s journey to decarbonisation.
The value of Kensington and Chelsea Council’s scheme
With the rise of energy bills, it is becoming increasingly important to reduce energy consumption and keep costs down. As the images will show where heat is escaping from, residents can use this information to make improvements to their homes.
This scheme will also aid towards protection of the environment by reducing carbon emissions — Housing and buildings are currently the biggest carbon emitters in the borough, accounting for 80% of carbon emissions. In a commitment to sustainability, improving housing heating efficiency will bring the borough closer to its goal of being carbon neutral by 2040, whilst keeping the borough greener, safer, and fairer.
The council has also set aside £400m to upgrade council homes across the borough. This money will be used to make improvements to homes to reduce energy consumption and improve insulation and ventilation.
In the context of the cost-of-living crisis, Kensington and Chelsea council’s scheme is an innovative way to help residents reduce energy consumption and keep energy bills down. It will hopefully also see environmental benefits by reducing carbon emissions.