Air tightness improvements to homes with poor energy efficiency ratings (CP760)

LEAD AGENCY Ceredigion County Council
Project summary

There are high levels of fuel poverty in rural Ceredigion and a significant cause of this is that nearly half the dwellings were built before 1919 and are difficult to heat or insulate.  The project will target off gas grid properties with lower EPC ratings in exposed locations, prioritising those with vulnerable residents.  These will receive measures to improve the air tightness of the property, reducing draughts around windows, doors and floors.  Methods will include taped membranes or sheet materials, parging coats and proprietary grommets and seals in areas where the service pipes penetrate the walls.  Suspended floor treatments and controlled ventilation will also be considered and installed in appropriate sites, which could include heat recovery systems.  The aim will be to improve the living conditions for households, by reducing heat losses from draughts, improving thermal comfort and reducing fuel bills.  Householders will also be provided with fuel debt and energy efficiency advice by Ceredigion Citizens Advice as part of the project.

Evaluation Methodology

Interviews will be conducted with a sample of households to capture behaviour and previous energy expenditure. These household interviews will be supplemented with thermal data-logging conducted with recognised calibrated standalone devices in living room, hallway and bedrooms.  The levels of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide will be monitored to check that there is not an adverse increase in these levels due to the improved air tightness.   Manual electricity and gas meter readings will be requested from householders at regular intervals.

Monitoring will be for 12 months, including a full winter heating period.

Project Outcomes

NEA is interested to examine the impact of reducing ventilation heat losses for exposed rural solid wall properties.  The project will determine if levels of resident well-being are raised along with a significant reduction in fuel bills.  If the benefits of improving the air tightness of these older solid wall properties are clearly demonstrated, this could encourage more widespread upgrades to the energy efficiency of older rural homes.

Region in which project will be delivered Wales
Local authority areas/key locations in which project will be delivered Ceredigion
Details of technologies being trialled
  • Taped membranes and sheets
  • Parging coats
  • Proprietary grommets and seals
  • Suspended floor treatment and controlled ventilation (where appropriate)
Eligible households assisted
NEA grant with gap funding Match Total
8 8
Extended TIF programme, results due summer 2018
Monitoring and evaluation of this programme will continue during the winter of 2017/2018, doing so will enhance the quality of data and enable a comprehensive evaluation to take place.
Published on 09-01-2017
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