Cold homes

A cold home is one that cannot be economically maintained at temperatures of 18 to 21°C.  Even when it is minus 1°C outside, the heating system should be capable to maintaining these temperatures inside.  Homes that have an F or G rating for energy performance cannot be economically maintained at 18 to 21°C.

Why it matters

People who live in cold homes are more at risk of becoming ill.  If a property does not have adequate heating, it can be a danger to the health of all the people who live there.  Old people are the most at risk if they cannot keep their homes warm.

If a householder has to spend more than 10% of their income on heating, they are classed as being in fuel poverty.  If you make your home more energy efficient, it will cost you less to heat.  This means you can keep warm and save money.

What can I do?

  • Control your heating.  Set the temperature to at least 18°C to keep your home warm.
  • Draught proof your home.  Keeping the heat in will make your home more affordable to keep warm.
  • Insulate your home.  Up to a third of the heating in your home is lost through uninsulated walls.

Rented homes

If you rent your home and think it is too cold, you can ask your landlord to make improvements.  If they refuse, you can contact us for advice.  Private tenants and homeowners may be able to get a grant for insulation and possibly heating improvements.  Insulating your home will make it cheaper to keep warm.

If you are a landlord, you should aim to achieve an energy efficiency rating of D (the average) or higher for your rented properties and to provide an affordable heating system that is capable of achieving temperatures of 18 - 21°C.  Systems must be well maintained and tenants shown how to use them effectively.

Please watch this video of an overview of the measures to improve the temperature level in your home.

How we can help

We can provide advice on heating and home energy efficiency.  Homeowners may be able to apply for a Safe and Warm Grant if they need repairs to a heating or hot water system or improved insulation.

The Council has powers under the Housing Act 2004 to deal with cold homes.  We can carry out an inspection of a home to assess the risk using the Housing Health and Safety Rating System.  If we find a Category 1 excess cold hazard in a rented home, then the landlord will be required to make insulation and/or heating improvements.  If they fail to make improvements, we will serve a legal notice that we will charge them for.

How to minimise your heating costs while keeping warm

The Centre for Sustainable Energy is an independent charity that helps people meet the twin challenges of rising energy costs and climate change.  They provide energy advice to help people keep warm whist saving money on their energy bills.

You can download free advice leaflets including:

  • Understanding your electricity bill
  • Understanding your gas bill
  • How to control night storage heaters
  • Switching your energy tariffs

Further advice

Action Surrey is an agency that offers free impartial energy saving advice across Surrey in partnership with Waverley Borough Council and other local Councils across Surrey.

Advice includes what energy efficiency improvements can be made to your property, how they work and what the benefits would be.  Action Surrey also manages a network of local trusted installers who can fit a variety of measures and they can help you apply for grants or other finance options to help with the cost.

Page owner: Paula Mackenzie. Last updated: 02/07/2020 09:37

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