Greener Housing

The increasing demands we make on the world’s resources have led to global climate change. The Council believes that much can be done at a local level to combat this and takes its role in working towards a sustainable future very seriously.

What you can do

Saving energy and water around your home not only help save you money but also help the environment. There are many ways in which you can help; even small changes can make a big difference.

You can find many tips on our Greener Living pages and on the Energy Saving Trust website.

Saving Energy around the home

Reducing your energy consumption will help cut down your carbon emissions as well as your bills. The Energy Saving Trust says the majority of the UK’s least energy-efficient homes could be made more energy efficient for less than £3,000 – typically by installing new loft and cavity wall insulation or a modern boiler. You can use its database to find available grants and discounts.

Helpful hints to save energy around your home

The following helpful hints will help you save energy and money!

  • replace your light bulbs with energy efficient ones, they could save you up to £50 in electricity costs over their lifetime, and remember to turn the lights off when you leave the room
  • turn off every unused appliance in your home, instead of leaving them on stand-by, and save £80 a year
  • turning your heating down by just 1°C can save £60 a year - the recommended temperature for living rooms is 21°C
  • each time you boil the kettle, only put in the amount of water you need, this will save £20 over a year
  • clothes can be washed just as effectively at 30°C and this uses around 40 per cent less energy than washing at higher temperatures. This will also reduce wear on your machine
  • have showers (not power showers) instead of baths and you could save about £40 throughout the year
  • in winter, make sure you close your curtains as this will help to stop any draughts
  • when using saucepans, remember to put the lids on, your food will cook more quickly, saving energy
  • don't leave the fridge door open longer than necessary and remember to defrost your freezer regularly
  • fix dripping taps as soon as possible. Over a week, one hot water tap dripping can waste the same amount of water as a hot bath

Saving water around your home

Water is a precious commodity. The lifestyle that many of us lead today, coupled with climate change and population growth, means that there is an increasing demand on our water supply. Using water, especially hot water, also uses energy and increases emissions of greenhouse gases contributing to climate change. The huge increase in demand for water and changing climate is putting a pressure on water resources. It is predicted that clean water will become scarcer than ever before, so we should use it wisely at all times. There are little things we can all do to help conserve water.

The following helpful hints will help you save water around your home:

  • take a shower instead of a bath – this can save over 300 litres of water a week (be careful though – a power shower can use more water than a bath)
  • turn off the tap when brushing your teeth - leaving the tap running whilst brushing your teeth wastes six litres per minute
  • fix leaking taps - a dripping tap can waste up to 140 litres a week
  • when buying a new dishwasher, choose one that is energy efficient as this saves on water and electricity - machines with an 'A' rating are most economical
  • don’t use the washing machine if you’ve only got half a load - wait for a full load before using the washing machine – a full load uses less water than two half loads
  • keep a jug of water in the fridge so that you don't have to run the tap for ages to get a cold drink.
  • only fill the kettle with enough water for your needs - this will reduce your fuel bills too
  • lag your pipes and leave your heating on a low setting when you are out to avoid bursts in cold weather
  • if you have a water meter, check for leaks by turning off the water and taking two readings several minutes apart; if the readings are different there may be a leak
  • use a water butt in your garden to collect and store water runoff, typically from rooftops via gutters - the water can then be used to water your garden or to wash cars, rather than using mains water 

The Green Deal

The Green Deal helps you to make energy-saving improvements to your home and find the best way to pay for them. Due to changes in Government policy (July 2015) there is no longer Green Deal funding available. You won’t be affected if your Green Deal improvements have already been made and you’re making repayments through your electricity bill.  You can read more on the Green Deal pages of the Government's website.

Recycling

For more green tips and useful information, visit Domestic recycling and rubbish.

Improving household energy efficiency in the Royal Borough

The Home Energy Conservation Act 1995 (HECA) requires local authorities to report to Government on practical actions underway to improve household energy efficiency in their area. Progress reports are to be submitted at two yearly intervals up to March 2027.

You can read a copy of Kensington and Chelsea's HECA report:

Royal Borough’s HECA report here [PDF] (file size 203Kb).

It provides a snapshot of housing and demographics in the borough, outlines the current trends in domestic energy use, and goes on to detail current and planned activity to improve household energy efficiency.

Energy performance certificates 

All homes bought, sold or rented require an Energy Performance Certificate. 

If you are entering a new tenancy, the certificate should be provided by your landlord.   

An Energy Performance Certificate gives information on how to make your home more energy efficient and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. All homes bought, sold or rented require a certificate. 

For more information, visit the Gov.uk pages on energy performance certificates. 

Fuel poverty can affect anyone but most at risk are; single older households, single younger households, older couples and lone parents.

The Healthy Homes Hotline - 0808 202 6204 helps people who are having difficulty keeping their homes warm or keeping up with their energy bills.

Healthier Homes project

The Healthier Homes project has been set up with public health funding to assist residents living in homes that are cold, damp or dangerous and whose health may be put at risk.

If you, or someone you know is:

  • living in a home that they cannot heat properly because it does not have adequate heating or insulation or the cost of heating is too high
  • living in a home with serious damp and problems
  • living in a home where conditions may pose a serious risk to their health and safety, for instance dangerous electrical installations, broken steps or banisters
  • living in conditions that may affect existing chronic health conditions such as asthma

Healthier Homes may be able to assist.

Contact us on 0808 202 6204

Healthier Homes is an advice and referral service. It is open to any resident but additional services such as grants and environmental health enforcement are dependent on your individual circumstances.

The full range of services include:

  • Central heating installations, upgrades and repairs
  • Emergency heating in cold weather
  • Fuel debt advice and income maximisation
  • Fuel Tariff advice
  • Energy Efficiency visits
  • Accident Prevention visits
  • Referrals for disabled facilities grants and home safety grants
  • Environmental Health enforcement for private tenants to ensure your home is safe and warm
  • Accident prevention grants

We can also provide training for third sector volunteers and health professionals on identifying fuel poverty and when to refer.

The Warmer Homes Fund

This is a scheme run by the Mayor of London and open to London homeowners who are on benefits or meet their council’s eligibility criteria (see the Statement of Intent below for criteria).

You can get further information and apply on the Warmer Homes page of the London.gov website.

If you cannot apply online then call Healthier Homes on 0808 202 6204 for help in making the application.

The scheme offers a range of free improvements to make your home more comfortable and reduce your energy bills.  A home survey will be undertaken by Retrofitworks to assess the most suitable improvements to make your home warm and comfortable and reduce your energy bills. These could include:

  • boiler replacement and repairs
  • new central heating systems
  • loft, cavity and flat roof insulation
  • internal and external wall insulation and floor insulation
  • draught proofing and secondary glazing
  • ventilation

Green Doctor visits

The Green Doctors Home Energy scheme, delivered by the environmental charity Groundwork London in partnership with the Council, is a free service, giving health and financial advice to some of Kensington and Chelsea's most vulnerable households – particularly young families and elderly residents and those with multiple health conditions. The visits provide guidance on efficient energy usage in the home, understanding heating systems and installation of small energy measures. These early interventions can reduce the effects of cold homes on people’s health and enable local residents to feel more connected to the community. 

The free visit will offer:
 

  • energy efficiency advice on energy saving and switching tariffs and support with utility bills
  • free Installation of energy efficiency measures such as energy efficient light bulbs, draught-proofing, radiator panels and energy monitors and water saving measures
  • income and financial support
  • help with claiming benefits related to energy costs (the Warm Home Discount/Priority Services Register)
  • debt advice and help with social isolation
  • residents will also receive a Free Seasonal Stay Warm Pack which includes fleece top, thermal underwear, socks and a blanket for children and adults at high risk of cold-related illnesses
  • Kensington and Chelsea Healthier Homes Schemes Referral (where possible residents will be referred for home improvements such as insulation and boiler upgrades)

Who is eligible for this service? 
 

Any vulnerable Kensington and Chelsea resident, in particular you can benefit if you have/are:

  • young persons on a low income (aged 16 to 25)
  • young parents aged under 35 on low income
  • young families on a low income with children aged under 14, or pregnant
  • elderly people aged over 65
  • suffer from respiratory diseases and/or cardiovascular disease
  • severe mental illness or dementia
  • multiple health issues

How is a referral made?
 

Referrals are made directly to Groundwork London, which is delivering the home energy visits on behalf of the Council. If you would like a free visit or would like to refer someone else, you can complete Groundwork’s Home Energy Visit Form or call 0300 365 5003.

How to save energy
 

  • turn off every unused appliance in your home, instead of leaving them on stand-by, and save £80 a year
  • turning your heating down by just 1°C can save £85-90  a year - the recommended temperature for living rooms is 21°C
  • each time you boil the kettle only put in the amount of water you need, this will save £20 over a year
  • clothes can be washed just as effectively at 30°C and you will save up to £15 a year. This will also reduce wear on your machine
  • have showers (not power showers) instead of baths and you could save about £40 throughout the year
  • in winter, make sure you close your curtains as this will help to stop any draughts

Energy Efficiency Grants

There are a range of grants available to help you install an efficient heating system and insulation in your home.  Please contact the Environmental Healthline on 020 7361 3002 or Healthy Homes on 0808 202 6204 to see if you are eligible.

What is 'fuel poverty'?

Fuel poverty is when a household needs to spend more than 10 per cent of its household income on all domestic fuel use. This includes appliances to heat the home to an adequate level of warmth.

Fuel poverty is caused by several factors:

  • inadequate access to information
  • inefficient heating systems
  • inadequate insulation
  • poor housing stock
  • high fuel prices

Statement of Intent for Flexible Eligibility

Please find below the current version of the Energy Company Obligation Help to Heat Statement of Intent on flexible eligibility.

RBKC Statement of intent

Contact us

If you have any queries, please contact the Environmental Healthline.

Your call is important to us, we aim to have one of our officers contact you within 24 hours.