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Energy efficiency

The energy we use in our homes accounts for almost half of the Districts greenhouse gas emissions. This means that how we power and heat our homes has a direct impact on the climate and pollution. By improving home energy efficiency and using energy more mindfully we can save money on our bills, stay warm and reduce our impact on the environment. 

This page provides information on sources of funding and advice for energy efficiency and managing your energy bills. We recommend contacting the St Albans Home Energy Support Service for all your energy bill or energy efficiency enquiries.

Please note: The Council will never visit your home unannounced so be aware of anyone cold calling your home stating they are offering energy efficiency measures on behalf of the Council. Should we need to visit your home, we would always provide notice in advance and would provide legitimate identification. If you are approached by a company offering you a grant, you should check their legitimacy before committing to any works. 

St Albans Home Energy Support Service Toggle accordion

Poster St Albans Home Energy Support ServiceThis service, which is available to all St Albans District households regardless of income, is provided in partnership with Better Housing Better Health.

Through this service you can obtain the following: 

  • Information on grants and funds you may be eligible  for 
  • Checks to make sure you are receiving all the support from your energy supplier that you are entitled to
  • Advice on switching suppliers
  • Detailed advice on how to save energy at home
  • Debt advice
  • Referral to other organisations or contractors who may be able to help you
  • Detailed home energy assessments

Please contact:

0800 107 0044 (weekdays 9am-5pm)

    Energy Efficiency Grants and Funding Toggle accordion

    There may be grants and support available to help householders wanting to improve the energy efficiency of their homes or receive advice on funding. To find out which you might be entitled to please contact:

    St Albans Home Energy Support Service

    0800 107 0044 (weekdays 9am-5pm)

    Through this service, all St Albans District Households can obtain the following: 

    • Information on grants and funds and checking your eligibility (including all of the funds listed below)
    • Making sure you are receiving all the support you are entitled to
    • Advice on switching suppliers
    • Detailed advice on how to save energy at home
    • Debt advice
    • Referral to other organisations or contractors who may be able to help you


    SuperHomes Project

    For a limited time, the National Energy Foundation is delivering free Home Energy Retrofit Options (HERO) Plans in Hertfordshire!

    SuperHomes is a FREE service to help homeowners understand how to maximise the energy efficiency of their home to achieve greater comfort, cost savings and a reduced carbon footprint. Homeowners can obtain a free home survey, conducted by a qualified Retrofit Coordinator. You will then receive a free bespoke HERO Plan with independent advice on the best retrofit measures for your home.  You will also receive free advice on how to put your HERO plan into action. 

    SuperHomes prioritises hard-to-treat homes which are difficult to retrofit and are under 150m2. Example homes include listed buildings, poorly insulated, located in conservation areas or built with solid walls. However, SuperHomes will service other homes where possible, so do still get in touch.

    SuperHomes has a limited number of HERO Plans available. To find out more and register, please visit or call 01908 699991.


    Energy Company Obligation (ECO)

    We are participating in ECO. To find out if you could be eligible for help please contact the St Albans Home Energy Support Service above. More information can be found on the Government webpage here. 

    The Council's ECO FLEX SOI Document can be found here 


    Boiler Upgrade Scheme

    The Government Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) is administered by Ofgem. Homeowners and Small and Medium sized enterprises can obtain support to reduce the cost of replacing oil and gas boilers with air or ground source heat pumps or biomass boilers. The scheme is open to both domestic and small non-domestic properties.

    Full guidance for property-owners and guidance for installers is available from Ofgem. Full advice is available here


    Home Upgrade Grant (HUG2) for properties that have off gas heating

    Home Upgrade Logo


    Home Upgrade Grant Phase 2 (HUG2) is a Government-funded local authority scheme for those properties that are off gas heating.  TheLogos of Home Upgrade Grant delivery partners scheme aims to deliver energy-saving improvements to the homes of people who struggle to pay their heating bills and keep their homes warm in the winter. These improvements are made free of charge and will help residents to keep their homes warm while using less energy and help them to manage their heating bills.

    If you own your own home, or are a tenant, or a private landlord with tenants, you could qualify to apply for energy-saving improvements.

    The Home Upgrade Grant Phase 2 (HUG2) is open to home-owners and private tenants who meet all of the following criteria:

    • Homes not heated by mains gas which includes oil, coal, LPG or only electric heating.
    • Households with a combined annual income of less than £36,000 OR receiving certain income-related means-tested benefits such as Universal Credit OR you live in an area of Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) income rated 1 to 3. You can check if you live in an eligible IMD area on this link.
    • Hard to heat homes with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of between D to G. You will be helped with this part of the assessment and receive a free EPC assessment if you do not have one already.

    The funding is provided by the Government and delivered by the Greater South East Net Zero Hub in partnership with St Albans Council and Warmworks.

    To find out more information or to make an application please visit the website or contact the Homes Upgrade Grant line on 0808 1968255


    Home Repairs Assistance Grant

    The Council provides a discretionary Home Repairs Assistance Grant to enable elderly and disabled people to undertake small-scale work so that they can remain in their own home. The maximum grant available is £5,000 to address serious disrepair.

    More information can be found in the leaflet at the bottom of this section.

    Please contact the Private Sector Housing team on 01727 819 355 or by email at for further details.


    Older People’s Trust:

    If you are over 60 and need help to stay warm in your home or manage your fuel bills, the Older People’s Trust may be able to help you. We recommend you contact the St Albans Home Energy Support Service (as above) for boiler enquiries first and contact the Older People’s Trust directly for anything else. The Older People's Trust provides free boiler servicing for those meeting their criteria. 


    Energy efficiency help for Voluntary Community and Social Enterprises: 

    The VCSE Energy Efficiency Scheme is offering independent energy assessments to help voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations (VCSEs) identify energy-saving opportunities for their buildings. From January 2024, the scheme will also be offering capital grants to implement measures recommended by these assessments. The scheme is funded by the UK Government and administered by Groundwork. Applicant organisations must be a VCSE based in England and delivering frontline services. More information can be found here. 


    Oil Bulk Buying Group:

    If you heat your home with oil you could save money by joining a bulk buying group. You can find out more by visiting the Community Development Agency for Hertfordshire (CDA Herts) website.

    How to Save Energy at Home Toggle accordion

    Below are some tips to help you save energy, save money and reduce your impact on the environment.

    Download your Energy-Saving booklets:

    You can view the Stay Warm for Less booklet which has been compiled by a local resident and author living in St Albans. She also provides a blog where she describes how she reduced the energy consumption of her St Albans home by 75%! 

    St Albans Citizens Advice also produce The Cost Saving Tips Booklet which has lots of tips on saving energy.

    Read your meter: 

    Read your meter regularly to ensure your bills are accurate and up to date. If you are not sure how to read your meter there is help available here, or you can ask your supplier to do it for you. You should keep a record for yourself and send a copy to your energy supplier regularly.

    Handheld Electricity Monitors

    Residents of St. Albans District can borrow a smart meter for free three-week loan from any of the libraries. These allow you to monitor your real time energy use and are a great educational tool. Why not see which of your appliances are using the most energy? Or try switching everything off to find hidden energy use.

    Smart Meters

    Energy suppliers have started installing smart meters for domestic energy users in the UK. Smart meters communicate data directly to energy suppliers, allowing suppliers to issue accurate bills, whilst removing the need for meter readings. Having accurate consumption data will also make switching supplier smoother and faster. More information about smart meters can be found here.  

    Keep the heat in

    An uninsulated house will lose around 60% of its heat through the roof and walls. Insulation is a vital first step in making your home more energy efficient. There may be financial assistance to help you. Download our free Home Insulation Guide.

    • Loft: By laying 27cm of insulation, the UK minimum standard, you can expect to save about £175 per year in energy.
    • Solid walls: Before the 1920's most homes were built with solid walls. The only way to insulate these is by fitting insulation to the inside or outside of the wall. This is an expensive measure but there could be financial assistance to help you. Solid wall insulation could save around £450 per year in energy costs. 
    • Cavity walls: After the 1920's most homes were built with external cavity walls. This means there is an air gap between the inner and outer walls which can be filled. Cavity wall insulation could save you around £135 per year. 
    • Gaps: Draught-proofing your home is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to improve its energy efficiency, potentially saving £25-£50 per year in energy. Many gaps are simple to fix yourself with a tube of sealant bought from any DIY store.
    • Floorboards: Insulating beneath the ground floorboards could save you around £60 a year in energy bills. Many newer homes have a ground floor made of solid concrete which may be insulated with a solid insulation board on top. Older homes are more likely to have suspended timber floors which can be insulated by laying mineral wool insulation beneath the floorboards. Care should be taken to ensure you don't block under-floor air bricks though as floorboards may rot without adequate ventilation.
    • Windows and Doors: If you can't afford double glazing, you can invest in secondary glazing or thick, thermally lined curtains to keep the heat in. Don't let curtains hang in front of the radiators though otherwise the outside wall will benefit from the heat instead of the room. Use draught proofing strips around the frame, brush strips work better for sash windows. Gaps around doors can be sealed by fitting draught-proofing strips around the edges, brush on the bottom, and hinged draught excluders on the letter box. These are all relatively cheap from any DIY store and easy to fit. 
    • Fireplaces: If you don't use your fireplace, it is probably a source of unnecessary draughts. You can fit a cap over the chimney pot or buy an inflatable draught excluder to fit within the chimney, which can easily be removed if you decide to light a fire. 

    Finding an installer

    The National Insulation Association (NIA) provides a list of registered manufacturers and installers. Try to choose a local installer as this supports the local economy and reduce congestion and emissions on the roads.

    Take control of the heating

    Older boilers are inefficient. By replacing an old boiler with a new, condensing boiler, you could lower your energy bills by up to £300 a year. You may be eligible to receive financial support to help you.

    Room thermostats monitor warmth in specific rooms and adjust the boiler operations accordingly. Your room thermostats should be set to your lowest comfortable temperature, typically 18-21 ºC. You don't need to turn your thermostat up when it is colder outside as the house will still be heated to the same temperature(although it might take a bit longer to warm up on colder days). Programmable room thermostats allow you to set different temperatures for different times of the day. 

    Thermostatic radiator valves reduce the flow of water through the radiator. You can set each one to the level you want for the room, using less energy for a lower flow of water. If you have electric heating, visit the Energy Saving Trust website for information on how to get the best from your heating controls. 

    Temporary electric heaters are very expensive and inefficient to run but if you need temporary, instant heating then it's important to choose the most efficient version. Fan and halogen (glow) heaters heat the air in front of them quickly and are good for short blasts of heat. However, the room will quickly cool down once they are turned off. Oil-filled radiators and convection heaters heat the air more slowly but are better at heating the whole room and are best suited for rooms which are used for long periods.


    Go LED:  Replace all your lighting with LEDs and you could save around £30 per year. Although more expensive initially, they use far less energy and also last much longer so they will save you money in the long term. 

    Hot water

    It's easy to forget the connection between our water and energy use. By reducing the amount of hot water you use, say by shortening your showers or cutting down on baths, you will save money on your energy bills. Whilst water is a comparatively cheap commodity if you aren’t on a meter, you will still be using energy to heat it. Make sure you set your boiler controls so that you only heat the water when you need it and not when you don't.

    If you have a hot water cylinder make sure it is fitted with a tank jacket. These cost around £15 but could save you £45 per year on your energy bill, or even more if you have electric water heating. It's also a good idea to insulate the hot water pipes connecting your heating system if they are not yet insulated.


    Check the running costs of your appliances: Our homes are filled with more and more electrical items but most of us have no idea how much it costs to power them all. The Sust-it website allows you to check the running costs of thousands of electrical products. This is useful when you are shopping for a new appliance but also to help you understand how much your existing electrical products cost to run. Look out for products marked with the Energy Saving Trust recommended logo as these are the most energy efficient products on the market.

    Avoid stand-by: UK households waste £227 million a year by leaving electrical appliances on standby. If you live in one of the 76% of households which leave electrical appliances on standby, you could save around £36 a year by turning them off at the plug when not in use. If you can't physically reach all your plug sockets to turn things off, it might be worth investing in remote control plug sockets, which can be ordered online for around £10 each (or cheaper when bought in sets).

    Getting help towards your energy bills Toggle accordion

    Your household energy bill is made up of a number of elements. The largest proportion of your bill is made up of wholesale energy and supply costs, which are forecasted to increase in the future. You can minimise how much you pay for your energy by ensuring you are on the best tariff for your needs and if you meet certain criteria, you may be eligible to receive financial support from the Government or your energy supplier.

    Get help to understand what benefits you may be entitled to: The benefits system is complex so it's a good idea to get some help to make sure you are the benefits you are entitled to. You may wish to make an appointment to speak to Citizens Advice St Albans.

    Winter Fuel Payment: If you were born on or before 5th January 1953, you are eligible for the Winter Fuel Payment, to help towards your heating bills. This tax-free payment of between £100-£300 is usually paid between November and December. You can find out more by phoning the Department for Work & Pensions helpline, on 0845 915 1515 or emailing them here.

    Cold Weather Payment: If you receive certain benefits, you are eligible to receive a Cold Weather Payment if the temperature in your area is recorded as, or forecast to be, 0oC or lower for 7 consecutive days between 1 November and 31 March. The payment is £25 for each 7 day period of cold weather. If you are eligible, you should be paid automatically. If you think are eligible but don't receive your payment, you should contact your pension centre or Job Centre Plus.

    Warm Home Discount: You could be eligible for a one off discount on your electricity bills from your supplier, under the Government's Warm Home Discount (WHD). Most energy suppliers offer assistance to households on means-tested benefits or with children under the age of five. It’s worth checking with your supplier to see if you are eligible.

    Priority Services Register (PSR): If you are a pensioner, have a disability or a long-term health condition, you can sign up to your energy supplier’s Priority Services Register to get extra help and support with your energy supply. Contact your energy supplier directly, to see if you are eligible. Benefits include:

    • Protection from bogus callers through a password protection scheme
    • Regular meter readings
    • Special communication services for those with hearing and visual impairments 
    • Bill nominee scheme
    • Advance notice of supply interruption (important if you rely on medical equipment or a stair lift)
    • Priority services in an emergency 
    • Annual gas safety check

    Switch your energy supplier Toggle accordion

    Shopping around for the best deal can help save you money on your energy bills and switching tariff or energy supplier is easier than you may think. Don't forget to switch every 2 years.

    Struggling to pay your bills? Toggle accordion

    There are several sources of help you can turn to if you are having trouble paying your energy bills:

    • Your energy supplier is obligated to help you find a manageable way to pay for your bills or any debt that has accrued. You should contact them in the first instance
    • Citizens Advice consumer helpline can be contacted on 08454 04 05 06
    • The Consumer Focus Fact-Sheet below advises what to do when it is difficult to pay your energy bill 

    What is the Council doing to help reduce energy use? Toggle accordion

    The Council aims to support local households to reduce their energy consumption, whilst keeping warm. The actions we are taking, along with our work to reduce energy from our own estate, are included to our Sustainability Strategy and Climate Crisis Action Plan

    Checking Tradespersons Toggle accordion

    The trades person responsible for the work should be part of an accreditation body that maintains industry standards. You may wish to check that they are registered with such an organisation. If you have had an energy efficiency measure installed and have a complaint about the installation, you can also contact one of these accreditation bodies to complain. These are some of the organisations involved with accrediting installers (although note that there are others out there):

    The Government have published consumer advice on buying green heating and insulation here. 

    Reporting a problem: If you wish to report a problem with a trades man you can also contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 08454 04 05 06. They may be able to provide assistance and they can also refer matters to Trading Standards.