Published on June 7th, 2023

Answering questions about the energy efficiency industry

There was an interesting Radio 4 piece last week from You and Yours where callers discussed what they’ve done to make their homes more energy efficient. In it a lot of myths and problems in the industry were discussed, as well as those who had had successful energy efficiency changes made to their homes.

9 mins How to be more energy efficient Handy Guides

The show on Radio 4, You and Yours, summed up the current conversation around home energy efficiency measures with callers getting in touch about passive homes that ran at an energy profit, mis-installed Air Source Heat Pumps and about the need for better government policy. Maybe most interesting was the need for a one-stop-shop to help homeowners make changes at ease - which is exactly what Furbnow is.

It got us thinking that there’s actually a great deal we can do to address these queries around the energy efficiency industry and whether it’s working correctly. So we’ve decided to answer a few of the key points here. Do check out our blog if you want to find out more about the world of energy efficiency and how you can implement changes to your home.

If you’re looking for advice on how to make your property more energy efficient you can book a home assessment with us, where an accredited surveyor will tell you exactly where your property can be improved and provide you with a plan on how to take the property forward and make it more energy efficient.
You can book an assessment here.


1. How do I trust installers and suppliers?

2. What’s the Government doing?

3. Are heat pumps worth it?

4. How do I actually know if I’m saving money?

5. Where can I get advice?

1. How do I trust suppliers and installers?

One of the recurring themes that came up during the show was about untrustworthy installation businesses going bust, contractors not working cohesively together and not being able to find reliable companies to fix damage caused by previous ones.

It’s worth saying that these are exceptions, not the standard when it comes to home retrofit and energy efficiency. But as a young industry with regulation and policy playing catch up there’s going to be a range in the quality you get from different businesses making changes to your home’s energy efficiency.

The good news is that there are things to look out for when you’re booking contractors to come and install these measures. First of all you should look out for installers who are TrustMark endorsed, this is the only Government endorsed scheme to ensure the quality of tradespeople coming into your home. It’s also worth checking online reviews and training qualifications when you’re talking to tradespeople about installing energy efficiency measures to make sure they’re up to the job and that they’re reliable. Checkatrade is a good place to check this and to find people.

With time we expect there will be more standardised training across the industry as well as better regulation and policy from the Government, it’s something that we’re currently pushing for at Furbnow. We can also confirm all of our surveyors and installers are quality assured and properly trained.

In the meantime we’re working as a one-stop-shop to help project manage home retrofitting properties from start to finish, this means that you receive clear deadlines about each job and have installers working cohesively together. You can book an initial assessment to see what you need here.

2. What’s the Government doing?

Tied into the perceived lack of trust in the industry is the amount of action required from the Government. Here is what the Government is currently offering:

- It launched the Great British Insulation Scheme in March, previously called ECO+, pledging £6 billion towards insulating 300,000 UK homes.

- It runs the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) offering £5,000 towards upgrading your boiler to a more efficient one or towards a Heat Pump.

- It states that all homes should have an energy performance rating of C or above by 2030.

- There’s the Home Upgrade Grant (HUG) targeting households with an income below £20,000, offering up to £25,000 in energy efficiency measures for your home.

What Furbnow and others in the industry want to see more of are investment in standardised training, longer funding cycles (at the minute the government gives local authorities money with little time or guidance to implement it) as well as more general communication with the public. People now more or less understand smart meters following a mass push from the Government to get people to install them. There needs to be something like this for energy efficiency measures for the home so that the public is better informed and more proactive.

3. Are heat pumps worth it?

In short heat pumps are worth it as they’re a clean source of energy and also generate more energy than they use, making them energy efficient. It’s important however, when you’re considering them to make sure your home is best equipped to use them though.

New builds generally are fine, but when retrofitting older properties with heat pumps it’s important to make sure the rest of your house has the right things in place. This includes ensuring that your radiator pipes are fit to transmit the heat around the house; having double glazed windows and insulation to retain the heat and having other measures working in tandem with the heat pump, like solar and a battery.

This is where Furbnow’s full home assessment is useful to understand what your home actually needs. You can book one with us here.

4. How do I actually know if I’m saving money?

There’s a lot of discussion at the minute about homes that have had energy efficiency changes made but the homeowner is still unsure if they’re saving money.

There’s a few ways you can see if you’re saving money:

1. Smart meter - if you have an In-Home Display (IHD - the little device that sits in your house showing your usage) you should be able to look at your energy consumption on an hourly, daily, weekly or monthly scale. If you can find your energy usage before you made changes, you can compare this data with your current data to see if your property is using less energy.

2. Your energy bills - in theory you should be using less energy and therefore your monthly energy bill should change. Bear in mind though that the cost of energy has fluctuated a fair amount over the past few years so this might not directly represent your usage. Look at the kilowatt hours used on a monthly basis, as shown in the statement.

3. Keep an eye on the health of your home - with better insulation and ventilation you should feel less draughts, see less condensation on the window, you shouldn’t see any damp, and temperature should be at a constant comfortable level.

5. Where can I get advice?

We’ve all spent hours scrolling online for qualified, real advice or watched multiple YouTube videos on how to insulate your loft, but where can you find the best, unbiased advice?

The Energy Saving Trust is an independent organisation working to address the climate emergency by empowering UK households to make the right decisions about how they use their energy. They have a huge amount of well researched information on their site about small changes you can make, through to bigger projects, helping the public save money and reduce their carbon impact.

Citizens Advice was formed back in 1939 to help households manage difficult situations relating to finance, utilities and personal wellbeing. They can help advise on money management, energy bills and actions you can take to ensure your home is running how it should.

Furbnow. We also have to mention ourselves as many would. Furbnow offers unbiased advice on what your home actually needs because we’re not installers looking to make money directly from the project, we assess what your home actually needs and then give you the tools to carry out the work which we can manage if you like. If you’d like, you can arrange an assessment of your home here.

If you’re looking for advice on how to make your property more energy efficient you can book a home assessment with us, where an accredited surveyor will tell you exactly where your property can be improved and provide you with a plan on how to take the property forward and make it more energy efficient.
You can book an assessment here.

Written by

Oisin Teevan

Your Furbnow Privacy Settings

In order to give you the best experience, we use cookies for performance, analytics, personalisation, advertising and to help our site function. Want to know more? Read our Privacy Policy.