Get help from The Cumberland to lead a more sustainable lifestyle

Published on
17 November 2021

The COP26 summit in Glasgow has put the efforts nations are making to address climate change high on the news agenda. However, there are changes which we can all make at home to cut our CO2 emissions as well.

Homes account for more than a fifth of the UK’s total CO2 emissions, according to Government figures.

However, there are a number of options available right now to make houses more energy efficient and help potentially cut your costs. Even better, The Cumberland may be able to help.

“People who are remortgaging or switching provider can take the opportunity to borrow some money, say £20,000, for green home improvements,” says Carolyn Rowcroft, mortgage hub advisor at The Cumberland..

“This has the advantage that the interest rate we would be offering would be the same on the whole mortgage. If you went to a lender at a later time to ask for that money it would potentially be a higher rate of interest, but if you do it at the same time as part of re-mortgaging it will be at the same rate as your mortgage.”

The Cumberland can lend money for a whole range of energy efficiency adaptations including installing insulation, more efficient boilers, double and triple glazing, under floor heating and solar panels.

“You can also borrow money as part of remortgaging for the purchase of a car – I’m thinking if people might want to get an electric vehicle,” says Carolyn.

“There is so much more awareness now, and I think it is also being driven by the fact more people are working from home, and they are thinking about their energy costs and expenses.

Looking ahead, greener homes are going to become more desirable as well, so when people are thinking about saleability that’s something to shout about.

Carolyn Rowcroft, mortgage hub advisor at The Cumberland

Go solar

More people are choosing to invest in solar panels as a way of saving money and cutting their energy use and bills.

Simon Dockeray, of SJD Electrical Services on Blackwell Road in Carlisle, says he is seeing a big rise in demand.

“It has really taken off especially since energy prices escalated in recent months. We have been inundated with enquiries,” he says.

Surplus power generated by the panels can be stored in batteries for use when there is less sunshine. If necessary the batteries can be topped up from the National Grid at night when the tariff is cheaper and then used during the day. There is also the option to sell off any surplus electricity generated by your solar system back to the grid.

“You are taking free sunlight and creating electricity in your house – it makes environmental and financial sense,” says Simon.

If you have solar panels and you use them in the most efficient way you can halve your bill or even cut it by two thirds.

Simon Dockeray, SJD Electrical Services

What measures can I take to make my house more energy efficient?

Friends of the Earth say good insulation is one of the most important things for making your house more energy efficient.

It says loft insulation will pay for itself in lower energy bills within two or three years. Installing cavity wall insulation can lead to a 20 per cent drop in your bills and emissions.

A heat pump could also cut your emissions by up to 60 per cent and double or triple glazing windows and installing insulated doors can also make a huge difference. 10 per cent of heat is lost through windows and 15 per cent through draughts.

Five ways to be kind to the planet at home right now

Buy food produced locally or in the UK. The shorter the food miles the fewer emissions.

Turn off your car engine while waiting. Up to eight per cent of fuel is consumed while idling.

If you have a garden, cut the grass only once a month and let the dandelions grow. You will save fuel/electricity and encourage wildlife.

Switch to bar soaps and shampoos to reduce plastic waste.

Recycle by buying vintage furniture from your local auctions and shops.