Frequently asked questions | FAQ’s

Why has my home been selected?

Amber Valley Borough Council has identified specific homes because they meet public funding criteria for certain energy efficiency upgrades. The installation of external wall insulation would be eligible for support under the Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery scheme. 

Why is the Council doing this?

The UK government has made funding available to councils to help to improve the energy efficiency of local housing. By focussing on installing measures in a specific area, Amber Valley Borough Council can deliver better value for money, installing energy-saving measures that will reduce your energy bills and increase the warmth and comfort of your home.

Why should I want to have this work undertaken?

Improving the comfort of your home, reducing the impact of energy price increases, and making sure that homes are future-proofed are all Council priorities. This work will help to achieve all that. The Council is therefore seeking to ensure that as many properties as possible can be insulated, and focusing on small areas at a time is the most efficient way to do it.

How does this work benefit me?

You should save money on your heating bills and the value of your property could increase. The work will also mean that your home is warmer and more comfortable, with its appearance improved too. This project was designed by Amber Valley Borough Council with you in mind. 

Which properties are involved?

We are contacting all properties on the streets where similar works will be delivered on behalf of Amber Valley Borough Council / Futures Housing Group, especially those adjoining works being completed on council properties. We are making contact regardless of whether properties are privately rented or owner-occupied. Both are eligible for support.

If I agree to the work, what type of work would be done?

If you agree to the work, then depending on the condition and style of your home, external solid wall insulation and/or loft insulation and/or draught-proofing works will be installed. This will help improve the energy efficiency of your home, help make your property cheaper to heat, and increase its warmth. It could also increase the value of the property. 

What is the process?

Once you complete an application form, we will confirm your eligibility for the scheme. Your property will then be surveyed by an independent Energy Assessor who will confirm the suitability of the work and submit this to a Retrofit Coordinator (independent retrofit energy consultant). You will be informed of the next steps by the approved scheme contractor, Sustainable Building Services (UK) Ltd. They will confirm a start date for the erection of scaffolding and the installation of the energy efficiency measure(s).

External wall insulation is a three-stage process. 

  • The first stage is to prepare the property for insulation by removing external fittings and ensuring that there is sufficient space around the property for the insulation to be installed. 
  • The second stage is to install the insulation boards, which are about 90mm in width. This is done by drilling and wet-fixing the insulation to the external walls of the property. 
  • The third and final stage is to render over the new insulation. First, a basecoat of render is applied and then, once this has had time to dry, a topcoat of mixed colour render is applied. We are offering four choices of finished colour for this scheme: Off-White, Cream, Light Grey, and Darker Grey.

Will there be any disruption if I agree to the proposed work?

There will be some limited disruption in the case of installing external wall insulation. That’s because contractors will need to install scaffolding, prepare the property by temporarily removing external fixtures, install the insulation (which includes some drilling), apply a render and a topcoat, and then refit external fixtures. Contractors will try to minimise the time that scaffolding is installed but this will be weather-dependent.

What will happen if I refuse to have work undertaken?

Nothing will happen if you refuse to have work undertaken. You are under no obligation to agree to the proposed works. However, funding is limited and only available for a short time. If you refuse to have work undertaken now, the Council may not be able to offer similar funding support in the future.

How will this work be paid for?

This work will be paid for using money secured from the Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery scheme, allocated by the UK government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Will I need to pay anything?

No. The work will be fully-funded for homeowners (i.e. owner-occupiers) and for tenants. If you are living in rented accommodation as a tenant then you will not have to pay anything towards the costs. However, your landlord will be required to pay at least one third of the cost of the works. 

What will my property look like? Do I require Planning Permission for the work?

No, Amber Valley Borough Council has obtained confirmation from the local planning department that the external wall insulation is classified as ‘Permitted Development’ provided all elevations (sides) are of a similar appearance to existing, so no formal planning approval is required.

This approval only relates to appearances agreed with the planners, this means where there are existing brick or rendered areas, they will be replicated with a brick effect render or textured silicone through-coloured render respectively.

Similarly, where a property has existing brick features, such as quoins, lintels, etc they will be replicated in a similar brick rendered finish, where feasible, to achieve a similar appearance.

The exact appearance will be confirmed to you, and agreed, post-retrofit assessment and prior to any approval from you and Amber Valley Borough Council that works can proceed.

Should any property owner wish to have a rendered finish (appearance) outside the scope agreed with the local planning department, this would fall outside of ‘Permitted Development’ and would require the property owner to submit a full planning application. There will be costs associated with the process, and it can take several months to gain approval. As funding is limited under this scheme and is only available for a short time, there is no guarantee the works could then be funded under this scheme due to these constraints.

Who will carry out the work?

A Trustmark-registered installer – Sustainable Building Services (UK) Ltd – will undertake the work. Its work will be overseen by the Council and will be conducted to the highest standard.

Who will monitor the work and will I receive a guarantee?

Amber Valley Borough Council is contractually required to provide ongoing due diligence, monitoring, reporting, and controlling for all work undertaken in relation to the Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery scheme.

All proposed works at a property are checked by us, signed off by you as the homeowner / landlord, and approved by a qualified, independent Retrofit Coordinator.

All works will be guaranteed by an independent 25-year guarantee for additional peace of mind. 

Will the work carried out be compliant with COVID-safe practices?

Yes, all work will be carried out according to COVID-safe practices. The utmost care will be taken to ensure that there is a minimal risk to health.