Is it worth insulating our loft?

March 9th, 2010 by J-P Leave a reply »

We’ve received a slightly greenwashing voucher from Scottish and Southern Energy for six rolls of this combi loft insulation and we’ve been trying to work out if it’s worth it. Obviously free stuff is always welcome, but only if it’s going to be useful. There’s embedded carbon in all products and materials, so we want to be sure it’ll come in handy before we just swipe it off the shelves.

The depth of insulation recommended by the Energy Saving Trust is 270mm (or 11 inches). Currently our loft has a rather scrappy-looking 100mm (4in) with some bare patches, so some sort of top-up seems in order. However, that does mean we’d need two more layers of the thickness on offer from SSE/Focus DIY to get close to the recommended amount. If each roll covers 13.9m2 then that means we get 70m2 for free (900 sq ft). Our house’s footprint is around 25m2 (280 sq ft), so that should mean… two layers, plus a bit to spare?

Does this sound right? and worth our while? And does anyone have any thoughts or experiences to share; any pitfalls to warn about or any advice to give? And are there any other local grants/discount schemes other people can take advantage of? (For example, Focus are sneakily offering those rolls at two for the price of one anyway, and Oxford City Council has joined up to a council tax rebate scheme if you get British Gas to install the insulation for you. Anything like that from WODC?)



  1. grimmo says:

    Useful website –
    WODC recommend this site.

  2. Kevin says:

    I’d say definitely.

    The figures given for the reduction in heat energy lost through an uninsulated ceiling vary from 15% to 25%. If you imagine a six sided cube, the 15% saving is equivalent to insulating one side of that cube – as in a detached house. For a terraced house, assuming that the neighbours keep their houses at the same temperature as you, the 25% saving is equivalent to insulating one side of the four unheated sides left. Perhaps I’m over simplifying but it’s probably near enough.

    Your particular savings may only equate to 10% or less because it’s partially done, but heating is the major component of your emissions since you’ve cut the car use by commuting by bike, so still worth doing I reckon.

    Insulating our loft has been quite a project, the major part of which was clearing out all the stuff that accumulated up there over 15 years. That would be a good topic for a post – good ways of disposing of the stuff in the attic.

    I’ve got reams to bore you with on loft insulation which I’ll have to save for another time, but I’d be interested to hear how others have gone about getting it done.

  3. J-P says:

    @Kevin: brilliant, thanks for that. @grimmo: is it worth getting an installer? My guess is that, as with Kevin’s experience, emptying out the loft is going to be the hardest job.

    Unfortunately SSE failed to take into account the sheer rubbishness of Focus, who have run out of all of their vouchered stock and aren’t planning on getting any more in (until, presumably, April 1 when the vouchers expire.)

    There’s still some 17cm available on a bit of an offer, which along with our existing 10cm will give us the recommended amount, so maybe 3-4 rolls of that will do it.

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