Posts Tagged ‘thermalimaging’

You could volunteer for thermal imaging!

February 12th, 2015

We’ve run a longstanding project to thermally image people’s homes (this is its third season) and we’d like new volunteers to be a part of the team. Could you help others reduce carbon emissions and tackle fuel poverty?

Over winter, usually in November and February, we accept requests to photograph the outsides of people’s houses, looking for heat escape that might indicate something they can improve in their property. By March this year we’ll have visited over 200 houses, and we hope to have given extra in-person advice to around 80 of those householders.

Interested? You’ll need to have several evenings free in November and February, to spend 2+hrs walking around Witney estates with another volunteer. Good photographs are strongly dependent on clear, cold, dry, not-windy weather, so you might need to be on email at fairly short notice when the weather forecasts come out. You’ll be given training in using the camera and advice on how we as a group usually use it.

The more volunteers we have on a roster, the simpler it gets to find enough evenings where at least two are free. So we’d love it if you could contact us, or come along to the feedback meeting on Tuesday 10 March to see what it involves.

We’re surveying people’s houses for energy efficiency: interested?

November 12th, 2014

thermal image of a terraced houseThe Sustainable Witney Thermal Imaging Team (not as grand as it sounds) is back out on the streets these dark evenings, surveying the houses of Witney residents who’ve signed up. And if you haven’t done so yourself, then here’s why you could benefit from a thermal imaging survey.

Images like the one on the right can make it clear to an expert exactly whereabouts on your property you’re losing heat: and having to pay both in terms of cash and also long-term environmental damage for it! They can check if your existing insulation measures are sufficient, and also if you need any other improvements to your house.

If your property is surveyed by us, or if you’ve any questions generally, you can come along to a meeting in March at Woodgreen, and get advice from such an expert!

Interested? Email thermalimaging@sustainablewitney.org.uk with your address and postcode and we’ll try to fit you in. Please note that we’re volunteers with limited time (and the imaging is very sensitive to weather conditions), but we’ll do our best!

Thermal imaging feedback, Woodgreen council offices

October 30th, 2014

thermal image of a terraced houseThe Sustainable Witney Thermal Imaging Team is surveying residents’ properties in November 2014 and March 2015, to check for any insulation problems or improvements that can be made.

On Tuesday 10 March, from 1730 onwards, Witney residents are invited to a meeting at West Oxfordshire District Council offices at Woodgreen, to find out more about what this involves: if your property has been surveyed by us, or if you’ve any questions generally, come and get advice from an expert!

If you’d like to have a survey done before this meeting, then please email thermalimaging@sustainablewitney.org.uk with your address and postcode and we’ll try to fit you in. Note that we’re volunteers with limited time (and the imaging is very sensitive to weather conditions), but we’ll do our best to fit you in!

Personalised heat-saving advice for Witney residents

March 12th, 2014
Two men chatting in front of a poster saying "Affordable Warmth Network"

Dale Hoyland talks to a resident about energy-saving.

Homeowners gathered for personalised heat-saving advice at last night’s thermal imaging feedback meeting. This winter our team of volunteers have been busy taking thermal images of Witney homes.  We invited the people whose homes have been thermal-imaged this winter to view the images and get energy-efficiency advice tailored to their specific needs.

Dale Hoyland of the National Energy Foundation gave a presentation on how to interpret thermal images. He was on hand afterwards to explain people’s images one-to-one and offer advice on topics such as insulation, fuel-saving and home improvement grants. The rest of the team were also available to chat about energy efficiency measures and offer general advice. Energy-saving household items such as radiator foil, energy monitors and power-down plugs were available to buy.

This winter’s round of Sustainable Witney thermal imaging is now over, but our team of trained volunteers will probably re-start the project in autumn 2014. To add your property to our waiting list, email thermalimaging@sustainablewitney.org.uk . (You don’t have to own the property to get it thermal-imaged, you just have to live there.) Please do also get in touch if you’re interested in helping out with the project next winter – we’re always looking for volunteers. For updates on this and other Sustainable Witney projects, why not subscribe to our email updates?

Reminder: thermal imaging feedback meeting tomorrow

March 10th, 2014

thermal image of a terraced houseDid you have your house thermal-imaged by our team of volunteers this winter? In November 2013 and February 2014 we responded to over 50 requests for thermal imaging of homes in Witney. We didn’t manage to get through the entire list of requests but if your home was thermal-imaged you will have received a little card through the door inviting you to a feedback meeting.

The thermal imaging feedback meeting takes place tomorrow (Tuesday 11th March) in committee room 1 at the West Oxfordshire District Council offices at Woodgreen. The plan for the evening is as follows.

5:30pm Doors open. You’ll be given a print-out of the thermal images of your house and asked to fill in a feedback form.

6pm Presentation by Dale Hoyland of the National Energy Foundation. He will explain some of the most common problems revealed by thermal images – and how to solve them with affordable energy-efficiency measures.

6:15pm-7pm: An opportunity to talk to the thermal imaging team about your images, get some advice about energy-efficiency improvements to your home and buy radiator foil.

Our 2013 thermal imaging feedback meeting was very well-attended and we’re hoping for similar numbers this year.

This event is only for people who have already had their home thermal-imaged by our volunteers. To add your name to our waiting list, email thermalimaging@sustainablewitney.org.uk . We’ve finished the current round of thermal imaging but we will probably re-start the project in November 2014. For updates on this and other Sustainable Witney projects, why not subscribe to our email updates?

Thermal imaging feedback meeting, WODC Woodgreen offices

January 12th, 2014

On Tuesday 11 March 5.30pm–7pm, Sustainable Witney will be hosting an evening meeting for people who have had their home thermally imaged to highlight energy loss, in the ongoing 2013-2014 season. There will be a brief presentation from an expert, followed by a chance for people to ask specific questions about their own images.

The meeting will be in committee room 1 at the West Oxfordshire District Council offices at Woodgreen, which are themselves at the large “1” icon on this council PDF map (be warned that there are other council offices, further out of the town centre, at Elmfield!)

If your house was imaged in 2012-2013, but you weren’t able to attend the last meeting, you’re welcome to come along: but do bring a printout of your results, as we can’t guarantee we’ll have previous years’ results to hand. The different meeting format does mean that we hope to avoid the long queues that beset 2013’s meeting.

Let us take a heat-picture of your house

November 13th, 2013
Thermal picture of a house

Thermal image of a home in East Oxford, by kind permission of the homeowner.

Most of us know our house could be better insulated. Would you be more likely to get round to it if you could actually see the heat escaping? That’s what thermal imaging does – it takes a temperature-sensitive picture of the outside of your house, so you can see where your home is losing heat.

For example, this picture shows that the brickwork around the window on the left is letting more heat out than the window on the right. It also shows that the loft insulation must be good because there is no heat escaping from the roof. Would you like to see what your own home looks like in a thermal image?

Sustainable Witney volunteers have use of a thermal imaging camera this month (borrowed from West Oxfordshire District Council) and we’re carrying out free surveys throughout November. You won’t need to puzzle over the results yourself – we’ll have a public meeting on 11 March 2014 where you can get an explanation of your images (just like the one we held last year). It doesn’t matter whether or not you own your home – the important thing is that you live there and want to keep warm with lower fuel bills!

You can sign up by emailing us with your full address. As ever, we’d like to remind people that we’re just a small group of volunteers and that the weather conditions have to be right for the imaging to work. This puts a limit on how many houses we can do. But the sooner you get added to the list, the sooner we can get round to you. And if you know someone who you think might be struggling with fuel bills, please tell them about this free service and suggest they get in touch with us on thermalimaging@sustainablewitney.org.uk.

Thermal imaging of homes starts next week: sign up here

October 27th, 2013

Want to find out how to keep your house warmer, for less money? In November, Sustainable Witney will have possession of a thermal imaging camera for the first time in the 2013/2014 season. So if you’re worried you might have a draught too many, or you normally just can’t get the house warm whatever you do, then our voluntary service might help, and you can sign up by emailing us your street address here.

We’ll take thermal images of the outside of your house, and with these to hand, you can more easily work out what improvements to your home can have the most impact on its insulating properties. We’ll even have a public meeting on 11 March 2014, where we’ll give you a printout of your images, explain the results, and offer you a one-on-one consultation with an expert.

As always, we’ll be prioritizing Witney residents – we’re all doing this in our spare time of an evening, and a whole week of nights can often be made unsuitable by the weather alone – but if you’re in one of the surrounding villages then do still sign up, as we’re considering running a separate scheme for those.

While the first serious cold front of winter is approaching the UK, and while the energy companies are getting into trouble for price hikes (all except Ecotricity, who now offer 100% green energy at less than the big suppliers!) then you might think it’s the perfect time to email us on thermalimaging@sustainablewitney.org.uk, and get on the list for thermal imaging.

(As always, because of the nature of the survey, which is very weather sensitive; and because we’re volunteer-run and have limited time available: we can’t guarantee a time or date. But we’ll let you know when your house has been imaged! We should also be clear: there’ll be no commercial involvement in the public meeting, and no pressure to buy any product or service.)

Want your house to be thermally imaged? Bookings are open!

July 23rd, 2013

It feels like the wrong time of year to be thinking about heating your home, doesn’t it? But a well insulated, draught-proof house gives you options for keeping warm and cool; and whatever the temperature outside, it isn’t going to last….

So if you’re worried you might have a draught too many, or you normally just can’t get the house warm whatever you do, then help is at hand. We offer a voluntary service to Witney residents, where we take thermal images of the outside of your house. With these to hand, you can more easily work out what improvements to your home can have the most impact on its insulating properties. We’ll even have a public meeting some time in March 2014, where we’ll give you your images, explain the results, and offer you a one-on-one consultation with an expert.

Because of the nature of the survey, we have to do it in the colder months, but we’re now taking requests for November and February, when we’ll next have possession of the thermal camera offered by WODC.

Over a hundred Witney residents had their homes imaged by us in the season of 2012/2013: if you’re interested, then you should email us on thermalimaging@sustainablewitney.org.uk, to get on the list for next winter!

(Also because of the nature of the survey, which is very weather sensitive; and because we’re volunteer-run and have limited time available: we can’t guarantee a time or date. But we’ll let you know when your house has been imaged! We should also be clear: there’s no commercial involvement in the public meeting, and no pressure to buy anything.)

Our thermal imaging open evening in pictures

April 17th, 2013

As Dale so rightly mentioned, our thermal imaging project was a tremendous success. We took images of around a hundred houses, and we had over half of those householders turn up to our open evening!

Here’s a few photos to give you an idea of what went on:

Katherine from SW chats to people in the queue for Dale's sage advice

Katherine from SW chats to people in the queue for Dale’s more in-depth advice

SW chair Brigitte chats to an attendee

SW chair Brigitte discusses the results of the imaging with an attendee

Noticeboard with printouts

Useful information on thermal imaging and options for insulation/improvement, for while people waited

Despite the sheer number of attendees taking us by surprise, it was still a fairly relaxed event. And as you can see, it was very informal. Because the event was run by a volunteer organization (i.e. us!) and West Oxfordshire District Council, then there was no unnecessary “hard sell” that you might get with private thermal imaging.

We’re hoping to do some more thermal imaging next winter: subscribe to our news emails and watch this space.

The heating’s still on, but is your house now losing less?

March 29th, 2013

Before the Easter break is fully upon us, I wanted to provide a brief follow-up to the thermal imaging project. The Sustainable Witney volunteers have worked extremely hard on this project and given up their evenings to venture out into the cold, all in aid of helping residents of Witney to spot where heat (and therefore money!) is leaking from their homes. On behalf of them all, a huge thanks goes out to everyone who has been interested in this work, requested a survey of your property, and especially those who were able to attend the ‘See Your Results’ public event on 12th March. This took place in the early evening at West Oxfordshire District Council’s offices, and arriving slightly late, straight from a meeting in Oxford, I was confronted by a long queue stretching out of the door to the committee room and around the lobby – a fantastic turnout of residents eager to receive a one-to-one analysis of what their photographs showed.

At this point, I would have liked to have included a couple of nice photographs of the event, reported back on the number of people who attended, and provided summary feedback from the typical issues seen by Witney residents, from their thermal images. However, for me, the evening was a blur: I would estimate that I must have spoken to at least 30 residents, and my colleague Viviane a similar number, so a really good event, if not a little rushed. We did get round to everyone in the end, as we were being ushered out of the building as our booked time was well and truly over!

As the cold weather lingers on, I hope at least some of you have had chance to make improvements to your home in places identified by this project; whether that be a simple DIY job such as installing radiator foil to reflect the heat back into your home (were we able to spot the heat impression of all the radiators on your thermal images?!) or some draught-excluding brushes around that front-door, or perhaps some seal strip around the window, or a squirt of expending foam around the kitchen sink waste outlet. Perhaps you’ve got around to doing a bigger job; topped up the loft insulation, progressed wall insulation?

If you have any general questions about improving the energy efficiency, saving money on fuel bills, accessing financial assistance through Green Deal funding etc, the Oxfordshire Affordable Warmth Helpline is a good resource: 0800 107 0044. Lines are generally open 9 – 5, Monday to Friday (but is closed over the Easter break). There is still limited funding to be able to install some energy efficiency measures for free (such as described above: radiator foil, thermostatic radiator valves, draught-proofing) for qualifying residents in Oxfordshire; more information on the above Freephone number, or at www.usea.org.uk/AffordableWarmth

For more information on the work I do at United Sustainable Energy Agency (merging with National Energy Foundation in the new financial year), please see my profile here. As a Witney resident myself, I look forward to a similar project being repeated next year hopefully, building on the success of this year…

Thermal Imaging & The Local Plan

November 21st, 2012

WODC’s Creating Futures magazine has also created another influx of requests to have homes in the area thermal imaged. We’re coming to the end of our first slot for the use of the council’s camera but fortunately we do have another booked for February.

Two things are clear though, people are really keen to reduce heat loss from their homes, and they do read Creating Futures!

If you haven’t read it yet there’s also a very good piece on the reshaping of the Local Plan following the demise of the Cogges Link Road. The Draft Local Plan is open for consultation with roadshows coming up in Witney, Carterton and Brize Norton – more details here…