How much energy-saving help can you expect to get?
What has happened?
The Government has forced the energy companies to pay £910m towards energy-saving measures and will offer free insulation to the poor and half-price insulation to other households.
Should I lag my loft?
Almost certainly. There should be 27cm (10 inches). Loft insulation pays back in less than two years if you do it yourself, or three years if professionally installed. It will be quicker now with the new discounts. Higher fuel bills will also make insulation more economical.
Is it hard to install insulation?
No. For lofts, you have to buy insulation from a DIY store and lay it on the floor wearing protective gear.
How much will it cost?
Under the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target scheme paid for by energy companies, insulation is free for those on benefits and older than 70. The professional cost of installation should fall from about £500 to £250 with the discount.
Is there anything else I can do to lower my bills?
Yes. Save energy: wear a jumper before flicking on the heating, close curtains at dusk, turn off lights. Cut your energy costs by switching to the cheapest deal: an internet tariff paid by monthly direct debit.
What about solar panels?
Many other energy efficiency measures are recommended beforehand, such as insulating the loft, switching to eco-lightbulbs, installing a new boiler, lagging pipes and fitting draught excluders. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors' claim that solar panels take 100 years to pay back is wrong. It's about 20 years – and falling with every rise in fuel bills.
How can I get help?
Ask your energy company what help it offers under the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target scheme or call the Energy Saving Trust on 0800 512 012.
That's some guestlist! Stunning images show huge dynastic wedding between Ultra-Orthodox Jewish families which attracted 25,000 guests
Man and woman arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder victim of Woolwich machete attack, named as Drummer Lee Rigby
'Sickening, deluded and unforgivable': Horrific attack brings terror to London’s streets
Video: Woolwich attack - man with bloodied hands and knife addresses camera
Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, the mother-of-two hailed as a hero for confronting Woolwich attackers, thought: 'better me than a child'
- 1 Man and woman arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder victim of Woolwich machete attack, named as Drummer Lee Rigby
- 2 'Sickening, deluded and unforgivable': Horrific attack brings terror to London’s streets
- 3 Grace Dent: I’m not sure how these people can avoid being called ‘bigots’. And the more ‘civilised’, the worse they are
- 4 Woolwich murder: They killed, then they performed - these men should be starved of our attention
- 5 Woolwich attack: The EDL will seek to exploit this evil crime for their own evil ends
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Nook is donating eReaders to volunteers at high-need schools and participating in exclusive events throughout the campaign.
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.