Energy advice

Free grants to make homes more energy efficient


Low income households living in the Derbyshire Dales can apply now for free Government grants to make their property more energy efficient.

Qualifying properties with a mains gas connection can apply for fully funded loft insulation - a quarter of heat is lost through the roof in an uninsulated home.  Insulating your loft is an effective way to reduce heat loss and reduce heating bills. 

If your property is off mains gas then additional funding may be available to install wall insulation and/or low carbon heating such as air source heat pumps.  An assessment will be carried out to determine which energy efficiency measures are the most suitable for each home.

Applicants must own or privately rent their home, be a low income household and live in a low EPC rated property.  The Council can fund an EPC for householders who don't have them.

Simply contact the District Council's partner Marches Energy Agency to check your eligibility. Complete this online form, call them on 0800 677 1332 (select option 2) or email

All work will be fully grant funded for owner occupiers. For rented properties landlords must contribute a proportion of the costs.

Work will be carried out by Council approved contractors Westville or Broad Oak properties and grants will be awarded on a first come, first served basis.

Saving energy at home

As we head towards colder weather and energy prices rise here are some ‘top tips’ on saving energy in the home from one of our partner organisations Marches Energy Agency (MEA).

MEA offer free and impartial home energy advice – they can arrange home visits to advise on low cost energy efficiency measures, help with setting heating controls and refer people to further support where appropriate.  If you or anyone you know needs support please contact them on: 0800 677 1332
  • Dry your clothes in the sun - try to only use the tumble dryer (one of the most costly appliances in the home) when you can’t use the sun and fresh air to dry your clothes. There are drying days in Winter, not just Summer!
  • Try not to get overcharged - try not to leave your phone charging all night, as most modern mobile phones need only 2-3 hours to charge. Overcharging can also damage the battery on some phones.
  • Draught bust - keep out those cold draughts by fitting draught excluders to your front door, letter box and key hole. You’d be surprised how much cold air sneaks in!
  • Don't freeze up - defrosting your freezer regularly makes it more efficient, not to mention easier to find the chips!
  • No half measures - whenever practical, try and wait to wash a full load washing. Two half-loads use TWICE the energy and water.
  • Buy from the A team - keep an eye on the energy rating stated on appliances. A higher energy rating should mean lower running costs over the lifetime of the product. Think carefully, some less expensive, less efficient models may cost you more in the long run.
  • No need to standby - ensure that your TV, desktop computer and other electrical items aren’t left on standby. The Energy Saving Trust suggests on average UK householdsspend between £50 - £90 a year each powering appliances left in standby mode or not in use. Power save plugs can turn off items (such as TV sets) hassle free and are available online and in electrical retailers. 
  • Don't boil over - being energy intensive, kettles are a great way to waste energy. When making a brew (or otherwise), use only the water you need. It’ll save you energy and time as it’ll heat your water quicker.
  • A bright idea - if you don’t already, get in to the habit of switching lights off in unused rooms, especially when you leave the house. Because we have many light-bulbs we are unlikely to ever need every single one. Switching lighting off is a great way to save energy. Encourage youngsters to get in the habit now, ready for when they need to pay the bills!
  • Take control - using heating controls will ensure your heating is as efficient as it can be, save you money and improve comfort. Timers can be used to stop heating your home when no-one is in or people are in bed. or to warm up the house ready for when you need it, for example, when you wake up or come home from work. Room controls such as thermostats and radiator valves can help regulate room temperatures, giving you greater control over the comfort of a room whilst ensuring unused rooms aren’t excessively heated.

Home energy efficiency improvement advice

Improving the energy efficiency of existing homes is sometimes referred to as 'retrofit'.  Put simply this is the process of making changes to existing buildings so that energy consumption and emissions are reduced.  Done properly improvements should lead to a more comfortable, healthier home - ideally with reduced fuel bills.

Making energy efficiency improvements can be complicated, particularly in older properties like many of those in the Derbyshire Dales.  Getting the right advice and work done to a high quality standard is key.  

The Council are committed to supporting Dales residents improve the energy efficiency of homes and, with partners, are currently undertaking a survey to understand what kind of support is needed. The survey will capture ideas and suggestions on how we can work together to design an action plan to improve existing homes.

This guide provides a useful starting point for residents and the Government endorsed Trustmark website can provide links to competent skilled tradespeople to carry out home energy efficiency improvement work.

This recent presentation from Jonathan Atkinson of People Powered Retrofit gave an overview of where to start if you are thinking of retrofitting your home.

If you are considering making changes to your home and unsure whether you will require planning permission you are encouraged to seek pre application advice from the relevant planning authority - the District Council or Peak District National Park Authority.

There is additional guidance available for residents living in a Conservation Area or Listed Building.

Staying warm and well

The District Council works with partners to reduce fuel poverty, improve the energy efficiency of homes across the Dales and to help fight the effects of climate change. Being an active member of the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Local Authorities' Energy Partnership, helps to ensure that we work effectively towards our goals.

The District Council works with Marches Energy Agency, Derbyshire County Council and local GPs to identify those people who live in energy inefficient houses, who find it difficult to afford to improve their homes and who suffer from chronic health problems associated with living in cold conditions.

You can access free advice and help on staying warm & well at home through our FREE helpline 0800 667 1332 or by emailing 

If you have a health condition that is made worse by the cold and you struggle to afford to heat your home, the Healthy Homes Project may be able to help or can direct you to other sources of support: 01629 536919.

Simple Energy Advice is a government run website providing impartial and independent advice to help you reduce your energy bills, make your home warmer, plan home improvements and make your home greener.

If you own a property you can get also now get government endorsed recommendations for home improvements that could make your property cheaper to heat and keep warm.

For each recommendation you can see:

an estimated cost of making the improvement
how much you could save on your bills
next steps if you want to make the improvement

Living in a privately rented home

If you live in a privately rented home Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) regulations may apply. This means that the property should have a minimum EPC Band E rating.

The District Council’s Environmental Health Team is in contact with all private landlords within the Derbyshire Dales whose rented properties fail to meet the minimum standard as well as those landlords who haven’t yet commissioned an EPC. Officers will offer landlords the guidance and support they need to achieve EPC Band E or above, and, in circumstances where this can’t be achieved, support landlords who may be eligible to lodge an exemption.

For advice on the Minimum Energy Efficiency Regulations, as a tenant or to understand your responsibilities as a landlord to meet the requirements please contact Environmental Health at or by calling 01629 761212.