Dear Chris, I am a single mum who has very old, draughty aluminium windows, which are in need of replacement.
I have had my home insulated, I use energy-efficient lightbulbs, so I am trying to do my bit. But the windows desperately need replacing, how can I get a grant to help towards getting some double glazing installed?
Glenda Newell, via comments
While there are many government grants out there to help you make energy saving measures to your home, unfortunately double glazing is not one of them.
However all properties lose heat through their windows and installing energy-efficient glazing is an effective way of reducing your energy bills and keeping your home warmer and quieter.
Unfortunately getting double glazing installed can be expensive because it is a professional job, but it is still a good idea to get your windows replaced as it will save you lots of cash on your energy bills in the long run.
In fact, according to the Energy Saving Trust (EST), you could save up to £130 on your energy bills by replacing single glazed windows with double glazing.
Double glazed windows use two sheets of glass with a gap between them which creates an insulating barrier.
In this way, not only does double glazing help reduce your energy bills, but it also means your house is warmer because the windows eliminate drafts. They will also reduce unwanted noise from outside.
They are also great for the environment because you will be using less energy to heat your house.
If you canít install double glazing Ė for example if you simply cannot afford it or if you live in a conservation area or in a listed building - there are other options.
You could try:
Secondary glazing works by fitting a secondary pane of glass and frame, inside the existing window trim.
This will probably be less effective than replacing the window altogether - the units might to be not as well sealed, but it is much cheaper than double glazing.
In addition, secondary glazing could save you £85 a year off your energy bills.
Curtains lined with a layer of heavy material can reduce heat loss from a room through the window at night and cut draughts.
If your finances are tight, you could choose to just double glaze the windows in individual rooms rather than your entire property. You should pick the rooms you use most often and tend to heat most, such as the bedroom.
The good news is that there are grants and funding available for energy-saving projects similar to this.
However do remember that successful grant applications depend on a number of factors, such as any benefits you may receive, your property and where you live in the country.
You might be able to get help for energy-saving improvements to your home if youíre on certain benefits and own or privately rent your home. This is through a new government scheme called the Energy Company Obligation (EST) which replaces the previous scheme, known as Warm Front.
There is also a Home Repair Assistance grant, which you can apply for through your local council.
This gives funding towards the cost of materials required to carry out repairs, improvements or adaptations to your home.
Visit www.direct.gov.uk for more information on the Home Repair Assistance grants available.
Be warned though, there can be long council waiting lists for these grants and you may have to be persistent in pursuing your application.
Energy Saving Trust
To find out whether or not you are eligible to get any form of grant, or to get further guidance, call the Energy Saving Trust on 0800 512 012.
You can also visit the Energy Saving Trust Website. It will be able to help you choose double glazing, find installers and see if any grants are available.
Finally, it is important that whoever you choose to insulate your home is fully qualified and has a decent reputation.
Make sure you research the market thoroughly and compare quotes from all the different companies.
You can use our service to get five free quotes for boiler installation.
If you have an energy query please email email@example.com