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Building Control Advice - Energy conservation

Basildon Council is committed to energy conservation within its buildings and promotes energy conservation awareness throughout the district.

Local Authority Building Control Logo Basildon Council has an ongoing plan whereby each of its buildings is analysed from an energy conservation perspective and wherever practical energy saving measures are introduced.

Energy saving measures introduced include:  

  • Energy saving measures introduced include:
  • Cavity insulation
  • Roof insulation
  • Energy saving glazing
  • Swimming pool covers
  • Energy efficient boilers and hot water systems
  • Solar panels for hot water
  • Photovoltaic cells to promote electricity
  • Energy saving lights
  • Light Sensors
  • Movement sensors
  • Infra red spray taps and WC flushing

 Wickford Environmental Information Centre

Another energy conservation project completed by Basildon Council was the Wickford Environmental Centre located in Wick County Park.

The centre was opened in September 2003 by Professor Baines a World renowned expert in energy conservation.

Of particular interest from an energy conservation point of view is the building itself which was designed in-house and aided by local architects Munday and Cramer.

The energy saving measures incorporated in the building were designed by Basildon Council Building Control and include:  

  • Rainwater Recycling which uses rainwater to flush toilets
  • Softwood cladding from renewable sources
  • Organic based varnish
  • "Marloeum" an organic based green flooring
  • Recycled newspaper insulation in the roof void
  • Low energy input wall insulation
  • Water saving taps and WCs

Not only will people get to understand the "Green" aspects of a country park and its own environment but can also learn how a building can and does influence its environment.

Visits to Wickford Environmental Information Centre

Visits to Wickford Environmental Information Centre from schools and groups are encouraged.

For further information Please contact our Countryside Office:

Telephone: 01268 208090

Boiler Efficiency

If your boiler is over fifteen years old you will benefit from replacing it with a modern, high efficiency boiler.

The most efficient type of boiler is a condensing one. By extracting more heat from the gas, they can cut your fuel bills by up to 30%.

There are special discounts from leading manufacturers to make condensing boilers as affordable as possible.

Would you like to know how energy efficient your existing or proposed boiler is?

Then log onto and follow the instructions. SEDBUK means "The Seasonal Efficiency of Domestic Boilers in the UK" and is available to all.

It is a requirement under The Building Regulations 2000 that all new boilers meet minimum standards of efficiency, the minimum level being 78% efficient.

Condensing Boilers
Condensing boilers are highly efficient boilers that have much lower fuel and running costs than conventional boilers.

Condensing boilers work on the principle of recovering as much as possible of the waste heat that is normally rejected to the atmosphere from the flue of a conventional boiler.

Benefits include:

  • Reduced carbon dioxide emissions and therefore helping combat global warming.
  • Improving household efficiency and as such reducing fuel bills.

Domestic Heating by Electricity

In general, heating by electricity has substantially higher fuel costs and greater carbon dioxide emissions than alternative fuels, although installation and maintenance costs are lower. Consequently dwellings with electric heating receive relatively poor energy ratings.

Recent changes to Building Regulations differentiate between electric heating and other types, and have made it more difficult to comply when electric heating is installed because of the greater carbon dioxide burden.

The "Best Practice" recommendation is that electric heating should be considered only in limited circumstances - mainly small and well insulated properties.

Low Energy Domestic Lighting

Improving the efficiency of lighting has always been important but with higher insulation levels and increased heating system efficiencies the energy used for lighting is increasing as a proportion of the total household energy usage.

In new low energy houses lights and appliances can account for 20% of the total energy use, 33% of the resulting carbon dioxide emissions and 75% of the fuel costs.

Appliances are generally outside of the control of the designer and builder but significant savings can be made through improving lighting design and efficiency.


Installing proper heating and hot water controls can reduce the running costs of your central heating system by up to 20%.

The four most important elements of your heating controls are:

  • Timer/programmer to control when your heating and hot water turns in and off;
  • Room thermostat to control the temperature of your main room;
  • Thermostatic radiator valves to individually control the temperature of the other rooms in your home;
  • Hot water cylinder thermostat to control the temperature of your hot water. (Source: Energy Action Partnership)

Energy Ratings and New Housing

Under The Building Regulations 2000 it is a legal requirement that any new dwelling created by building work or by a material change of use shall be given an energy rating.

The Standard Assessment Procedure 2001 (SAP) is the Governments recommended system for home energy rating

It is the responsibility of the person carrying out the building work to calculate the energy rating of the dwelling and to affix the energy rating in a conspicuous place within the dwelling.

What is an Energy Rating

An energy rating will inform a buyer of the energy efficiency of a particular dwelling from an economic and ecological point of view.

In principle the more energy efficient a dwelling the less it will cost to heat and provide hot water and, as a consequence, will emit less carbon dioxide (the principle greenhouse gas) into the environment.

Energy ratings are presented on a numerical scale of between 1 to 120 (1 being the least energy efficient and 120 the best) and are based on energy costs for space and water heating.

Other factors included in the energy rating calculation are:

  • Thermal Insulation of the Building Fabric
  • Efficiency and Control of the Heating System
  • Ventilation Characteristics of the Dwelling
  • Solar Gain Characteristics of the Dwelling
  • The Fuel Used for Space and Water Heating.

Loft Insulation

The recommended thickness is 250mm.

If your home was built before 1990, you probably have 100mm or less, and could do with a top up - why not check to find out?

Cavity Wall Insulation

If your property was built between 1975-1990, it is likely that you have uninsulated cavity walls, and could benefit from insulating them.

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