The report that follows was compiled with the items you selected while using the Warmer Cheltenham web site.

In order to reduce overall carbon emissions in a town like Cheltenham, it is necessary to improve the energy efficiency of our traditional homes.  The historic buildings in Cheltenham contribute hugely to the identity and beauty of the town, but are notoriously draughty to live in and are hard and costly to heat. Just over a quarter of the homes in Cheltenham are of traditional construction but these homes are typically responsible for over a third of domestic carbon emissions in the town.There’s a great opportunity to make these homes more comfortable to live in, cheaper to heat and more energy efficient, but poorly considered measures which don’t take sufficient account of how historic buildings behave or are constructed can detract from their historical character and risk damage to their fabric. Warmer Cheltenham aims to set out principles and practical guidance as to how the energy performance of historic buildings can be improved, without harming their historic fabric and historic significance.


Sunday 24 October 2021
This report is prepared for

Energy Hierarchy

First, reduce your need for energy

This is the simplest and least disruptive level of action but it typically involves some behaviour change which not everyone is willing to do. For example, you could:

  • Wear a jumper in the winter and turn the heating down, though under-heating your home can cause health problems. (You should aim for 21°C in your main living rooms, and 18°C in your bedroom)
  • Have quick showers instead of long baths
  • Use a clothes airer or washing line in preference to a tumble dryer
  • Store food in a larder or cool room (if you have one) and keep a smaller fridge
  • Turn down the radiators in any room you rarely or never use and shut the door (but never turn the heating entirely off in unused rooms during winter to avoid them getting damp through condensation).

Second, stop throwing energy away

This is where the big opportunities lie. There is plenty that can be done at zero cost:

  • Learn to use your heating controls properly so the heating isn’t on when you don’t need it.
  • Close your curtains or shutters in the winter during night and twilight
  • Don’t boil a kettle full of water for one cup of tea
  • Turn appliances off at the wall socket when you don’t need them
  • Close doors within your home to protect the heat in the rooms where you spend most of your time

For relatively little cost, the following will all deliver significant energy savings:

  • Prioritise maintenance – check that your gutters and downpipes don’t leak, and repair cracks in render or any cracked window panes. Walls that are constantly wet as a result of overflowing gutters are much poorer insulators than walls in good condition
  • Install low energy lighting
  • Put an insulating jacket (or two) on your hot water cylinder – this is simple to do and could pay back the cost in a few months
  • Draught-strip your doors, windows and floors and install chimney balloons
  • Line your curtains with thermal interlining or install thermal blinds
  • Install seasonal secondary glazing. (Permanent secondary glazing is also possible, but is more expensive.)
  • Install thermostatic radiator valves so that you can maintain different rooms at different temperatures
  • Install an energy monitor or if available from your energy supplier a smart meter so that you can understand which appliances use the most energy ; this can also help you to hunt down standby appliances which are drawing power unnecessarily
  • Insulate your loft, including the access hatch
  • Install energy efficient appliances when your current appliances need replacing

The following options are costly but effective:

  • Reinstate missing window shutters
  • Insulate your ground floor
  • Install an energy efficient boiler
  • Upgrade your windows with permanent secondary glazing or new double glazing

This leaves the most expensive and disruptive option:

  • Install wall insulation (interior or exterior)

Third, switch to low carbon or renewable energy.

The options are limited in a sheltered town such as Cheltenham but you could:

  • Install solar photovoltaic (electric) panels and or solar thermal (hot water) panels  – these can be acceptable on listed buildings if they are carefully sited to be unobtrusive, such as on an inside roof slope of a valley roof or ground mounted
  • Solar photovoltaic (electric) roof tiles are now available and several buildings in Cheltenham have installed these
  • Install a wood burner, if you have a good source of fuel
  • If your property is insulated to a very high level, install a ground, air or water source heat pump. Further guidance on heat pumps is provided within the section entitled practical guidance

This list is only a basic guide. However, it demonstrates the importance of taking seriously the full range of relatively straightforward energy saving measures before you start spending serious money on more disruptive measures or renewable technology.

There are however, other things that come into the equation. If you are planning other home improvements or a full-scale renovation, your priority should be to ensure that you take every opportunity to integrate energy-efficiency measures into your plans. If you are already carrying out house alterations (such as a house extension) the incorporation of energy saving features and very high levels of energy efficiency will add little additional cost, but will deliver permanent savings for years to come.


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Make your home more comfortable, more energy efficient and save money on your heating bills.

If you live in a traditional home in Cheltenham you can make improvements to retain and enhance its character and make it more comfortable and energy efficient.

Warmer Cheltenham has all the information you need, at your finger tips, to be empowered to make responsible and holistic choices for your home.

What are the Opportunities available to you?
What are the Permissions you may need?
Get a better understanding of what to Consider, and so avoid unintended consequences
See Case Studies of what nearby households have already done
Check out an extensive list of Resources
Compile your own Personalised Report as a PDF

Types of Opportunity



Battery Storage

Boiler -Biomass

Boilers -Gas

DIY draught-proofing

Double Glazing

Draught Proofing -Overview

Draught Proofing Chimneys,
Flues and Service Penetrations

Draught Proofing Floors,
Skirting Boards and Ceilings

Draught Proofing Windows and

Electric Storage Heaters

Heat Pumps

Heating Controls

Heating Systems

Insulating & Soundproofing
Internal Walls


Insulation -Carpets and

Insulation -Exterior Wall

Insulation -Interior Wall

Insulation -Loft/Roof

Insulation -Solid Floors

Insulation -Suspended Timber

Insulation -Walls


Lime Mortar -Re-Pointing

Rainwater Harvesting

Reflective Panels for

Secondary Glazing

Shutters, Curtains and Blinds

Solar Energy

Solar PV

Solar Thermal

Soundproofing Interior Walls2

Thermal Stores

Ventilation -Mechanical

Ventilation -Natural

Whole House Renovation


Wood Burning Stove

Types of Permission


Building Regulations

  • <

Buildings of Local Importance

  • <

Cheltenham Conservation Areas

  • <

Listed Buildings

  • <

Planning Permission -Overview

  • <

Planning Permission -The

  • <

Types of Consideration


Energy Hierarchy

Energy Monitoring

Energy Performance

Energy, Money & Carbon

Feed In Tariffs

Health - Cold Homes

Improving Cheltenham's
Historic Homes -Background

Microgeneration Certification
Scheme (MCS)

Moisture Control -Damp and

Neighbourhood Considerations

Passive and Active Design

Planning Policy

Practical Guidance (Overview)
to to Help Reduce Energy Use

Private Rented Sector

Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)

Specific Needs -Disablilty and

Warmer Cheltenham is the result of a collaboration between Cheltenham Green Doors, Bristol’s Centre for Sustainable Energy and Encraft and was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund & Severn Wye Energy Agency.

Cheltenham Green Doors has long sought to promote a more sustainable approach to everyday living, enabling people to share practical ideas to reduce fuel bills and carbon emissions and combat climate change. Cheltenham Green Doors & Warmer Cheltenham are both projects of Vision 21 (Gloucestershire) a sustainability charity formed in 1994.