Residents of a village in the United Kingdom are using a thermal imaging camera in an effort to lower their energy bills. The camera is able to identify where homes may be losing heat, enabling residents to find solutions to reduce energy consumption.
The thermal imaging camera (opens in new tab) is being used by residents of Calstock Parish, in South East Cornwall, and was bought by the local Gunnislake Community Matters Group. The idea to invest in the technology came from another English village, located in Wiltshire, where chairman of the Group, Ross Hanley, used to live.
"The idea behind the purchase of the camera is for residents to use it in their homes to look for cold spots, and having found them, research if there is anything that can be done to reduce those spots, by, for example, increasing insulation or stopping draughts."
Money to buy the camera was provided by local councilor, Dorothy Kirk, from the Cornwall Council Community Grant Chest. While it is free for residents to hire, donations will be needed for maintenance and, in the future, to buy a replacement.
"I think it's really good and I’m really happy to support it," Kirk said in an interview with the Tavistock Times Gazette (opens in new tab). "I'm always happy to support things that will benefit local people, that's what the Community Chest fund is for."
According to the UK Parliament (opens in new tab) website, energy prices increased by 12% in October 2021, a further 54% in April 2022 and a staggering 80% in October 2022, due to the Office of Gas and Electronic Markets (OFGEM) raising the price cap on standard and default tariffs. Even with the Energy Bills Support Scheme, which provides eligible households with a non-repayable £400 to help with the rising costs, people are having to look for other ways to conserve heat and save money.
Anyone who lives in Calstock Parish is able to hire the camera for a maximum of three days at a time, so that all residents have the opportunity to make use of it. The camera is said to be easy to use, but also comes with a simple set of instructions making it accessible to anyone.
With no sign of energy bills falling any time soon, we could see more and more local communities coming together to try to find solutions to the current cost of living crisis – and perhaps using thermal imaging cameras will soon become the norm.