Making your home more energy self-sufficient

Making your home more energy self-sufficient


The greenest energy is the energy we don’t use – a phrase that we keep coming back to at the LSA. But what if the energy we do use could be generated by our own homes?

As part of The Legal Renewables Initiative, our mission to encourage law firms to switch to 100% renewable energy by 2025, we have gathered some tips from our partners at Good Energy about how you can make your home more energy self-sufficient.


1. Generate electricity by installing solar panels

Have you thought about installing solar panels? With electricity prices remaining high, you could save £300-900 a year on your electricity bills by installing solar panels – while adding value to your home and reducing your home’s contribution to climate change.

Solar panels last over 20-25 years. You could pay back your initial investment in under ten years, depending on the size of your solar array and energy consumption of course.

How many solar panels do you need?

The number of solar panels you choose to install is limited by your budget, your roof space, and the type of electricity meter you have (single phase or three phase). There are also limits on how much households can export back to the grid without approval from the local district network operator – most households are able to install up to around 12-16 panels or 4kW. A 4kW system will generate around 3,400 kWh of electricity per year.

It makes sense to install as many solar panels as your budget and space allows – as the labour and scaffolding hire make up a large proportion of your install costs. This will also future proof your needs as a household for electricity-intensive upgrades like an electric car or electrified heating.

You’ll be able to see the solar energy you are generating, as well as how much energy you are using in real time using an app on your smartphone or tablet – meaning you can make sure you get the best value from your home-grown energy.


2. It’s not too late to insulate

Making sure your home is well insulated is vital in your efforts to become more self sufficient. It will help you to use far less energy to heat your home, reducing your heating bills and increasing your comfort. Your Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a good place to start to see what home efficiency improvements need to be carried out.

Loft insulation

Up to 25% of a home’s heat can be lost through the loft. Adding proper insulation here can be very cost effective – most homes will recoup the cost in energy bill savings in only two years.


Wall insulation
  • Cavity walls (two walls with a small gap in between) can be insulated from around £1000, with the work paying for itself in only three years.
  • Solid walls (one thick wall) are more expensive to insulate as it can involve adding an additional insulating layer. This work starts from around £8,500, but can be carried out on a room by room basis or bundled with other home improvements to lower the cost.


3. Electrify your heating

Electrifying your heating is a really important step in reducing your reliance on oil or gas.

Choosing a heat pump is one of the most impactful ways to reduce your individual carbon emissions. This is because electricity, even if it comes from the grid rather than your own rooftop, is much lower carbon than directly burning oil or gas.

How much electricity do heat pumps use?

While the best modern boilers are around 90% efficient, a heat pump is up to 350% efficient. This means the power used to run them generates almost four times as much heat energy.

So, switching to a heat pump reduces your energy needs, and cuts your home’s carbon footprint by a huge 65%.

The average home uses around 12,000 kWh of gas for heating and hot water every year – so by switching to a heat pump, around 4,000kWh of electricity would be needed provide that heat.*

Can you run a heat pump on solar panels?

Heat pumps are compatible with solar panels, so you can use some of the electricity you generate to run your heat pump. Unless you have a very large array and battery storage, you’ll likely still need to draw power from the grid to power your heat pump – especially during darker winter months when less solar power is being generated.


If you are interested in installing a heat pump in your home, Good Energy are offering LSA member firms a 50% discount when booking a heat pump survey before 31/03/24. Call 0333 016 4500 and quote LRIWINTER50T&Cs apply.


4. Electrify your transport

Switching to an EV is another great way to sever ties with fossil fuels, and have greater control over the energy you use.

There is no getting around it, charging up an electric car does use a lot of electricity. Cars in the UK drive an average of 20 miles a day – that’s around 5kWh or £2 on your energy bills each day. But it is significantly cheaper, and better for your carbon footprint than filling up with petrol or diesel. And if you charge up with the power you generate at home, you’ll be adding miles for free.



5. Store the energy you generate

Battery storage is often installed alongside solar panels to help households to use all of the energy they generate by storing it for later use.

The average home uses about 8kWh of electricity every day, and household batteries can vary in size from 1.2 kWh to 16 kWh.

If you’re considering a battery, it’s a good idea to get one that could cover your evening and night usage, or a cloudy day where not much electricity is being generated.

Battery storage


Battery storage also sets you up to benefit from time of use tariffs when they are more widely available. You will be able to charge your battery from the grid during off peak hours, and then use the cheaper electricity on cloudy winter days when your solar panels aren’t generating much electricity.

You will be able to manage your battery storage capacity, and view how much you are generating, using and storing using an app on your smartphone or tablet.

*The figure of 4,000kWh is an indication of how much electricity a heat pump might use. It will vary from house to house and depends on local weather, the ductwork and insulation, the property’s condition and size as well as a correctly designed heating system.


To find out more about how heat pumps can help you reduce your reliance on fossil fuels, cut your bills and protect our planet, read this content from our partners at Good Energy.


How do air source heat pumps work?

A blog by Good Energy.

Air source heat pumps have been in use for decades to heat homes and supply hot water. Rather than using gas, oil or LPG, like a traditional boiler, an air source heat pump transfers energy from the surrounding air into your home – even when it’s freezing cold outside.

With efficiency up to four times higher than a gas boiler, they provide a more energy efficient and greener way of powering your heating and hot water that can help to reduce energy bills and lower your home’s carbon footprint.

How do air source heat pumps work?

If you choose to install an air source heat pump to heat your home and hot water, nothing about the day-to-day way you heat your home will change.

You’ll enjoy the same convenience of turning on a tap to get hot water and turning your thermostat when you want to heat up your home. Behind the scenes however, they do work a bit differently to gas or oil boilers.

When you have a heat pump installed, a unit is fitted to the outside of your property, which draws air into the system. This air is used to turn a refrigerant inside the unit into vapour.

This vapour is compressed and produces heat as a result. The heat is then transferred to your home’s heating system, providing your home with heat and hot water, when you need it.

Heat pumps are so effective that heat can even be extracted from the air when temperatures fall below freezing – down to minus 15C, ensuring that even in the coldest conditions your home’s heating won’t let you down.


The heat pumps we offer at Good Energy are all powered using smart controls from a mobile smartphone, tablet or laptop. This gives you the freedom to control your home’s heating at the touch of the button, and manage your heating system remotely, meaning you can return to a warm house after a holiday.

What types of air source heat pumps are there?

There are two types of heat pumps to choose from: air-to-water heat pumps and air-to-air heat pumps.

What is an air-to-water heat pump?

Air-to-water heat pumps are the most common types of heat pumps in the UK, and they are the ones we install here at Good Energy. They transfer heat generated from the outside air into water, which passes around your home using its wet heating system. Air-to-water heat pumps can offer more energy efficiency than traditional boilers.

What is an air-to-air heat pump?

Air-to-air heat pumps depend on a warm air circulation system to distribute heat throughout your home. Unlike air-to-water heat pumps, air-to-air heat pumps only provide your home with heating and not hot water.

What are the benefits of air source heat pumps?

Installing an air source heat pump comes with several key benefits for your home, the environment and your energy bills:

Lower heating bills

Depending on your current heating source, an air source heat pump could save you significantly on your monthly energy bills. Find out more about how much you could save in our article.

Impressive energy efficiency

Heat pumps are an incredibly efficient way to heat your home – they generate 3.5 times more heat energy than they use to run. They’re also around 4 times more efficient than gas boilers, which typically turn only 90% of the energy they use into heat for your home.

Reduce your home’s carbon footprint

Moving away from fossil fuels could reduce your home’s carbon footprint by up to 65%.

They work well even incold temperatures

Air source heat pumps work effectively in temperatures down to -15°C to keep your home warm and comfortable.

Easy installation process

Air source heat pumps are easy to install. They don’t typically require planning permission or any additional work to your property such as digging a hole or requiring a fuel storage tank. However, if you live in a listed property or conservation area you should check with local planning authorities before installation.

Manage your usage with smart controls

Once connected to the internet, your air source heat pump can be controlled via an app giving you complete remote control over your heating and hot water.

How much do air source heat pumps cost?


Heat pump installation costs can vary – with the cost depending on the type of system you install, the size of your home, how well it is insulated as well as your energy usage. You may also need a new hot water tank and radiator upgrades as part of the installation. Prices start from £3,951 for a cleaner, greener way to heat your home.

Get a free online quote today to find out how much it could cost for you to upgrade to an air source heat pump.

What air source heat pump grants are available?

Households in England and Wales can get a government grant of £7,500 to reduce the cost of installing a heat pump through the boiler upgrade scheme. There are a few criteria you need to be eligible for this grant, including having no outstanding requirements for energy improvement on your EPC.

As a registered installer, Good Energy will apply for the grant on your behalf so that you don’t have to deal with deadlines or paperwork.

What savings on my bills could I expect?

Air source heat pump running costs and savings compared to other heating systems vary from property to property. Costs depend, among other things, on the price of the fuel you’re switching from, how efficient your old heating system was, the heat loss at your property, how much hot water you use and the temperature you’d like your heating to be.

However, according to our research,almost all households with suitable houses will end up saving money on their bills by switching to an air source heat pump.

Have a look at our cost comparisons here.

Is an air source heat pump suitable for my home?

If you’re interested in getting an air source heat pump installed, there’s a few key criteria you and your home should meet:

  • You must be the homeowner (or have permission from the landlord)
  • You live in a house or bungalow (not a flat or an apartment)
  • You have an up-to-date EPC (Energy Performance Certificate), which you can find on the government’s directory.

If you’d like to learn more about air source heat pumps or are interested in getting a no-obligation quote, our heating experts are on hand and can help answer any questions you may have.


Please see the original article here.

Watson Farley Williams finalises ISO 14001 plan

Hot on the heels of the recent Watson Farley Williams announcement of a science-based reduction target, the firm have embarked on the next stage of their sustainability journey.

”We’ve been working towards ISO 14001 Environmental Management Certification for our London office over the last year” explained Ben Churchill, WFW’s Global sustainability lead, ”It is imperative that we have the right systems and processes in place to deliver carbon reduction”.

A key driver for WFW is not just to have a recognised methodology to manage its environmental impact, but to do so with UKAS certification to show that the approach meets international standards and will be independently verified. This is with the intention of giving confidence to clients and other stakeholders that the firm will meet its aims.

ISO 14001 encourages collaboration and firmly connects leadership with the process. The appeal for law firms is often that it creates a firm mechanism for setting strong reduction objectives and ensures there are clear responsibilities in place to deliver on action plans.

There is also a strong requirement to understand and demonstrate environmental compliance. Many firms use the output of compliance as part of their carbon footprint, such as compliance records for energy, waste, or Fgas and ISO 14001 integrates these records into a monitoring and measurement process.

”We have also applied key ISO 14001 principles in our Global Environmental Charter” continued Ben, ”this helps all of our offices globally focus on environmental best practice and continual improvement.’’

Signing up for a green tariff? A useful glossary of green energy terms

Signing up for a green tariff? A useful glossary of green energy terms

Available Supply Capacity

The maximum amount of electricity that can be drawn via the meter at any point. Measured in KVA

Calorific Value

The quality of gas measured by the release of energy when gas is completely combusted under specified conditions


As ASC, the maximum amount of electricity that can be drawn via the meter at any point. Measured in KVA

Climate Change Levy

Introduced in 2001 and levied on businesses to incentivize the use of renewable to increase efficiency and reduce carbon emissions

Contract End Date

The end of a fixed price period, the supplier will supply past this date until the supply end date

Deemed Rates

Standard charges applied to Change of Tenancy customers before they agree or refuse a contract with the incumbent supplier


The charges related to a meter’s usage of the distribution network representing around 18% of the average business energy bill


The term used to describe the forecast annual consumption of a electricity customer’s meter in lieu of an Annualised Advance

Half Hourly Data

Data sourced from a half hourly meter delivering 17,520 recordings of demand from each meter

Half Hourly Meter

A high demand meter (>100kW) that records and transmits usage every half hour


Those customers that consume more than 300,000kWh of gas or electricity per annum and often those electricity customers fitted with a half hourly meter.


A measure of power taken over time; 1,000 watt-hours or 3.5 mega joules

Measurement Class

The aggregation & settlement classification for a meter i.e. Non Half Hourly or Half Hourly

Megawatt Hour

Megawatt-hour – A measure of power taken over time; 1,000 kilowatt-hours.

Meter Operator

A Meter Operator or MOP is an organisation responsible for installing and maintaining electricity and gas meters.

Time-of-use tariff

A time of use tariff or TOU tariff is a multi-rate tariff designed to offer cheaper rates when energy demand is at its lowest. Some tariffs will also be able to offer cheaper electricity rates on days when renewable generation is high, such as very windy or sunny days.


Al Tamimi & Company selected as Official Legal Advisor to COP28 Committee

LSA member firm Al Tamimi & Company is proud to announce a partnership with United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) Committee, making it the only law firm with its headquarters in the Middle East and North Africa to partner COP28.

The annual event is being hosted in the United Arab Emirates and brings governments and businesses together to discuss climate-related action. The 2023 edition is of particular significance as it marks the first Global Stocktake of the progress being made by member countries since adopting the Paris Agreement.

As an official service provider to COP28, the leading regional law firm in the Middle East and North Africa will deliver a broad range of legal pro-bono services throughout the duration of the event. Al Tamimi & Company will provide support in areas such as employment, intellectual property, data protection, general contract advice, and any other matters that may arise during COP28. The Committee will have access to the firm’s extensive expertise and experience that is wellversed in collaborating with the business community and governments across the region.

Samer Qudah, Managing Partner of Al Tamimi & Company commented:

To be selected as an official partner of COP28 is a moment of pride and honour for us, particularly as our firm has its foundations in the UAE. Being a legal advisor provides a platform from which we can support the Committee and make a genuine impact at COP28 and beyond.

As a firm, we are committed to making a positive impact on society and partnering with COP28 aligns with our vision and strategic objectives. We are committed to contributing meaningfully to sustainable practices through several initiatives, such as being a member of the United Nations Global Compact, working in our local communities and by offering a comprehensive pro bono programme that provides access to our lawyers across the region. Through our existing programmes and collaboration with COP28 we want to have a broader influence and impact on the business community and society at large.

Al Tamimi & Company is a member of the United Nations Global Compact. The firm is taking positive action across its business functions by aligning with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), these are defined as global priorities and aspirations for 2030 thatcontribute to global sustainability and social progress. The firm continues to underpin its operations and strategies with principles of the United Nations Global Compact and acts in support of UN goals.”

An LSA Update on Climate Week NYC

An LSA Update on Climate Week NYC

Matt Sparkes, co-chair of the LSA and Sustainability Director at Linklaters, spent last week at Climate Week NYC. We asked him for his thoughts…

Let’s get the irony over before we begin. Yes, there is some absurdity in travelling thousands of miles to bump into those who work just across the street and, yes, hours in a plane is, well…

Truth is, if we were not here in person, we would not find the time to talk, to listen and to learn. We wouldn’t be exposed to new developments, to get a feel for others’ progress and to strike new connections that may or may not be the partnerships of tomorrow. I would not now know – or be reflecting upon – the challenges of turning a city (Bristol) green. I would still be underplaying the importance of governance in a Just Transition. I would still be believing that everyone else knows that much more.


It has been a vibrant, eclectic and chaotic week. The United Nations Global Compact Leaders’ Summit was a platform for launches and celebrations of topics ranging from a living wage to corruption and from human rights to, of course, climate change. It was vast in range and vast in scale (and perhaps too vast for workshops, if truth be told). By contrast, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation ‘Goalkeepers’ event was tightly-packed, brightly-coloured and unrelentingly moving as it showcased again and again how the SDGs really must be addressed. Alongside these was a thoughtfully curated Climate Action event which, with an eye to #COP, presented a good case as to why the bandwagon should relocate in its entirety to Dubai in a few more weeks. And that is why these things are tricky. In a virtual world where attention is hard to maintain, even without the cover of ‘camera off’, there is no substitute for meeting face-to-face and being focused and engaged throughout. Those moments where you bump into colleagues and have time to chat and those sessions where you really can follow up with questions, discussion and dates in the diary.


Perhaps we shouldn’t need to go far, far away to achieve these things but that’s the way it is and I’ll be heading home energised by conversation, reacquainted with some bright and engaging people and ready to pick up the baton once again. Bouncing from one capital’s conference centre to another (as many still seem to do) does seem an odd way of making progress but, for those of us for whom this is rather more annual, it is an injection of insight, energy and, yes, hope and we all need more of that every so often, don’t we?

About Matt Sparkes

Matt is co-chair of the LSA and Sustainability Director at Linklaters. Matt leads Linklaters work on responsible business globally, ensuring that the firm’s own ESG performance reflects all stakeholder expectations and the advice provided to clients on many related themes. Matt is active in a range of sustainability networks including as EMEA Chair of Business for Societal Impact and as co-chair of the Legal Sustainability Alliance. He is also a Board Member and Trustee of the UNGC-UK Network, is vice-chair of the Living Wage Foundation and, in his spare time, was until recently proud to act as chair of an east London employability charity.