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Cheryl & David Sapstead, Benfleet

Essex County Council, Tuesday, November 30th 2021

Cheryl (65) and David (67) Sapstead have lived in their Benfleet home for almost 25 years. They recently had insulation fitted as part of Essex County Council’s Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery Scheme.

Speaking about their semi-detached bungalow, Cheryl Sapstead said: “Our house was built in the 1960s with solid brick walls and no cavity. Essentially whatever weather we had would just come straight through from outside!”

After a chilly winter which saw the couple’s heating on full blast most days, they came across the energy efficiency scheme online. David Sapstead said: “We found out about the insulation scheme on the Essex County Council Facebook page, filled in our contact details and just a week later we received a phone call.”

Essex County Council’s contractor for the scheme, Aran Insulation, soon arranged for a surveyor to visit the Sapstead’s home.

Cheryl said: “Aran sent a surveyor round to see if we were eligible for the scheme and, if so, what we needed done to improve the energy efficiency of our home. We were accepted and work to install external wall insulation began a few weeks later.”


A minimally disruptive procedure, external wall insulation (EWI) involves an insulation layer being fixed to a property’s existing exterior wall which is finished with a protective render or decorative surface. EWI improves energy efficiency by limiting heat loss which in turn reduces heating bills and carbon emissions.

The process took just over five days to complete and David said: “The house looks so nice now. The contractors finished with a pale cream render that looks much fresher and modern.”

The couple has also already begun to notice a difference in the comfort of their home.

Cheryl said: “We’ve had a couple of colder days where we’ve had to put the heating on. Before there would still be a cold chill in the air but now the house seems to hold the heat in. During all the recent hot weather, the house has actually seemed cooler inside too.”

Cheryl added: “We’ve had all this work done for free and we are grateful for that because we’re hoping that it will make our home a lot warmer this winter. I’ve now recommended the scheme to my sister, and I would definitely encourage other Essex residents to go ahead and apply for the council’s green home improvement schemes.”

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