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Keep Heat In, Cold Out - lunchtime talks with free energy saving items

The Sustainable Living group of the Highgate Society usually spreads the word about ‘Character, Comfort and Low Carbon’ at meetings in 10a but in January 2023 decided to take the messages out to the people who would most need urgent help to keep warm.


The shocking energy price rises over 2022 suddenly shone a spotlight on households that could no longer afford for any heat to escape or any cold to come in. For all the talk of bill levels for ‘typical’ three bedroom (poorly insulated) houses there was very little explaining how low bills were for homeowners who had invested in ‘eco-measures’ and insulation compared to the much higher bills for people stuck in cold, leaky homes – often unable to make improvements where landlords refuse to take effective action.

Worst off are those with ‘pre-payment meters’, with higher prices for energy and the constant worry of disconnection.

The Sustainable Living Group took advantage of belonging to Community Energy London (CEL) and was awarded a CEL grant from a crowdfunder and from the Worshipful Company of Fuellers, and then from Camden Council’s Cost of Living fund, to distribute small items that will ‘Keep Heat In and Cold Out’ around Highgate. In January 2023 the group went along to two lunch clubs in ‘warm spaces’ in Camden and two in Haringey and handed out  film for single glazed windows, reflectors to go behind radiators on outside walls, LED light bulbs, and door brushes. (note the Highgate Society is not promoting these products, and others are available)


There have been lively discussions and ‘show and tell’ tables demonstrating other low cost items such as a ‘chimney balloon’, a letterbox brush and information about loft insulation and low water shower heads. (note the Highgate Society is not promoting these products, and others are available)


The lunch talks have proved very popular, with diners enthusiastically taking away items and being inspired to spread information.

Sustainable Living then started work with the Highgate Newtown Community Centre to reach more Highgate people in greatest need, and the exercise is proving a good model for Community Energy London to work on expanding its Community Energy Winter Support scheme across London.

If UK people can be helped to do whatever they can to reduce energy waste from homes, big measures for home owners and small measures for all, we could stop being dependent on energy providers from abroad – and be warm in our homes.

Further Information

Further Information: Energy Advice London has been set up to provide a wealth of information for Londoners about reducing energy use and energy bills. It has links for advice in your area and a calculator to see where you can save energy. Explore the web site or ring 0808 196 8260.

Thanks to the sponsors of the Keep Heat In Cold Out lunch talks