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Colours Cut Carbon – How thermal imaging ensures not a penny is wasted in home retrofit and repair


With the leaves turning their beautiful autumnal colours and those pesky autumnal drafts starting to creep under the doors, Maddy Longhurst shares a timely reminder of how the C.H.E.E.S.E project can identify energy saving measures to warm up homes and buildings in this member blog. Maddy is Survey Manager for the C.H.E.E.S.E project.

C.H.E.E.S.E Survey underway

What if you could see cold draughts, missing insulation behind walls, cold creeping up through floorboards and seeping in around pipes? Well, now you can. Bristol’s Cold Homes Energy Efficiency Survey Experts, or The C.H.E.E.S.E Project, use a unique thermal-imaging survey process to bring heat-loss to life, enabling all householders, tenants and landlords to make clear, evidenced decisions about D.I.Y, retrofit and repair, and to see whether work done is up to scratch. For instance, if you don’t know that your heat is being lost through draughty gaps around your windows, doors and pipes, you might choose to clad walls or replace windows first, and despite the cost, fail to tackle the main heat-loss problem. Having had a C.H.E.E.S.E survey you will have a new understanding of your home, and you can work sequentially, starting with the ‘low hanging fruit’- the easy-to-deal-with problems which can often be remedied at low cost and bring immediate improvements.

Whether you live in a small Council flat, a brand-new detached home, an old listed cottage, or anything in-between, surveys show the homes unique faults, revealing what improvements can be made. 

Over the last four winters we have surveyed over 300 homes. Help us to double the number this Winter! Imagine if every Bristol home had the information, the confidence and the means to make the most impactful energy saving upgrades. 

We can survey your home, a community building, commercial premises or a portfolio of properties. Each survey is filmed, and you receive a copy, plus a written summary at the end. It is then over to you to decide what you are going to do first and do further research.

We’re excited to be working with Futureproof clients this Winter, making the thermal-imaging survey an integral part of eco-retrofit projects.

Live thermal image reveals heat loss from boiler pipe

The way we work, involving the customer, being able to ‘see’ hot and cold in real time, means that information rapidly transforms into action, and the service is highly effective. Feedback from the last two years told us that 66% take action within a month after the survey and 87% within a year. A Bristol Green Doors participant said last Winter ‘The C.H.E.E.S.E Survey is the single most impactful intervention I have made since I started working on my house’. 

And if all that wasn’t exciting enough, The C.H.E.E.S.E Project is a not-for-profit community enterprise so our prices are the lowest in the UK. Lucky for Bristol. We work with Bristol Energy Network, Re:Work, the WHAM Project and CHAS to provide free surveys to those in greatest need. 

We want to work with with social and private landlords, community groups, housing developers, energy companies, the building trades and others to integrate thermal imaging surveying into property-management, re-fit, retrofit and building processes – both domestic and commercial. Is that you? 

To sign up for a survey or find out more go to or email

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