Ever since the government removed the requirement for EPCs on listed buildings, there has been an assumption that nothing can be done to improve the efficiency of our historic buildings. This is not the case, there are numerous solutions, even when alterations to the fabric of the building may not be possible.
The most obvious, but potentially the most expensive measure, is the installation of the most efficient heating plant available for your site. Heat Pumps and Biomass boilers are not only cheaper to run, in most cases than Oil or LPG, but attract payments in the form of Renewable Heat Incentives.
Many people assume that it is not permissible to install either Photovoltaic, or Solar Thermal Panels on listed Buildings. This is not strictly the case. Many local authority conservation officers take the view that these can be installed in locations where they are not seen from ground level. Many historic churches now have photovoltaic systems installed behind the parapet walls which suround their roofs.
Low cost items such as draught proofing, and temporarily closing off flues to improve air tightness are important measure which can make a big difference.
When redecorating rooms, thermal linings such as Sempatap can be incorporated behind wallpaper. Data compiled by the Building Research Establishment shows that thermal linings of this type can be a great help.
Insulation beneath ground floor timbers can be possible is most cases and can save at least 15% of heat loss in the rooms where it has been installed.
Every older building will have its own unique challenges, but there is usually at least a partial solution to most of them.