Are you a Mambi — or do you know one?

A Middle Aged Man in a suit installing insulation
A Mambi installing insulation in his loft (Image credit: Getty)

It turns out middle-aged men have a new obsession — and this time it doesn't involve Lycra and saddle rash.

The age of the newly coined 'Middle-Aged Men Buying Insulation (Mambi)' is upon us, a time where husbands, brothers, friends and other close relations are completely consumed by the size of their PIR board, draught proofing and the COP of their heat pump — for the uninitiated, this is a heat pump's measure of efficiency. 

And this time it's a rather useful craze. With the cost of living crisis impacting homes across the UK, doing what you can to bring down your energy bills makes sense. That's not to mention the benefits reducing our energy consumption can have from an environmental perspective.

Research by housebuilding company Redrow suggests we now spend an average 37 minutes a week talking about reducing our energy consumption, with a quarter of those asked admitting to discussing it for an hour a week. So are you a Mambi? Or do you know one? 

What is a Mambi?

A Mambi is a Middle-Aged Man Buying Insulation to improve the energy efficiency of his home and ultimately save money on energy bills. Unlike with Mamils, there is no clothing criteria to be a Mambi (as far as we are aware).

Mambis do however have a penchant for insulation, airtightness, and are likely to be well researched on U values and thickness requirements, be it for internal wall insulation, loft or floor insulation.

Smart gadgets for measuring or limiting electricity are a favourite for Mambis too. So too is investigating or investing in renewables and low-carbon heating solutions such as air source heat pumps.

So, if you or your partner finds themselves checking over their smart gadgets at every moment of the day to see how much energy has been saved, you might just be a Mambi. 

A Mambi installing insulation in his loft space

Mambis are well researched in their quest to save energy in their homes (Image credit: Getty)

The Mambis making an impact on their homes

Mick Wall, in Sheffield, recently showed off his Mambi credentials in an article where he explained how he'd gone as far as installing heat sensors on his pipes and regularly tracks the performance of his air source heat pump and how much electricity his solar PV (photovoltaic) panels generate. He now regularly crowd shares the performance his heat pump is achieving (COP of up to 4.5) with others on the open source website heatpumpmonitor.org.

Meanwhile, Dr Richard Lowes in the West Midlands showed off his cupboard-cum-plant room. He installed his air source heat pump, together with monitoring devices, after insulating his home. 

He was thrilled to hit an average COP of 3.5 for the heat pump for his terraced home, the higher the COP, the better. "I do enjoy it, it's quite fun. Every time I look at it, I'm amazed," he admitted to the BBC, even sharing a photo of himself inside his 'energy cupboard'.

And the Telegraph uncovered another Mambi lurking in Kent. Rowan Troy, 38, explained how he had saved himself an impressive £1,700 in one year by focusing on turning off the vampire devices in his home. He has also added smart sensors for his lights (smart energy saving gadgets can be easily found on Amazon) and draught excluders on the doorways in his home and monitors all his electricity usage through smart meter app Loop.

“We’ve got plug busters we can wirelessly control and ones on timers, so they are only on for part of the day,” Troy said.

You can check out other energy saving tips in our guides on energy ratings for appliances, draught proofing as well as how to save energy by turning your boiler down as part of the energy saving boiler challenge.

A screengrab from Heatpumpmonitor showing energy efficiency data homeowners have input

Mambis across Britain are inputting their coefficiency of performance for their heat pumps into the crowd sourcing website Heatpumpmonitor.org (Image credit: Heatpumpmonitor)
Amy Willis

Amy spent over a decade in London editing and writing for The Daily Telegraph, MailOnline, and Metro.co.uk before moving to East Anglia where she began renovating a period property in rural Suffolk. During this time she also did some TV work at ITV Anglia and CBS as well as freelancing for Yahoo, AOL, ESPN and The Mirror. When the pandemic hit she switched to full-time building work on her renovation and spent nearly two years focusing solely on that. She's taken a hands-on DIY approach to the project, knocking down walls, restoring oak beams and laying slabs with the help of family members to save costs. She has largely focused on using natural materials, such as limestone, oak and sisal carpet, to put character back into the property that was largely removed during the eighties. The project has extended into the garden too, with the cottage's exterior completely re-landscaped with a digger and a new driveway added. She has dealt with de-listing a property as well as handling land disputes and conveyancing administration.