Funding available for 'fuel poor' households
Over 1,000 fuel poor households in Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire are set to benefit from Warmer Homes Grants to install efficient affordable heating.
Led by Stroud District Council the Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire Warm & Well partnership has been successful in bidding for £5m of funding to pay for the installation of affordable central heating systems in fuel poor households.
National Grid established the £150m Warm Homes Fund with the assistance of Affordable Warmth Solutions using part of the proceeds from the sale of the company’s majority stake in its gas distribution business. It will fund the installation of affordable heating solutions in fuel poor households which don’t use mains gas as their primary source of heat.
Jeremy Nesbitt, Managing Director of Affordable Warmth Solutions said: “Solving the issues associated with fuel poverty continues to challenge many of our stakeholders and the feedback we’ve already received provides evidence of how the Warm Homes Fund will make a positive difference to thousands of homes throughout the country.”
There are an estimated 38,475 homes in fuel poverty in the Warm & Well project area which covers the Forest of Dean, Stroud, Cheltenham, Cotswold, Gloucester, Tewkesbury and South Gloucestershire areas and is supported by the Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group.
Councillor Paul Hiett, Cabinet Member for Communities said: “It’s shocking that in the 21st century fuel poverty still affects households in the Forest of Dean. As a council we are committed to combating fuel poverty. This funding will help some of these households cut their energy bills, so they can afford to stay warm and well.”
The Warm & Well Partnership was established in 2001 to provide energy advice and support to households in Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire. The scheme is delivered by Severn Wye Energy Agency a leading local energy and sustainability charity with 18 years experience specialising in delivering core objectives to alleviate fuel poverty.
The funding will help 728 low income private occupiers including owner occupiers and privately renting tenants and 447 social housing tenants with first time central heating, such as mains gas, oil, LPG or renewable heating. It will target those who are in poor health or at risk of ill health, or with underlying health issues, or caring for a vulnerable person or worried about their home being cold or damp.
Brian Canning Head of Energy Services at Severn Wye Energy said “Severn Wye is delighted to be involved in the delivery of the Warm Homes Fund. We have a massive opportunity to help some of the most vulnerable people in our society access central heating for the first time. This will make a significant difference to their health and allow people to heat their homes more affordably. Our Warm & Well programme will also be able to provide face-to-face advice to many of the recipients to ensure they get off to the best start with their new system and have the confidence going forward to make the most of them.”
Additional funding has also been secured from Scottish Power targeted at fuel poor and vulnerable households. Heather Watts UK Business Development Manager at Scottish Power said “Scottish Power is pleased to be able to provide funding support to the project through our Energy Company Obligation (ECO). This should help to ensure that a greater number of vulnerable homes in Gloucestershire are able to benefit from the scheme”
Anyone who is interested in applying for help with their heating should contact the Warm & Well Scheme on 0800 5003076.