Council urges residents to take up free central heating offer
Release date: 13 May 2016
Cotswold District Council is keen to ensure that residents without central heating are aware that there are grants available - worth up to £4,500 per property - to install new systems in their homes. The Council, along with the other six local authorities in the county and South Gloucestershire, has been awarded a share of £25 million government funding to help residents to keep their houses warm and lower their energy bills.
Cllr Sue Coakley, the Cabinet Member for Health, Environment and Communities at Cotswold District Council, says:
“We first publicised these grants in February and we’ve been rather surprised by the low take-up in the District so far, especially since we estimate that there are hundreds of households in the Cotswolds which do not currently have central heating.
“This funding should help lower bills and potentially lift people out of fuel poverty. I cannot emphasise enough that these are grants rather than loans so they do not have to be paid back – there are absolutely no strings attached.”
The scheme, run by Warm and Well, is predominantly aimed at properties that are owned or privately rented and have no central heating, although the replacement of other forms of heating systems will also be considered. The aim is to install modern energy efficient condensing boilers, which could save a household on average £250 a year, based on a family in a three bed semi-detached house.
Head of Domestic Energy Services at Severn Wye Energy Agency (SWEA) Brian Canning, who is the managing agent for Warm & Well, says:
“The government funding on offer could pay for the installation of new heating systems in up to 1,000 homes across Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire. Provided they meet the qualifying criteria, this is a fantastic opportunity for homeowners who are finding it difficult to afford more expensive forms of energy such as electricity and solid fuel.
For further information and energy efficiency advice – including help with completing the relevant forms – please call the Warm and Well advice line 0800 500 3076, email firstname.lastname@example.org or text ‘WARM’ to 83010.
Additionally, there will be a Warm and Well ‘advice surgery’ at a Health and Wellbeing event which is taking place at the North Cotswolds Hospital, Moreton-in-Marsh from 12 noon to 4 pm on Saturday 21 May. Representatives from SWEA will be pleased to provide details of the central heating offer and answer any related queries.