Cotswold residents will gain share of new £3.2 million central heating fund
Release date: 7 September 2015
Cotswold residents living in the least energy efficient homes in the District should soon benefit from a share of Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) funding worth £3.2 million to improve their properties. The priority will be to target homes which are currently heated by ‘off peak’ electric systems, and replace them with gas central heating using modern energy efficient condensing combination boilers.
The bid for the money was led by South Gloucestershire Council on behalf of five local authorities, including Cotswold District Council, and is part of a wider DECC Central Heating Fund competition which will see more than 7,000 households across England benefit from £25 million worth of Government funding to tackle fuel poverty and keep bills low.
The competition opened in March when local authorities across England asking were asked to submit plans to DECC to support local people living in homes that are not connected to the gas grid. The focus was on domestic properties that:
- Live in fuel poverty
- Do not have a central heating system
- Properties with an Energy Performance Certificate rating of E, F or G
Commenting on the implications for the Cotswolds, CDC Cabinet Member for Health, the Environment and Communities, Cllr Sue Coakley, said:
“We are delighted to hear that we are in line to benefit from this scheme. With winter fast approaching, this could be an ideal opportunity for householders who do not have central heating systems to obtain funding for an installation. This new offer could make a huge difference to the quality of life for residents who have to rely on alternative home heating methods which are not very efficient or cost-effective. We are determined to reduce the number of people in the District living in fuel poverty and this grant could make a big difference by enabling people, especially the elderly, to heat their homes efficiently.”
“At present the fine details are still being worked through and we will provide more information specific to the Cotswolds offer as soon as it becomes available, including how we will liaise with the most eligible homeowners.”
Reviewing the national scheme, Energy Minister Lord Bourne said:
“We are determined to help hardworking families keep their homes warmer for less and we recognise that households not connected to the gas grid can pay over the odds for their heating.
“So we are taking action by backing these innovative projects that will help the people who need it most by focusing on central heating for the first time – cutting bills and keeping homes warmer. Projects like this show how much the Government and local councils can achieve working together to secure a better future for local communities.”
DECC received more than 80 proposals from more than 100 Local Authorities. The proposals were assessed on how they met the funding criteria which included value for money and how the plans would offer continuing support to cut bills.
The Government will continue to work closely with local authorities to implement their winning proposals, and to make sure that the results inform future work to help bill payers living in fuel poverty.
NOTES TO EDITORS
- The £25 million Central Heating Fund competition opened to proposals on 27 March and closed on 5 June.
- In total the DECC received 81 bids across more than 100 authorities totalling approximately £67 million and covering installations in 16,737 properties.
- The successful bid for Cotswold District Council was made with a number of other local authorities (Stroud, Forest of Dean and Gloucester City) along with the Severn Wye Energy Agency (SWEA), and was led by South Gloucestershire Council. SWEA has facilitated the Warm & Well partnership across the district for over 10 years http://www.severnwye.org.uk/
- The funding will help households overcome the significant barrier of high upfront costs by funding the installation of complete central heating systems, including the heating source, pipework and radiators.
- Annual fuel poverty statistics, 2015