Grants for central heating systems now available
Release date: 9 February 2016
Hundreds of households in Cotswold District that do not currently have central heating may be eligible for a grant of up to £4,000 to have a new system installed. Cotswold District 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, said:
“Thanks to these grants, householders struggling to pay for expensive forms of heating could switch to new efficient gas central heating systems provided they meet the qualifying criteria. This funding should help lower bills and potentially lift people out of fuel poverty. I should stress that these are grants rather than loans so they do not have to be paid back – and that makes such a big difference. ”
The scheme, run by Warm and Well, is predominantly aimed at properties that are currently heated by costly 'on peak' electric systems, although the replacement of other forms of heating systems will also be considered. The aim is to replace these with 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.
It is estimated that new heating systems could be installed in up to 1,000 homes across Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire with the government funding.
There are qualifying criteria for the scheme and if households are either in receipt of certain benefits or have considerably high fuel bills in comparison to their household income then they may be eligible.
Alex Baxter, manager of the Warm and Well scheme, said:
“This is a fantastic opportunity to get central heating systems installed in hundreds of homes in Cotswold District that are finding it difficult to afford to pay for more expensive forms of energy such as electricity and solid fuel. Households most at need will be targeted first with the funding so that their homes are warmer and cheaper to heat.”
Unfortunately, properties that have an existing central heating system, even if not working, are not eligible for funding through the scheme. If the property is using night storage heaters, it must be only heating a maximum of 50% of the home to qualify.
Anyone considering installing a central heating system should also ensure that their home is insulated. Householders may be entitled to a grant for cavity wall and loft insulation through the Warm and Well scheme, which can save £160 per year on fuel bills. All grants are subject to a survey and availability.
Further information and energy efficiency advice is available by calling the Warm and Well advice line on 0800 500 3076, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by texting ‘WARM’ to 83010.
NOTES FOR EDITORS:
Warm and Well is managed by Severn Wye Energy Agency on behalf of the six district councils in Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire Council. Since 2001 it has made more than 60,000 energy efficiency improvements to more than 41,000 homes.
Average savings on swapping from ‘on peak’ electricity to gas central heating: figure achieved by using Sutherland tables and NEED average consumption figures, a family living in a three bed semi-detached house using electric will spend £1,013 on heating and hot water. If they upgraded to a gas central heating system, that annual cost for heating and hot water would fall to £757 a year, saving £256 a year on energy bills. Savings can be much higher if the household is a high user or the household is larger.
Typical household bill savings from insulation are based on a three bed semi-detached home and can be found at http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/domestic/cavity-wall