Residents in low income, low energy efficient homes, concerned about the impact of energy bills this winter, are being encouraged to see if they qualify for free help.
Households with low energy performance ratings and whose household income is less than £30,000 may qualify for the work which includes improving insulation so that residents don’t need to use their heating as often or for as long to stay warm.
The work, which is subject to government criteria, is being targeted at people who own their home or are paying a mortgage. Tenants who are in a private rented home can also qualify but their landlord would need to pay for part of the work. Housing association tenants should contact their landlord to see if they qualify for improvements.
West Suffolk Council has already completed more than £1.5m of energy efficiency improvements to around 150 homes.
It wants to deliver improvements to another 150 by the end of March when the current phase of government funding is due to end.
A West Suffolk survey of those that had the improvements, found that 97 per cent of respondents said their home now stayed warmer for longer. You can hear from some of the residents who have already benefitted at https://youtu.be/h-fwlPg02wQ
Residents can register to be considered at www.warmhomessuffolk.org
Sara Mildmay-White, cabinet member for Housing at West Suffolk Council, said: “We want to help as many households as we can. We appreciate that many residents will be anxious about the cost of living and their winter fuel bills. Insulation work will make a real difference and help people to stay warm while using their heating less. It can also help keep their home cooler in the summer. I would urge anyone who thinks they may qualify to sign up and tell others about this work.”
And Andy Drummond, cabinet member for the Environment at West Suffolk Council, added: “This is another part of our work in the battle against climate change. As a council we are committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2030 but we are also working to support our residents and businesses in helping our environment as well. These energy efficiency improvements will cut domestic carbon dioxide emissions, which all adds up to cleaner air and a better environment for us all.”
The scheme aims to improve the energy efficiency of homes that have a low Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of D to G. Residents can check their EPC rating at www.gov.uk/find-energy-certificate – the website contains useful information for all households on steps they can take to improve the energy efficiency of their home. If their property doesn’t have an EPC, one will be carried out as part of the scheme.
After registering, the resident will be contacted to arrange a site visit from a council officer to discuss the work that will be most beneficial to their home.
The money for the scheme has been awarded by the government’s Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and is subject to government criteria.
The council has also set up a cost-of-living webpage at https://www.westsuffolk.gov.uk/cost-of-livingwhich it will update with helpful information and advice.