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Councils combine to fund heating for most vulnerable

Councils combine to fund heating for most vulnerable

September 10, 2018

If your home does not have a central heating system installed, for example it uses old electric storage heaters, then the council may be able to help.

Ealing Council is part of a consortium of nine local authorities that has teamed together to get funding to be able to offer first-time central heating systems to vulnerable households. Depending on your income, the energy rating of the home and other factors, you might qualify for the scheme.

The consortium of councils and its partner AgilityEco was able to attract £4.65million from the national Warm Homes Fund (administered by Affordable Warmth Solutions); and it has managed to secure a further £2.8million from other energy efficiency funding – bringing the total amount to £7.4million.

This money is to be allocated over three years and the scheme intends to install 1,500 free central heating systems during this time.

Typical eligibility criteria include those on low incomes, those in receipt of means-tested benefits, those with long-term health issues or those in vulnerable situations.

Where it is recognised that a household is having central heating for the first time, changing, for example, from systems such as panel heating or storage heaters, other secondary energy efficiency measures such as cavity wall and loft insulation can also be installed for them.

Those receiving their first central heating system will also receive a free connection to the gas grid, where this is required. The total value of a gas connection and central heating system typically equates to £6,000.

Around 10% of the funding can be used in social housing, but the vast majority is to be used in the private sector where fuel poverty is most prevalent; both for homeowners and private rental.

‘Don’t sit in the cold this winter’

Councillor Peter Mason, the council’s cabinet member for housing, planning and transformation, said: “Don’t sit in the cold this winter. Far too many people have to make the choice between cold homes or high electricity bills.

“Electric and storage heaters aren’t always the best way of heating your home, so we’re pleased to be offering people the opportunity to see if a free central heating system will make the difference.”

Find out more

Call Healthy Homes Ealing on 0800 083 2265 (free to all users) Monday-Friday, 9am-5.30pm, or use the online referral form at www.ealing.gov.uk/energyefficiency

‘Support for those who need it most’

AgilityEco’s chief executive officer Gearóid Lane said: “We’re delighted to have helped the consortium of nine councils secure this valuable grant funding, enabling people in Ealing to replace their expensive, inefficient heating systems with new and efficient gas central heating. We’re looking forward to working with the councils to deliver this valuable help and support to those who need it most. We urge residents without gas central heating to visit the website or call the free helpline number and get their applications in before the coming winter.”

The councils in the consortium are:

  • Portsmouth City Council
  • Gosport Borough Council
  • Peterborough City Council
  • Bournemouth Borough Council
  • Ealing Council
  • Enfield Council
  • Poole Borough Council
  • Rutland County Council
  • Southend-on-Sea Borough Council