Local Authorities on the front line of tackling cold homes can now apply for their share of a £25 million Central Heating Fund, the Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey has announced.
The money is expected to help up to 8,000 fuel poor homes living off the gas grid stay warmer for less through the installation of complete first-time central heating systems.
New details have also been unveiled of the £1 million warmth-on-prescription fund that will boost nine local authorities in their efforts helping people in fuel poor households whose health is affected by cold homes. Schemes like the Dudley Winter Warmth Support Service will improve around 180 fuel poor households by installing a range of energy efficiency measures and the Warm and Healthy Homes Programme in Durham will provide essential training to over 100 health and social care professionals to ensure fuel poor households are identified and supported.
Energy Secretary Ed Davey said:
“The heat is on for warmer, healthy homes. Over one million homes are now warmer and cheaper to heat thanks to the Government’s ECO and Green Deal policies. Today’s £25 million competition will go further to help thousands more”.
“Fuel poverty has fallen every year since 2010, however there are still too many people affected by it. That is why we have introduced an ambitious Fuel Poverty Strategy and are mobilising front-line services to innovate how we identify and target those living in cold homes”.
Rachel Fisher, head of policy at the National Housing Federation, said:
“A much needed long term plan to end the housing crisis within a generation shouldn’t just address the chronic shortage of new homes, but also bringing empty homes back into use and improving the quality of existing homes.
“DECC’s new £25m Central Heating Fund provides a unique opportunity to improve the quality of life of thousands of tenants by lifting them out of fuel poverty with the installation of new heating technologies, including renewable heat. We would encourage housing associations to take an in-depth look at this funding to see how they can use it to make the most lasting impact.”
Up to £2 million in additional funding, available in 2015/16, has kick-started a collaborative programme, working with local authorities and partners on future pilots that will continue to build on the progress made so far. These include community energy schemes, giving face-to-face advice and building on the success of Big Energy Saving Network.
Notes to editors
Tom Wright CBE has been appointed as Chair of the Fuel Poverty Advisory Group (FPAG), the Department of Energy and Climate Change confirmed today. The appointment is for a period of three years.
The ‘Health Through Warmth’ project in East Riding of Yorkshire will improve a further 165 fuel poor households by installing a range of energy efficiency measures. The funding will also provide essential IT training for local health professionals to ensure fuel poor households are identified and supported.
The ‘Royal Blackburn Hospital Pilot’ in Blackburn will improve around 90 fuel poor households by installing a range of energy efficiency measures. The funding will also boost their discharge pilot in Blackburn Hospital to all Lancashire acute trusts to ensure fuel poor households are identified and supported.
- Islington London Borough Council expect to be able to provide energy efficiency measures to 175 additional households and other measures to 650 households that are at greatest risk of health impacts.
The ‘Derbyshire Healthy Home Project’ will improve 84 fuel poor households by installing energy efficiency measures.
The ‘Dudley Winter Warmth Support Service’ project will improve a further 180 fuel poor households by installing a range of energy efficiency measures. The funding will also boost their existing home insulation programme.
The ‘Affordable Warmth Access Referral Mechanism’ project in Wigan will improve 120 fuel poor households by installing a range of energy efficiency measures.
- The ‘Healthy and Warm’ project in Amber Valley will improve at least 45 fuel poor households by installing a range of energy efficiency measures.