|Free loft insulation, solar panels and low-carbon heating are just some of the energy-efficiency measures that are currently on offer to West Oxfordshire’s low-income households to help make their homes warmer, healthier and ultimately cheaper to run as part of a Government-backed scheme.
West Oxfordshire District Council has been allocated £1,067,000 funding to support the new Sustainable Warmth scheme, which will be used to upgrade local homes with modifications that will boost energy performance, increase their comfort and lessen the impact of rising household energy bills.
The grant is being administered through City Energy on behalf of the District Council and is available for properties on mains gas as well as those in more rural areas that are off the gas grid.
Councillor Andrew Prosser, Cabinet Member for Climate Change at West Oxfordshire District Council said: “People are understandably worried about how they will manage their household bills this winter with escalating energy prices and the cost-of-living crisis continuing.
“Cutting back on energy use is a priority for many of us right now, but this is a huge struggle for those living in cold homes that are difficult to heat, and particularly for those households that are on limited incomes which may not be able to afford some of the changes needed.
“The Sustainable Warmth fund goes some way to plugging that gap and will benefit those living in West Oxfordshire’s least energy-efficient homes. Poor insulation, inefficient heating, and a lack of draught-proofing are just some of the problems associated with the hardest to heat homes, making them expensive to keep warm and in extreme cases a risk to health, particularly for those living with, or susceptible to, respiratory conditions.”
Depending on the type of property and current heating system used, and following a free home survey by City Energy, the improvements on offer could include: loft, roof and wall insulation; solar panels to generate free energy; affordable energy-efficient lighting; and low-carbon heating such as an air source heat pump, that is not only less expensive to run but will help cut carbon emissions.
Households are likely to be eligible for a Sustainable Warmth grant if the annual household income is under £30,000 (before tax and deductions) or under £20,000 (after rent or mortgage costs have been deducted) and if the property has an Energy Performance Certificate rating of E or lower, although some D rated properties may be considered. Upgrades to properties which are currently owner-occupied will be fully funded by the Sustainable Warmth scheme.
Landlords who have eligible low-income tenants living in their properties can also apply for the grant but will be required to contribute a third of the total cost of the works.
All works will be undertaken by TrustMark approved tradespeople so residents can be confident in the quality of the installation and the care they will receive throughout the process.
Homeowners or landlords can call City Energy’s customer care team on 02921 680951 to find out if they are eligible or can apply online, with no obligation, at: www.oxfordshire-applications.co.uk
Information can also be found on West Oxfordshire District Council’s website: www.westoxon.gov.uk/warmhomes