Residents in more than 100 properties in parts of Staffordshire can look forward to better heated homes following a £1 million investment.
Stafford Borough Council and South Staffordshire District Council, along with social housing provider, Housing Plus Group, were successful in securing more than £700,000 from the government to carry out energy efficiency measures on properties in the area.
Housing Plus Group will also contribute over £400,000 to the project which will see homes targeted to receive a range of measures including wall insulation, loft insulation, draught proofing, under floor insulation, and ventilation.
Surveys on the social housing will be carried out over the next few months with work to improve the properties taking place from this summer.
Altogether 69 bids were successful in the first wave of the government’s social housing decarbonisation fund. The two local authorities and Housing Plus Group worked together to submit the consortium bid. Housing Plus Group will now lead on delivering the overall £1,184,287 project.
Homes with the lowest Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) ratings will be given priority for improvements with an emphasis on ensuring any work will be sustainable.
Stafford Borough Council and South Staffordshire District Council work in partnership with local fuel poverty charity ‘Beat the Cold’ to deliver specialised energy advice to local residents - and the Housing Plus Group tenants will be signposted to them. The charity can help with advice on a range of issues such as existing fuel debts, billing issues or tariff queries.
Councillor Jeremy Pert, Cabinet Member for Communities and Health at Stafford Borough Council, said: “Nobody should have to live in a property that they are not able to heat properly so I am very pleased that, along with our partners, this scheme will improve this situation for a number of our residents.
“Energy prices are rising significantly and leaving people with difficult choices to make. We have heard about short term financial fixes that may be available to help. But the measures that we are introducing will ensure their homes are warmer in the long term and without having a detrimental impact on their energy costs whilst reducing the carbon footprint of the homes themselves for the long term.”
He added it was another example of work being done in partnership to help tackle climate change and benefit residents.
Councillor Terry Mason, Cabinet Member for Planning and Business Enterprise at South Staffordshire District Council added: “We’re very pleased to have accessed this additional funding which, together with Housing Plus Group’s commitment, demonstrates the value of working with our partners in tackling issues facing our residents.
“The rapid rise in the cost of living, and particularly energy costs, is a concern to us all but we are very mindful of the higher impact that fuel poverty has on some of our less well-off and more vulnerable residents. Anything we can do to ease those concerns and assist the wider climate change agenda is warmly welcomed”
Daniel Timmis, Head of assets at Housing Plus Group said “We are delighted to have secured this government funding. It will enable us to improve some of our older housing stock in Staffordshire and increase the energy performance of these homes. This is obviously something that is important for our customers due to the continuing rise in energy costs.
“This improvement work will also help us to deliver against our target to ensure that all of the Group’s 19,000 homes will achieve an energy performance certificate C rating by 2030 and net-zero-carbon emissions by 2050.”
Warmer Homes Stafford (WHS) is the borough council’s heating advice service run by Beat the Cold, helping local residents to get access to funding, advice and information about improving energy efficiency, reducing fuel bills and keeping warm. To contact WHS email them at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0800 677 1785 and for more information go to www.warmerhomesstafford.org.uk
Press Release No 5857