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SWT homes to benefit from Neighbourhood Energy Efficiency Project

07 February 2023 : Council news, Housing news, Environment

Hundreds of homes could benefit from a new Neighbourhood Energy Efficiency Project to help make them warmer and cheaper to heat.

The new project, which is designed to improve neighbourhoods with a large proportion of Council-owned homes, will launch on Thursday, 9 February, and is being delivered by Somerset West and Taunton (SWT) Council over the next four years in partnership with E.ON and its installer, JJ Crump.

SWT has secured £20 million of Energy Company Obligation (ECO) funding to upgrade the least energy efficient homes across the district.  The range of efficiency measures could include external wall, cavity wall and loft insulation; Solar Photovoltaics (PV); Air Source Heat Pumps; first-time central heating; and smart heating controls.

Eligible households within the first project area will receive letters from 9 February, explaining how to get involved.

Cllr Fran Smith, Executive Member for Housing, said: “With the recent energy price increases, there’s never been a better time to assess our housing stock with a view to rolling out an energy efficiency programme.  Not only will it help residents feel the benefits of a warmer home, but it will also help cut the amount of energy used to stay warm, as well as reducing carbon emissions.

“The scheme will be rolled out to neighbourhoods in phases; Phase 1 will look at hard-to-treat properties in the TA1 area which have yet to benefit from insulation improvements.

“In conjunction with the neighbourhood projects, we’ll review existing insulation levels within our housing stock to determine whether these can also be improved.  Any measures identified will be installed by JJ Crump and will go a long way towards helping people reduce their energy consumption.”

The team behind the projects will continue to identify subsequent neighbourhoods that will benefit from energy efficiency upgrades and once a project has been completed, the team will move on to the next pre-agreed area.

Although the neighbourhood scheme will focus primarily on Council housing, a countywide scheme administered by The Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE), will be available for private homes that meet the qualifying criteria for owners to self-refer.  For details about the CSE scheme, visit SWT’s Saving energy webpage.

Cllr Dixie Darch, Executive Member for Climate Change, added: “Improving energy efficiency to reduce carbon emissions in our council homes is an important action in our Carbon Neutrality and Climate Resilience plan.

“Given the rise in energy prices, fuel poverty is also a huge challenge and people living in the least energy-efficient homes often suffer from reduced household income.  This project therefore brings dual benefits.

“This is a great initiative that will benefit both social and private households, and our alliance with E.ON and JJ Crump means that thousands of people can look forward to living in warmer homes with reduced energy usage, more disposable income and ultimately, better health.”

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