Council helps householders save on energy bills
By Prue_Reid | Saturday, February 16, 2013, 12:52
Households in North Somerset could benefit from two new initiatives aimed at making homes more energy efficient.
Home energy assessments, worth up to £175 are available thanks to 'Our Green Deal in Somerset' which is run on behalf of seven local authorities in the area by the Centre For Sustainable Energy which it funded by the Department of Energy and Climate Change to the tune of £300,000.
But people need to be quick, the offer ends on Friday, March 15.
It's part of getting the area involved in the Green Deal, a national scheme launched recently by the Government which supports householders to improve the energy efficiency of their home and pay the costs back later through the savings on your energy bill.
Green Deal measures include home improvements such as:
- wall insulation;
- a new boiler or better heating controls;
- secondary glazing; and
Repayments are made through the householder's energy bills, and because the home improvements will cut energy use, the overall energy bills won't rise.
Step one in accessing Green Deal finance is for an authorised Green Deal Assessor to visit your home.
An assessment like this usually costs around £175, but 'Our Green Deal in Somerset' has more than 800 home energy assessments to give away.
The assessment will show which energy-efficiency improvements would work best for that particular home, and which improvements could be funded through the Green Deal.
The assessment is independent and without obligation so the householder can choose whether to carry out any of the recommended improvements.
CSE spokesman James Ryle said: "The Green Deal has a lot to offer, particularly in Somerset which has a lot of 'hard-to-treat' and solid walled homes, where residents are being hit by high fuel bills and the insulation measures they need haven't been covered by previous schemes.
"This initiative will help to get the Green Deal rolling in Somerset - and help people understand what they can do in their home to make it easier to keep warm."
The offer is open to private tenants too but they need to get their landlord's permission first.
But Our Green Deal in Somerset won't just be providing free assessments, and two other innovations are in the pipeline.
The first is a programme of involving local community groups, who will help to explain the Green Deal to people in their area, earning rewards for the groups when they refer people to the scheme. Details will be available shortly.
And the other is a website - www.ourgreendeal.net - that will map the homes that have been improved and present the energy efficiency refurbishment of houses as 'everyday' and 'doable', and allow users to find accredited and reliable local tradespeople and further advice and information.
The second initiative on offer gives the opportunity for some people in the district to improve their home for free, thanks to a new offer from the 'Warm Streets' scheme.
Warm Streets' is exclusive to residents who are over 60 or in receipt of means-tested benefits in Somerset and has the best loft and cavity wall insulation offer for these customers on the market.
The Warm Streets offer means any eligible householder or privately-renting tenant in Somerset will be able to have both loft and cavity wall insulation installed in their home, free of charge - making their home much warmer and cosier, and cutting their fuel bills.
The offer includes the latest and best-performing cavity wall insulation on the market, Diamond bead, which is 25 per cent more efficient than fibre insulation.
Warm Streets project manager Phillip Morris saiud: "This is a fantastic offer which will not only improve your home, making it more comfortable, but will also reduce your fuel bills. Having your home insulated can save you hundreds of pounds, and there's never been a better time to get this work done."
Warm Streets is a loft and cavity wall insulation scheme tackling the problem of cold, damp homes in Somerset.
It will ensure that eligible vulnerable customers do not go cold this winter while the Government's new Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation schemes are still getting off the ground.
Warm Streets can also help residents find out about various other ways to lower their heating and electricity bills with free and impartial energy saving advice. Installing loft and cavity wall insulation is a good start, and should save householders at least £30 a month on their fuel bills.
North Somerset Council and executive member for housing Elfan Ap Rees said: "I really want to encourage eligible residents to get the most from both these schemes.
"This is part of our drive to promote the benefits of energy efficiency measures to tenants, owners and landlords and develop, together with energy companies, free and discounted schemes to target the remaining insulation and heating needs for those who receive qualifying benefits.
"You need to apply quickly - it could save you a lot of money!"
Householders in North Somerset who want to know more about either of these schemes should contact CSE's Home Energy Team on 0800 082 2234 or by email at email@example.com.