Grants for central heating systems now available

Hundreds of households in South Gloucestershire that currently don’t have central heating may be eligible for a grant of up to £4,000 to have a new system installed.

 

South Gloucestershire Council successfully led a consortium bid to secure £3.2 million of government funding to target the least energy efficient homes first. These properties currently have no central heating system or are heated by 'on peak' electric systems or plug-in heaters and we propose to install gas central heating via modern energy efficient condensing combination boilers.

 

The proposal targets domestic properties within the five local authorities* that:
• Live in fuel poverty
• Do not have a central heating system
• Live in properties with an Energy Performance Certificate rating of E, F or G.

 

The funding is available until 31 August 2016 and will help households overcome the significant barrier of high upfront costs by funding the installation of complete central heating systems, including the heating source, pipework and radiators.

 

Communities Committee Chair Cllr Heather Goddard said: “This funding will help us to improve the living conditions of some of the most vulnerable residents in South Gloucestershire. We want to ensure that homes are provided with modern heating systems which are both fuel efficient and affordable to run; not only keeping properties warm during the colder months but also making savings on fuel bills. The grant is financed through Central Government funding, not through Council Tax, so householders who meet the qualifying criteria do not have to repay the cost.”

 

The scheme, run by Warm and Well, is predominantly aimed at properties that are currently heated by costly 'on peak' electric systems, although the replacement of other forms of heating systems will also be considered. The aim is to replace these with modern energy efficient condensing boilers, which could save a household on average £250 a year, based on a family in a three bed semi-detached house.

 

Jon Clarke, manager of the Warm and Well scheme, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to get central heating systems installed in hundreds of homes in the South Gloucestershire area that are finding it difficult to afford to pay for more expensive forms of energy such as electricity and solid fuel. Households most at need will be targeted first with the funding so that their homes are warmer and cheaper to heat.”

 

The initiative is administered by the Severn Wye Energy Agency charity, who are now taking referrals from prospective residents across South Gloucestershire.

 

Further information and energy efficiency advice is available by calling the Warm and Well advice line on 0800 500 3076, by emailing

warm&well@severnwye.org.uk or by texting ‘WARM’ to 83010.

Anyone considering installing a central heating system should also ensure that their home is insulated. Householders may be entitled to a grant for cavity wall and loft insulation through the Warm and Well scheme, which can save £160 per year on fuel bills. All grants are subject to a survey and availability.

 

ENDS

Notes for Editors
* The successful bid was made with a number of other local authorities, with South Gloucestershire Council as the lead authority. Other participating authorities include Stroud District Council, Cotswold District Council, the Forest Of Dean District Council and Gloucester City Council along with the Severn Wye Energy Agency (SWEA).

 

Warm and Well is managed by Severn Wye Energy Agency on behalf of the six district councils in Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire Council. Since 2001 it has made more than 60,000 energy efficiency improvements to more than 41,000 homes. For more information visit

www.severnwye.org.uk/

 

Average savings on swapping from ‘on peak’ electricity to gas central heating: figure achieved by using Sutherland tables and NEED average consumption figures, a family living in a three bed semi-detached house using electric will spend £1,013 on heating and hot water. If they upgraded to a gas central heating system, that annual cost for heating and hot water would fall to £757 a year, saving £256 a year on energy bills. Savings can be much higher if the household is a high user or the household is larger.

 

Typical household bill savings from insulation are based on a three bed semi-detached home and can be found at www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/domestic/cavity-wall

 

Unfortunately, properties that have an existing central heating system, even if not working, are not eligible for funding through the scheme. If the property is using night storage heaters, it must be only heating a maximum of 50 per cent of the home to qualify.