Council receives £400,000 government funding to tackle fuel poverty

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Warwickshire County Council has been awarded almost £400,000 under the Government’s Fuel Poverty Initiative to help reduce fuel poverty in rural areas.

The money will be used to install energy efficiency measures in up to 50 households, helping to reduce energy bills and improve quality of life.

Councillor Alan Cockburn, Warwickshire County Council’s Portfolio Holder for Sustainable Communities, said: “We are delighted that our bid to the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) was successful as it will enable us to target some of those households most in need.

“The aim will be to install the most cost effective solutions for reducing household energy bills. The intention is also to use local installers and suppliers as far as possible, supporting the local economy and the County Council’s Going for Growth agenda.”

The county council has been working in partnership with the Local Enterprise Partnership and sits on its low carbon sub group, as well with Rugby Borough Council, third sector agency Act on Energy and Renewable Energy Technology Alliance (RETA).

Efficiency measures being implemented include cavity wall insulation, loft insulation and boiler replacement.

Part of the funding will be used to establish a website that will enable householders and businesses to find all the information they need about what they can do to reduce their energy bills.

The website will be able to advise on the types of measures that could be installed, according to the age, type and size of property, and how much could be saved on bills. It will also hold details of local assessors and installers to make it easier to find the right people to do the job.

Case studies from people in the area who have had measures installed will be available so that householders can see what their neighbours have had done and how effective the changes have been. Users will be able to rate the installers so that others can be confident of finding recommended trades people to undertake the work.

The project will be a rural pilot within Rugby borough, with the aim of establishing a blueprint for rolling out further in the borough and to other areas in Warwickshire, using funding from the major energy companies under Energy Company Obligation (ECO) regulations.