Posted on Thursday 22nd September 2022
Annette Burrows and Anna Kotrach
More Staffordshire residents are set to benefit from a scheme to make homes greener and more sustainable – as part of a wider county council drive to help tackle the current cost of living pressures.
Victoria Wilson, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet member for communities said the council wants to make sure that people are aware of the support and advice available.
“With the cost of living rising, we know that many households will struggle this winter but I want to remind people that there is help and support and great schemes such as this available.
“Getting help early can make a big difference and our campaign will help people find information, advice and support to help them manage those cost of living pressures. We’ll be signposting people to a range of support on things like money and bills, food and essentials, staying warm and helping others.”
The £5.6m Staffordshire Warmer Homes scheme will help residents on low incomes to heat their homes for less using greener and more energy efficient solutions.
Since 2019, the scheme has installed over 450 free heating solutions into over 400 homes. Over 91% of these homes have increased the properties energy efficiency, saving residents more than £650k in home heating bills.
The new phase of the scheme, launching this week will focus on getting green energy solutions into Staffordshire homes. This includes things like solar panels, air source heat pumps, external wall insulation, underfloor heating and other insulation measures.
Kevin Leese from Stafford is one person to benefit from the scheme. Kevin had an Air Source Heat Pump installed in his house free of charge in February 2021 and is seeing an improvement in his energy consumption.
“When the Staffordshire Warmer Homes team said they could install an Air Source Heat Pump free of charge we were amazed. The difference it is going to make to us, is that it will help reduce our energy bills. Everyone is worried about the cost of living crisis and increasing energy costs, but having the heat pump installed does relieve my worries.
“My advice for anyone thinking about applying is just do it. It’s free and you can get help to make the application, so you’ve got nothing to lose.”
Annette Burrows from Burntwood has also accessed the scheme having had solar panels and loft insolation installed at her house.
“I remember seeing the scheme advertised on Facebook but when it mentioned you could get free heating systems installed in your house I actually thought it was too good to be true. When the adviser came out to assess what would be best for me as well as having the loft insolation, he also said I could get solar panels which would help generate my own electricity.
“The whole process was fairly straight forward and I’m really pleased with the results. While I’m still concerned about the rising energy costs, I now feel in a better position than I would have been in.”
Paul Northcott, Staffordshire County Councils Cabinet Support Member for Public Health and Integrated Care said:
“At a time when many families are struggling with rising energy costs, it’s vital that we do what we can to help them.
“The Staffordshire Warmer Homes scheme is a great initiative that’s not only helping households save money on energy bills but because of the greener options is helping improve the environment too.
“We’ve been pleased with the success of the scheme so far having helped over 400 local families. It’s also great news that we can continue to help even more households. Remember, installation of the new, greener energy efficient and renewable heating measures are free to eligible families, so please check out the details on the scheme website and make an application.”
Staffordshire County Council is delivering the scheme in partnership with district and borough councils, E.ON and charity Beat the Cold.
To be eligible for the scheme, household income must be less than £31k per year, or people must be claiming a means tested benefit , have a disability, be over 65 or have a serious health condition that can be effected by the cold.
Applications are now open and people can find out more and apply online at www.staffordshirewarmerhomes.co.uk
Free Solar PV to help heat homes this winter for Staffordshire Residents. - YouTube
FREE Green Home Heating Systems for Staffordshire Residents - Air Source Heat Pump - YouTube