Park homes and rural households in South Gloucestershire and Gloucestershire to receive £1m winter energy efficiency boost

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150 of the region’s coldest properties will receive improved insulation and heating through the government Green Home Grant scheme, funded by the Secretary of State.

This winter, as we shelter or recover from the effects of Covid-19, it will arguably be more important than ever to make sure we are each living in a warm, healthy home. With this in mind, South Gloucestershire Council in partnership with the local authorities across Gloucestershire have secured £1 million from the Government’s Green Homes Grant scheme to improve the homes of 150 households living in hard-to-heat properties this winter.

Some of the hardest residential properties to keep warm are park homes. Often without insulation and located in areas beyond the gas network, heating these properties is expensive and inefficient. They are unhealthy, too. NHS data shows that park home residents are more likely to have long-term health conditions than those living in other property types. £748,000 from the Green Home Grant’s ‘Local Authority Delivery’ scheme will cover the cost of fitting external wall, loft or floor insulation as required to the park home properties of 100 low-income households across the region. A further £250,000 will be combined with existing grant funding from the Warm Homes Fund to convert the least efficient off-gas rural properties from space heating or solid fuel heating systems to central heating, using air source heat pumps.

It is estimated that the health benefits to these households will save the NHS £140,000 per year.

It is also good news for the region’s net zero carbon targets. Inefficient housing stock is one of the biggest challenges to achieving low carbon living – and these efficiency improvements are expected to save over 11,500 tonnes of CO2.

The region’s home energy advice service, Warm and Well, will deliver the scheme on behalf of the local authorities.

Deputy Leader of South Gloucestershire Council and Cabinet Member for Adults and Housing Cllr Ben Stokes said: “I am delighted that South Gloucestershire Council’s partnership working through the Warm & Well scheme continues to bring in external funding to support insulation and energy upgrades to some of the least energy efficient properties in our area. This work continues to support people living in cold, hard to heat and poorly insulated properties, helping to reduce heating costs and provide warm and healthy living conditions, as well as contributing towards the Council’s Climate Emergency Plan”.

Warm & Well project lead Rob Hargraves said: “The Local Authority Delivery scheme included in the Green Homes Grant makes it possible to ensure that funding reaches those living in properties that need it most. Park home and rural properties frequently fall outside other funding schemes, so helping them to improve their energy efficiency is fantastic news for our NHS, our most vulnerable residents and the environment.”

The work is expected to be completed by the end of March 2021, by which point 150 South Gloucestershire and Gloucestershire homes will be warmer, healthier and more energy efficient. South Gloucestershire and Gloucestershire residents interested in finding out how the Green Home Grants could help them make their homes more energy efficient can contact Warm and Well on 01452 937996 or greenhomes@severnwye.org.uk.