First homes benefit from central heating scheme

The first of hundreds of homes are already starting to feel warmer as work begins on an £8 million pound programme to install new central heating systems. 

Warm and Well Cornwall opened applications to Cornwall’s residents in November with over 100 leads and 39 residents are now starting to benefit from first time central heating in their homes.  The Winter Wellbeing Partnership (1) aims to improve over 1000 homes by January 2019.  

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Today (Friday 23rd Feb) marks National Fuel Poverty Awareness Day. Around 36,000 homes in Cornwall are in fuel poverty, with Cornwall in the top 10 of fuel poor areas in England (2). 

Winter Wellbeing launched an £8m project called Warm and Well Cornwall to our residents in November.  Warm and Well Cornwall offers free central heating systems for homes which currently use expensive or ineffective heating, such as solid fuel heaters or electric night storage systems. The funding will be used to insulate homes and help residents stay warmer for less. 

To be eligible residents need to be; living in a cold or damp home, struggling to pay energy bills, at risk of ill health, on a low income or a carer. Anyone who thinks they might be eligible should get in touch. 

Cornwall Council Deputy Leader Julian Germansaid: “Fuel poverty is an issue for many of our residents in Cornwall. In 2018, no-one should have to choose between heating and eating, so we are doing what we can to address this inequality by lifting people out of fuel poverty.

 “The Devolution Deal has had a part to play in this much needed scheme. New ways of delivering insulation improvements to Cornish homes agreed with the Government means we have more control over the decisions on which homes can receive this support.” 

Dr Caroline Court, Interim Director of Wellbeing and PublicHealthsaid “Fuel poverty doesn’t just mean that people can’t afford to pay their heating bills. There is a much wider impact. People become socially isolated because they are embarrassed to invite people over, children struggle to concentrate on homework because they’re too cold. 

“Reducing fuel poverty is about the best possible opportunities in life, and that starts with a warm home to help them stay well, and achieve the best health, wellbeing and work outcomes.” 

DCH resident Mercedes Oxley whose heating was installed in January said: “I am very pleased with the gas central heating. It has made a huge difference to us in day to day life as we can have heat as and when we need it.  We were totally delighted with the workmanship and to all at DCH on dealing with enquiries and keeping us updated as to when the work would be taking place – thank you so much!” 

Ralph Retallack, Energy Efficiency Manager at Coastline Housing added: “One of the most important things in life is a warm, comfortable home that people can afford to run and enjoy. We’re delighted to be starting another programme of work to bring this about by helping to reduce fuel bills for our customers.” 

Tony Butler, UK Sales Manager for SSE Energy Solutions added: “As their Energy Efficiency Partner, SSE Energy Solutions is proud to support Cornwall Council’s Winter Wellbeing Partnership. This exceptional group of likeminded entities, comprising 30 partners in total, all strive towards the same common goal to eliminate fuel poverty in Cornwall.  Whilst other regions share similar objectives, challenges and financial constraints to those of Cornwall, few benefit from such a well-connected group of champions, who, thanks to their input and the council’s coordination, make this partnership a truly bespoke and innovative arrangement.” 

To find out more about Warm and Well Cornwall or to check eligibility, please ‘Call Bev’ at Inclusion Cornwall on 01872 326552 or visit the Warm and Well webpage.

1 - Led by Cornwall Council and including 30 partners, along with the National Grid’s Warm Homes Fund and SSE and Cornwall’s social housing providers

2 - Latest BEIS fuel poverty statistics for 2015 data year

Story posted 23 February