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South Gloucestershire Council awarded share of £25 million to support residents to keep their houses warm and lower bills

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Published: 04/09/2015

Over 7,000 households across England will now benefit from £25 million worth of Government funding to tackle fuel poverty and keep bills low, it was announced today.

The £25 million Central Heating Fund competition opened in March to Local Authorities across England asking for their proposals on how their plans would support local people living in homes that are not on the gas grid. Hardworking bill payers living in fuel poor households will have central heating installed for the first time and once installed it could help to save £1,000 a year as well as keep their homes warm.

South Gloucestershire Council successfully led a consortium bid to secure £3.2 million of government funding to target the least energy efficient homes first. The properties are currently heated by ‘on peak’ electric systems 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.

Lord Bourne, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change said: “These innovative projects will ensure they help local people in the community who need it the most. This is the first time we have targeted central heating as part of our aim to tackle fuel poverty. Projects like South Gloucestershire Council show that it is vital that the Government and Local Authorities draw on our shared knowledge to make a real difference in the lives of people living in fuel poverty.”

The Department for Energy and Climate Change received over 80 proposals from over 100 Local Authorities. The proposals were assessed on how they met the funding criteria which included value for money and how the plans would offer ongoing support.

Cllr Heather Goddard, Chair of Communities Committee, said: “We are delighted that our bid for more than £3.2 million has been successful. This will help us and the other local authorities who are involved in the project to install much-needed gas central heating systems in around 1,000 homes across South Gloucestershire, Stroud, the Forest of Dean, the Cotswolds and Gloucester. The most vulnerable residents will be targeted first to ensure they are provided with heating systems which are fuel efficient; not only will they keep their properties warm during the colder months but their energy bills will also be lower.”

From autumn South Gloucestershire Council and the other authorities in the consortium will begin to install central heating measures in local fuel poor households. The Government will continue to work closely to support Local Authorities to implement their winning proposals – the results of these will help inform our work to help hardworking bill payers living in fuel poverty.

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