Shropshire Star

Council's £1.6m investment in tackling fuel poverty

Telford & Wrekin Council has revealed it used £1.6million of central government funding in the last 12 months to tackle fuel poverty and help some of the most vulnerable people across the borough.

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An update on the council's 'Affordable Warmth Strategy' was presented to the cabinet on Wednesday. The strategy seeks to 'reduce the number of fuel poor households' in the borough and 'improve the health and wellbeing of the most vulnerable people in the community' by ensuring residents live in a 'warm and comfortable' home.

It also aims to 'close the gap' by targetting areas of the borough with the highest level of fuel poverty and address inequalities.

Telford & Wrekin Council revealed that over the last year, the organisation and its partners have used £1.6m of central government funding to retrofit 175 properties with 254 measures, thereby cutting 106 tonnes of CO2 in the most fuel poor homes in the area.

The council added that a further 104 homes have been approved for retrofit measures through the 'ECO flex scheme' that supports residents in households in fuel poverty who suffer from cold-related illnesses.

The authority has also dealt with 126 properties across the region that suffer from damp, mould and excess cold, and has supported 4,388 households through its partnership with the Marches Energy Agency.

Telford & Wrekin Council says that £500,000 of its Climate Change Fund has been committed to retrofit small cost, and high impact measures into fuel poor homes, and that 79 eco-grants have helped businesses become more sustainable and reduce their energy costs.

The council is also supporting the 'Future Ready Homes' initiative that is aimed at the self-funded market. The project will support householders throughout the installation of works and ensure that residents are getting the correct advice and quality from contractors.

Telford & Wrekin Council's deputy leader and cabinet member for homes, enforcement and customer services, Richard Overton, said: "Since we first adopted our Affordable Warmth Strategy, we have seen a dramatic rise in energy prices and the resultant cost of living crisis has meant many more households are threatened with fuel poverty.

"However, we remain committed to supporting the most vulnerable households in terms of fuel poverty across the borough.

"Since the adoption of the strategy we have maximised all opportunities to apply for central government funding to retrofit the worst energy performing homes across the borough.

"Over £1.6m has been invested in the last 12 months, delivering 254 measures, over £45,000 of savings and a total carbon saving of 107 tonnes of CO2.

"The strategy supports our wider council priorities to ensure every child, young person, and adult lives well in their community and all our neighbourhoods are a great place to live."