More than 150 homes will see their energy efficiency dramatically improved after West Suffolk Council secured further Government funding to continue its award-winning work.
West Suffolk Council led a successful £7.1m bid on behalf of all of Suffolk’s district councils for money from the Government’s Sustainable Warmth fund designed to support improvements to low income, low energy efficiency rated homes. The money will enable work to be carried out to 750 homes in Suffolk. In West Suffolk, we will use £1.6m of the funding for works that will benefit residents in more than 150 homes.
The latest funds will enable the installation of various energy saving measures including loft, cavity wall and external wall insulation, solar panel systems, air source heat pumps to heat multiple homes, and a shared ground source heat pump which will provide heating to a cluster of properties.
Cllr John Griffiths, Leader of West Suffolk Council, said: “West Suffolk Council is working to reduce its own carbon emissions to net zero by 2030 and support and encourage our residents and businesses to take similar steps. Improving the energy efficiency of low performance, low-income homes is a key part of this work to tackle climate change and will make a positive difference both to residents’ lives and to our environment. These improvements should also save residents money on their energy bills, as well as keeping homes warmer, which is particularly important for anyone vulnerable or with underlying health conditions.”
West Suffolk Council was named Regional Council of the Year in the Energy Efficiency Association, East of England Energy Efficiency Awards, in October, following work it commissioned to insulate 75 park homes across sites including Beck Row and Shepherds Grove near Stanton. That work is expected to cut carbon emissions by 30 tonnes per year. On top of this it is also saving each household more than £100 a year on their energy bills. The park homes were selected as they were recognised as being less energy efficient than other types of homes, while the residents who live there tend to be on low incomes. A second phase of works to another 75 park homes is due to be completed this year. Both the completed works and the second phase are being delivered using £1.4m of Government funding from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) secured under the Green Home Grant Local Authority Delivery scheme.
West Suffolk Council also runs the Solar for Business scheme which has installed more than 10,000 solar panels at 63 business premises, saving them a collective £125,000 a year in reduced energy costs and cutting their carbon emissions by 900 tonnes per year. There is no up-front cost for businesses as Council takes care of installation and maintenance costs.
Alongside this work, West Suffolk Council also offers Greener Business Grants which can see local businesses awarded up to £1,000 for eligible energy efficiency measures.
Cllr Andy Drummond, West Suffolk Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulatory and Environment, said: “West Suffolk is working to address climate change and deliver environmental improvements. We are significantly cutting the carbon footprint of many of the buildings that we own and manage. We have invested in renewable technologies to provide electricity and heat as well as purchasing 100 per cent renewable electricity for our buildings. We have been working to address and improve air quality and we have put more electric vehicle charge points in Council owned car parks with more to be installed soon. On top of this we also planted 1500 trees last year, locking carbon away for years to come.
“Alongside all of these things, we are continuing to support residents, particularly those who are on low income, to live in healthier, more energy efficient homes that save them money on their bills, all for the benefit of the local environment that we all share.”