Help for ‘hard to treat’ homes in Somerset West

New project offers solid wall insulation solution

4 November 2010

More than a third of all housing in the UK – around 10 million homes – cannot be treated by using the most cost-effective energy efficiency measures like cavity wall insulation. So they are not targeted by the current energy saving schemes which focus almost exclusively on these simple measures. As a result, many householders are just not able to find the help and support to ensure they don’t go cold in the winter months. And the huge potential to cut carbon emissions from these homes remains untapped.

Following the success of the ‘Freedom from Fuel Poverty’ project which CSE is running in partnership with Bath and North East Somerset Council, a new project is being launched which CSE hopes will improve the lives of householders living across the western districts of Somerset.

The Hard-to-Treat scheme, developed in partnership with Sedgemoor, Taunton Deane and West Somerset District Councils, will offer a grant of 25% of the value of works for solid wall insulation, more complex loft insulation and floor insulation – up to a maximum of £2,500 per household. Open to all, low interest loans will also be available to customers who are able to satisfy low income eligibility.

“CSE’s own advisors are concerned that there is little they can offer people in hard to treat homes from existing energy saving home improvement schemes,” said CSE project manager Phillip Morris. “With this scheme we feel are able to reach out to people in these areas and give them real options for improvements.”

In January 2010 the Energy Efficiency Partnership for Homes published an extensive analysis of the issues associated with delivering energy efficiency improvements for hard to treat homes. Amongst many issues, it highlighted the fact that there is a potential funding gap caused by many national initiatives not coming into effect at least before 2012.

In addition, it is becoming progressively harder to find local households suitable for loft insulation and cavity wall insulation measures on existing schemes. As Phillip says; “While our existing Warm Streets scheme continue with great ‘free for all’ offers supported by the local authorities, we now need to start the work on the more challenging housing stock so that as new national initiatives come forward, Somerset is ready to scale up.”

This one year project is available from the start of November 2010, and anyone interested in finding out about whether they are eligible should contact CSE’s advisors at the South West Energy Saving Trust advice centre on 0800 512 012.

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