Could new grant end region’s fuel poverty crisis?
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Cosy Homes in Lancashire, a local authority affordable warmth initiative, estimates that in Lancashire alone at least 14% of the population is living in fuel poverty, where 10% or more of its income is going towards the cost of heating their home.
The local authority partnership which represents 13 Lancashire councils has secured a £41m funding pot to help residents make their homes more energy efficient and they believe that if all eligible residents utilized the government-funded Home Upgrade Grant (HUGS2) then this would reduce Lancashire’s fuel poverty crisis.
Grants are based on averages but the average is expected to be around £18,800 and those eligible applicants could benefit from energy saving measures including; renewable heating technologies, solar PV and solar thermal panels, air source heat pumps and upgrading single glazed windows to double glazing units.
As we enter the colder months, all residents are being urged to check if they are eligible and encouraged to reach out to Cosy Homes in Lancashire if they are unsure.
A property qualifies if:
· There is no Gas Central Heating
· It has an EPC of D, E, F or G
A household qualifies if:
· The household income is less than £31,000 or
· In receipt of a Means Tested Benefit or
· If the property is in an eligible Post Code area. No finance evidence would be required.
Judith Mills, Consultant in Public Health, Blackpool Council, lead officer for Cosy Homes in Lancashire said: “The funding is there, ready and available to support those that need it, we just need households and/or landlords* to reach out and get the ball rolling on the application process as soon as possible.
“If you think there’s even a chance you could be eligible we’d urge you to reach out to our friendly team and find out for sure. It could be the difference between keeping warm and well this winter, and not.”
The £41m government funded scheme started on 1st April 2023 and will run for 2 years ending 31st March 2025.
To find out more, see if you are eligible, or to apply for the Home Upgrade Grant, please visit Home upgrade grant | Cosy Homes in Lancashire (chil.uk.com).
*A contribution will be expected from landlords.