Watford Borough Council and Three Rivers District Council are offering fully funded energy-saving home improvements worth up to £10,000 to qualifying residents.
When Lesley Clark moved into his new home 60 years ago it was heated by just one hot water tank in the kitchen, one radiator, and a coal fire.
Today – thanks to a new Green Homes Grant scheme offered by Watford Borough Council and Three Rivers District Council – his house has been fitted with wall insulation which will keep it warmer than ever in the winters ahead.
In the intervening years, Lesley and his late wife Beryl raised six children in their house in Abbots Langley, which has had many improvements over the years, including central heating. But Lesley is confident the latest work will make all the difference.
The 88-year-old former Rolls Royce employee said: “Now I am getting older I do feel the cold. Rather than putting a blanket over me, I’ll have a warmer house. The outside wall in the winter was like a block of ice before – now it will be much more cosy.”
Lesley is among many local residents to benefit from the Green Homes Grant scheme run by Watford Borough Council and Three Rivers District Council. Grants of up to £10,000 are available for homes to receive energy efficiency measures such as external wall insulation, for free, in one of the biggest grant-funded retrofit programmes to date. Under the scheme, households can also apply to have fully funded solar panels installed.
The external wall insulation fitted to Lesley’s house could save him around £225 per year on heating bills and reduce domestic carbon emissions by approximately 930kg CO2 per year.
The Green Homes Grant scheme aims to help the country become carbon neutral by 2050, while also helping households save money on energy bills, stay warm in winter, cool in summer, and reduce their carbon footprints.
Elected Mayor of Watford, Peter Taylor, added: “It is clear what a real difference insulation makes to residents’ everyday lives, so we are delighted to be able to work in partnership with Three Rivers District Council and Watford Community Housing to offer grants to the people in our communities who need it most. We hope this will improve the lives of our residents and provide a greener energy solution for our towns.”
Having been awarded £1.7m Green Homes Grant funding from the government, the two local authorities have been able to improve the energy efficiency of 46 homes so far, and plan to improve a further 151 homes (both private and social) in the coming months.
In the first phase of the grant scheme, the councils have been working in close partnership with local housing association, Watford Community Housing, to upgrade a large number of their properties, with significant financial and health benefits for their tenants.
Councillor Sarah Nelmes, the Leader of Three Rivers District Council, said: “These grants have been making a real difference to people’s lives right across the district. I am so pleased to see so many residents have already taken advantage of this scheme and made their homes more efficient and more environmentally friendly in the process.”
Tina Barnard, Chief Executive of Watford Community Housing: “We’re so pleased to be able to provide these upgrades for our residents, especially at a time when many families will be struggling financially due to the pandemic. This insulation not only saves the residents a significant sum of money on their bills but also has the added benefit of making these properties more environmentally friendly, so we’re proud to work closely with our local authority partners to make this possible.”
Residents can apply for this funding if they have a combined household income of less than £30,000 per year and live in a property with a low energy efficiency rating (G, F, E or D rating).
The councils have partnered with energy company E.ON to deliver the grant funding and are encouraging residents who think they may qualify to contact E.ON and take advantage of the opportunity while it is available.
Contact E.ON on their free helpline 0333 202 4820 or visit eonenergy.com/green-homes-grant.html