Argyll and Bute Council secures funding to fight against fuel poverty
Argyll and Bute Council and Argyll Community Housing Association (ACHA) have welcomed the investment of £1.23 million from the UK Government’s Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund Demonstrator (SHDFD) project.
ACHA will manage and deliver the project with support from SSE Energy Solutions, owned by OVO.
This represents a £4.92m investment in social housing across Argyll and Bute. Along with the grant award, ACHA has committed £3.177m in match funding in partnership with SSE Energy Solutions which has committed £513,000. This project will improve the energy efficiency of 130 homes across Argyll and Bute, including on 11 islands.
The delivery of Warm Homes Argyll and Bute will have a positive impact not only fuel poverty but, on the wellbeing, and comfort of tenants in their homes.
Alastair MacGregor, chief executive of ACHA, said: “We are delighted that the hard work that our team has put into the bid has been successful. This project will have such a positive impact on the costs of heating our tenants’ homes as well as the economic benefit in the local areas that an investment of this size will have.”
The project aims to provide an SHDFD model that can be replicated, not only in Argyll and Bute, but across the UK. It will also help provide a basis for addressing fuel poverty and climate change in a rural region.
A major component of the project will be to demonstrate use of an innovative external wall insulation product on ACHA properties built between 1945 and 1965. The EWI Innovation system, is manufactured off-site, and delivered to the properties. It insulates external walls, which helps to reduce heat loss in cold weather and heat gain in warm weather and can result in a reduction in heating costs by up to as much as 40% with less risk of condensation and damp walls.
Leader of Argyll and Bute Council, Councillor Robin Currie, added: “Here in Argyll and Bute we are firmly committed to tackling fuel poverty and climate change. It was great to support ACHA to access funding for a project that will bring older homes up to modern energy standards in the most cost-effective way – particularly in rural and island communities. That’s good for our people and our planet.”
Neil Donald, director, SSE Energy Solutions, commented: “SSE Energy Solutions are delighted to once again be working in partnership with Argyll Community Housing Association in securing and the delivery of the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund Demonstrator. This innovative whole house retrofit programme is a small step towards the Governments Decarbonisation bill but a huge leap forward in helping some of the most vulnerable households alleviate Fuel Poverty through low carbon technologies and thermal efficiency upgrades.”