E.ON launches pilot project to bring empty homes back into use
Energy supplier E.ON launched an innovative pilot project to help tackle the blight of long-term empty homes and the current housing shortage that persists across the UK.
The firm will work with North East Derbyshire District Council to bring empty homes back into use by offering effective solutions to owners with empty properties.
Recent figures from the Empty Homes Network show there are more than 605,000 empty homes in England and that 205,000 are long-term empty homes.
Through the pilot, E.ON will offer a free survey to private owners of empty properties to establish what is needed to bring the property back to the UK Government’s Decent Homes Standard.
Once the survey is completed and the owner is happy with the recommendations offered, E.ON can fully manage the refurbishment work to ensure the property is once again habitable. Alternatively, E.ON can offer support to owners choosing to do the work themselves or through a third party.
Nigel Dewbery, director of energy efficiency at E.ON, said: “Working together with local authorities and owners we aim to tackle the problem of empty properties and with it make something of a dent in the current housing shortage.
“Through our close work with local authorities up and down the country we’ve seen first-hand the impact empty homes have on the communities around them. As a result we’ve worked with a number of local authorities over the last year to develop this unique service to support them with the challenges they face.
“At E.ON we offer a range of energy solutions to meet our customers’ needs to ensure homes can be as energy efficient as possible and this is an example of us looking at how we can provide a more holistic approach to supporting wider communities. We hope to be able to offer this solution to other local authorities across the country over the coming months.”
Councillor Graham Baxter MBE, leader of North East Derbyshire District Council, said: “Our Empty Homes Strategy has been set up to ensure that homes do not remain empty unnecessarily. Empty properties often fall into disrepair and become a target for vandals and squatters, blighting the wider community.
“We’re keen to work with owners of long-term vacant properties to bring them back into use by offering advice and assistance as an alternative to having to take enforcement action. However, our experience shows that many owners with empty properties may feel there is too much work to do, they lack the time required, or they simply don’t know where to start when it comes to bringing their property back into use.
“Working with E.ON’s Empty Homes Solutions Team, we’ll be able to offer the support and guidance these owners need as a one stop package and hassle free solution for them to be able to bring their property back up to the right standard.”