South Lanarkshire Council cuts tenants’ fuel bills
Upgrading works carried out under South Lanarkshire Council’s HomeHappening programme has, over the past decade, seen all of the local authority’s eligible housing, meet the Scottish Housing Quality Standard.
Last year the works carried out included energy efficiency measures such as loft insulation, cavity-wall insulation, external-wall insulation and heating upgrades, which should result in lower fuel consumption and a reduction in carbon production – and tenants’ fuel bills being cut by an estimated £373,010 a year.
The Scottish Government has set a deadline of the end of 2020 for council housing across the country to meet the new Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing (EESSH). As of the latest figures, 79 per cent of the council housing in South Lanarkshire already meets that standard.
Ann Gee, executive director of housing and technical resources, said: “In these difficult financial times, we are delighted that this work should result in lower bills for people across South Lanarkshire, as well as giving them more comfortable homes.
“We are always keen to use external funding for energy-efficiency measures to offset our costs and help us to deliver improvement programmes, and so it was a great benefit to bring in £3.06 million of finance from schemes such as Home Energy Efficiency Programmes Scotland (HEEPS) and Greener Homes Cashback.
“Through our programmes we consider the most appropriate measures for each situation, such as in rural areas with no mains gas supply, where we have been fitting air source heat pump heating systems. In the last year, we have installed 489 of these which will not provide tenants with more efficient heating but will also see the council benefit from payments from Ofgem of £226,607 each year for the next seven years – money that will be reinvested in further housing investment work.
“Looking to the future, we are also running a pilot programme to install solar panels in some of the properties that are having air source heat pumps fitted. This will allow us to study the effectiveness of these panels in reducing tenants’ fuel costs and, if the figures are favourable, we will look at how we take this forward.”