Monday, 27 October 2014

NIA and DECC join forces to find solutions to tackle fuel poverty in solid wall properties.

In an event organised by the National Insulation Association (NIA) and its member Hamilton (Building Contractors) Ltd, a team of officials from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), visited Bradford’s Holme Wood Estate in order to examine first-hand the challenges that face the occupants of some of the poorest housing stock in the UK and the Solid Wall Insulation solutions available to them.

“Fuel Poverty affects millions of households in the UK and the situation can occur in all areas and demographics of the country.” Said the CEO of the NIA, Neil Marshall.  “However, this can be particularly prevalent in poorly maintained housing and the types of private rented and owner occupied properties found in inner cities. The Holme Wood Estate in Bradford is an example of fuel poverty and poor insulation at its most extreme. But, as can be seen with this on-site examination of the problems, steps are being taken to meet the challenges and address the situation.”

Neil Marshall added: “There are over 1million fuel poor households living in solid wall properties in private sector housing that are currently unlikely to receive any help through the Energy Company Obligation and Green Deal Home Improvement Fund.  These households are not expected to be insulated under the ECO as they are not cost effective enough for energy companies and fuel poor households are not likely to be able to afford to make the financial contribution needed under the Green Deal.  This visit is all about working together to find alternative solutions.”

The fact finding tour of the Holme Wood Estate with members of DECCs Household Energy Efficiency and Fuel Poverty teams took place today. During the three hour visit the team went to the heart of the estate to see housing both before, during and after the installation of external wall insulation; whilst also assessing the differences between today’s systems and those of 25 years ago. The group also had the chance to talk with local community leaders and residents to discuss the issues they face on a day to day basis and how the installation of external wall insulation has made a huge difference to their lives.

Daniel Mackie, Business Development Director from Hamilton (Building Contractors) Ltd said: “Hamilton’s are delighted to be working with the NIA and DECC to help to create policies that can be introduced to tackle the growing problem of fuel poverty in solid walled homes in the private sector”. Daniel also added “For 20 years, we have been delivering the benefits of External Wall Insulation to homes such as these in Holme Wood, with the Socially owned properties being the first to benefit through schemes like decent homes. Now though, those left living in thermally in-efficient properties, are generally in the private sector and more needs to be done to support those most in need, those in fuel poverty. Hopefully days like today can play a part in shaping that support.”


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