Kier completes improvements to 1,500 properties to reduce fuel poverty across the city
Published by Elizabeth Pokorny for Kier Services in Housing and also in Communities, Environment
More than 1,500 households in Sheffield are set for a warm winter this year thanks to a domestic heating improvement project, carried out by Kier Sheffield, to increase the energy efficiency of homes across the city and reduce fuel poverty for council property residents.
The improvements range from boiler upgrades to full central heating installations, which are being funded by arm’s length management organisation, Sheffield Homes, which has been proactive in liaising with tenants to obtain agreement to carry out the improvements to their homes. Kier Sheffield is currently completing the work on an average of 60 properties per week.
In April, leading repairs and maintenance provider Kier was contracted by Sheffield City Council to provide domestic heating installations to around 6,000 properties managed by Sheffield Homes. Working to cut household energy bills and protect families from falling into fuel poverty, the project followed news that almost three million households in the UK will face fuel poverty by the year 2016, according to research by Professor John Hills at the London School of Economics according to Reuters.
Fuel poverty is defined as being unable to afford to keep warm; any household which needs to spend more than 10% of its income on fuel for adequate heating is classed as living in fuel poverty. Living in cold homes can damage health, and the elderly, children and those with a long-term illness are especially vulnerable.
Kier regional managing director for maintenance, Simon Bullen, said: “With winter fast approaching we are proud to have reached this milestone so early into the two-year contract. At Kier, we always strive to make a positive contribution to our customers and these improvements will make a great difference in reducing their household energy bills. With fuel poverty set to be one of the biggest issues for low income families in the coming years, we hope to complete work to all 6,000 properties by spring 2014.”
Kier already provides a repairs and maintenance service to more than 42,000 social housing properties across Sheffield, as well as delivering maintenance services to municipal buildings, schools and community projects. Kier will be inviting a number of local subcontractors to work alongside its direct workforce, which will help support Sheffield businesses and the local economy.