Residents benefit from £4m eco improvements
Published by Riverside for Riverside in Environment and also in Housing
Bootle MP Joe Benton met residents who are benefitting from a £4 million Community Energy Saving Programme in the Peel / Knowsley neighbourhood.
As part of a national initiative, which is expected to deliver up to £350m of efficiency measures and reduce CO2 emissions by 2.9m tonnes, housing association Riverside has made improvements to 566 of its homes.
Riverside secured £2.6 million funding from EDF and contributed £1.4 million of its own money to make the improvements in a bid to help residents reduce their household fuel consumption and ultimately save money on their bills.
The works included external wall insulation, upgraded central heating systems, loft insulation, double glazing installation and draught proofing. The improvements are expected to save residents over £1,000 a year in fuel bills.
Riverside also appointed a dedicated Affordable Warmth Officer who works on a one to one basis with tenants, offering advice that could save them energy and ultimately cut their bills.
Riverside’s Project Manager Carl Henderson said: “We adopted a dual approach to tackling fuel poverty by marrying up physical improvements to our houses with education to make sure tenants are getting the best use out of their new energy efficient boilers and know how to compare energy tariffs to ensure they’re getting the best deal.”
Riverside tenant Barbara Hardwick said: “I didn’t believe the difference it would make. Ever since the changes, I have been able to turn my thermostat down and have the heating on for fewer hours a day. It is a wonderful project and I feel very lucky to be a Riverside tenant because I wouldn’t have been able to afford to carry out these improvements myself. I am looking forward to seeing a reduction in my heating bills.”
Joe Benton MP said: “It is a major concern that so many people are struggling to afford their energy bills. The situation is only going to worsen with the introduction of the welfare reform.
“I welcome projects like this which offer a holistic approach to tackling fuel poverty. It has been fantastic to meet some of the residents whose lives are being transformed as a result.”
The programme has kick-started a massive investment in the area with a further 700 social and private houses benefitting from improvements as a result.