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£50m upgrade to bring cheaper energy costs for social housing tenants

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£50m upgrade to bring cheaper energy costs for social housing tenants

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Environment and also in Housing

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Thousands of social housing tenants in Plymouth could soon be enjoying lower energy bills thanks to a £50 million scheme to upgrade their homes.

Plymouth Community Homes (PCH), the city’s largest social housing provider, is joining forces with British Gas to insulate around 10,000 homes – nearly 70% of its stock – over the next eight years.

While PCH will insulate the homes with either external or cavity wall insulation, Plymouth City Council has struck a £20m deal with British Gas that will enable private homeowners, landlords and tenants to apply for grants for energy efficiency work.

Both projects should see the creation of around 700 new jobs in the city’s construction sector.

Around 6,000 homes are due to be completed in the first three phases up to March 2015, with the first phase due to begin this month.

British Gas contractors SERS Ltd will fit the insulation while PCH will carry out the additional works such as canopies, gutterings and fascia.

The work has been made possible as part of the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) Deal - a government obligation on all energy companies to help residents of low income communities reduce heating bills by reducing carbon emissions.

PCH’s ECO deal builds on other energy efficiency enhancements carried out by the housing association over the last couple of years.

Clive Turner, PCH's chief executive, said: “This is a great win for more than 10,000 PCH tenants and their families and a further example of how we are determined to make our homes environmentally sustainable.

“We recognise that many of our tenants are in fuel poverty and this scheme aims to better insulate their homes, which should hopefully lead to lower energy bills."

Claire Williams, managing director of British Gas New Energy, added: “This is an extremely significant project and we’re delighted to be working with PCH to help around 10,000 homes across Plymouth.

“This is a long-term partnership and a great example of the community, a local housing provider and the council working together to make homes more energy efficient, more comfortable to live in and potentially lowering heating bills significantly.”

Pictured: Tim Peters, Head of ECO South, British Gas; Steve Gapik, Head of ECO, British Gas; Councillor Chris Penberthy, Plymouth City Council; Clive Turner, PCH chief executive

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