Spire Homes’ Winter Warmer
Published by Ceri Jackson for Longhurst Group in Housing and also in Bill Payments, Communities, Environment
A tenants' home after solid wall insulation
Homes across Northamptonshire and Rutland will be wrapping up warm this winter as Spire Homes continue to roll out their energy saving insulation project.
The local housing provider successfully secured a £1.7 million grant to insulate over 400 houses with solid walls in a bid to reduce living costs for tenants. 317 homes in Northamptonshire and 120 in Rutland will benefit from the money made available through the new ECO scheme placing further responsibility for the promotion of energy efficiency on the energy suppliers.
The grant will be used to partially fund the installation of solid wall insulation as part of Spire Homes’ ongoing commitment to reduce the environmental impact of their housing stock and join the fight against fuel poverty. Research from the Energy Savings Trust indicates that the measures can reduce fuel costs for occupiers by up to 25%.
“The rising cost of living and the changes to the benefit system are putting an extra strain on people’s finances but these eco-friendly improvements should help ease the pressure on those struggling to keep their homes warm. We always try to support our tenants, but now more and more people need help with fuel bills so we need to work towards a long term solution and this is a fantastic step in the right direction” Julie Doyle, Spire Homes Managing Director.
Securing the substantial funding means that Spire will be able to bring these environmental changes to their houses in half the time they originally anticipated with the project now due to be completed by March 2015.
“The ECO grant is great news for our tenants who won’t have to wait as long to benefit from warmer homes and lowers fuel costs. Welfare reform will impact on the lives of so many Spire tenants but this funding gives us the opportunity to ease the pressure of cut backs and help people avoid falling in to fuel poverty” said Mark Rogers, Head of Property Services for Spire Homes.
Spire Homes will be working in partnership with Thomas Vale Construction to deliver the insulation and the improvements. “Establishing this joint venture with Spire Homes is a fantastic way for us to improve housing for people especially with the high cost for energy. Thomas Vale is looking forward to working with local supply chain partners to deliver these external wall insulation programmes to properties in Northamptonshire and Rutland” added Peter Hood, Divisional Director at Thomas Vale Construction.