Croydon Council has approved a three-year scheme to save low-income households at least £400 on their energy bills by making their homes warmer.
The Croydon Healthy Homes initiative was approved at cabinet on Monday (19 March), and will give over 600 struggling households help with their energy costs, including:
• Free energy assessments
• Support to find the best tariffs for gas and electricity
• A property survey to see if they need larger energy-saving measures, such as wall insulation
• Advice on whether they are eligible for means-tested help with their bills
Each assessment will include the fitting of small energy-efficiency measures such as radiator reflector panels, support with energy bills and advice on avoiding damp and mould issues.
Eligible households will also be referred to the Greater London Authority’s Warmer Homes scheme, which funds the installation of new energy-efficient boilers, cavity wall and loft insulation, and other improvements for homeowners on benefits.
Residents receiving these assessment visits can also find out about other local support such as fire safety and healthier living. In addition, the council plans to offer energy-saving and money-saving advice to the wider public at eight outreach events across the borough next autumn and winter.
The new scheme followed a trial in the winter of 2016/17, which fitted for free energy-saving measures that will save 213 Croydon households in the private sector an average of £416 each over a 15-year period. They also received advice ranging from the benefits of installing energy-saving lightbulbs to support with damp or mould issues.
The £96,000 scheme is being delivered through the Section 106 Community Energy Fund, which developers contribute towards to offset their schemes’ carbon footprints.
Based on Government figures, Croydon has 14,085 households that are considered to be fuel poor, meaning they have higher than average energy costs that would leave them with a disposable income below the poverty line.
Croydon Healthy Homes is designed for homeowners and residents in the private rented sector, who can refer themselves or be referred by professionals such as GPs or social workers.
Councillor Stuart King, cabinet member for transport and environment, said: “Poor energy efficiency is bad for the environment and bad for household budgets. It also disproportionately affects vulnerable people living in households in fuel poverty. This scheme gives those households free support to help reduce their fuel bills as well as make the borough more energy-efficient.”
Councillor Alison Butler, deputy leader and cabinet member for homes, regeneration and planning, said: “Many households in the private sector across the borough struggle to be able to both keep warm in winter and pay their bills, so I’m pleased the council can help through this new scheme.”