An innovative project to keep homes warm and insulate residents from spiralling energy bills has been praised by the Prime Minister David Cameron.
Mr Cameron toured the Bayonne estate this morning to see how local council tenants are benefiting from new cavity wall insulation thanks to a combination of government grants and an innovative partnership between Hammersmith & Fulham (H&F) Council and Climate Energy Ltd.
283 homes in the Fulham estate will benefit from new cavity wall insulation – with the works coinciding with the council’s Decent Homes programme to reduce the need for extra scaffolding and disruption.
More than 100 properties have been completed so far and with a cold winter predicted and energy companies under fire for spiralling energy bills the Prime Minister decided to see for himself how the scheme is working on the ground.
Ann and John Ford, who have lived on the Bayonne estate for more than 20 years, invited Mr Cameron in for a cup of tea and a chat about how they have benefited from the scheme.
Ann added: “The works were no problem and the builders turned up with dustsheets and since they have finished we have noticed a big difference.”
Homes built after the mid-1940s are likely to have a cavity between the two external walls – contributing to heat loss and higher energy bills. Speaking in the Fords’ living room, ahead of an energy summit at Number 10, the Prime Minister said the government was acting ‘harder and faster’ to bring the price of bills down.
Mr Cameron said: “We need to make the energy market more competitive and it is also in all of our interests to get as many homes as possible insulated properly so we can get bills down and keep warm.”
The homes of elderly residents in other parts of the borough have also been prioritised with the improvements expected to slash £100 a year off each property’s energy bill and cut each home's carbon emissions by around a ton.
Cllr Andrew Johnson, H&F Cabinet Member for Housing, says:
“In these tough times we have been doing our bit for residents by cuttings bills like council tax, but now we also to want to insulate our tenants from spiralling energy bills where we can. A combination of government grants and good joint working on the ground is creating more energy
efficient council homes in the borough that are both warmer and crucially result in lower bills for our residents too.”
Earlier this month the council announced that residents in Shepherds Bush Green Ward are being offered a free home visit to help lower their utility bills by up to £160 a year.
The scheme is being carried out by part of the RE:NEW initiative, a London-wide scheme funded by the Mayor of London and run in collaboration with H&F Council to increase energy efficiency of homes
in the capital.
This ward has been chosen because there is a good mix of tenures and it has not benefited from previous schemes. Home visits are also available for a limited number of residents outside this ward. The council has arranged for home energy advisers from Climate Energy to visit 1,600 homes, to advise residents on how they can improve the energy and water efficiency of their homes.