Work is underway on the first phase of a £5million programme to reduce the risk of fuel poverty among hundreds of households in Paisley.
The phase one project will see more than 700 homes in the Gallowhill area benefit from measures to help residents save money on heating bills and make homes more energy efficient as part of a joint project between Renfrewshire Council and energy supplier E.ON.
The hard-to-heat properties, which were built in the 1930s, will receive external wall insulation, potentially saving residents hundreds of pounds each year on their energy bills.
The work is being carried out by energy company E.ON on behalf of Renfrewshire Council. This will be in addition to loft insulation work already carried out to homes in the Gallowhill area.
It is the first phase of work to begin after the council successfully pulled together a £5million package of funding based on extensive research showing that residents in the Gallowhill and George Street areas of Paisley are at high risk of fuel poverty due to poor wall insulation or outdated heating systems.
The major funding package, announced earlier this year, includes £3.35 million from the Scottish Government’s Home Energy Efficiency Programme for Scotland: Area Based Schemes (HEEPS:ABS) combined with over £700,000 from the council and around £1million from E.ON through its commitment to the Energy Company Obligation scheme.
Councillor Tommy Williams, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Housing and Community Safety Policy Board, said: “We have made a clear commitment to tackling the causes of poverty within our communities and have undertaken extensive work to research the areas where households are most at risk.
“These houses in Gallowhill are older and poorly insulated meaning they can lose energy and cost people more to heat.
“By pulling in funding and working with EON we are able to provide modern external wall insulation to more than 700 households for free. This will make a huge difference to people and make the houses more energy efficient for years to come.”
The project is part of the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme which requires energy suppliers to provide energy efficiency measures to people living in hard-to-heat homes and lower income and vulnerable households.
ECO is part of the Government’s strategy for cutting the amount of greenhouse gases generated from burning fossil fuels.
Steve Lauri from E.ON’s Energy Efficiency team, said: “Energy saving schemes like this bring real benefits to communities; not only to the thousands of people whose homes will be more comfortable and more affordable to heat, but also to the small businesses in Renfrewshire that will be working alongside us.
“Working with Renfrewshire Council gives us a wealth of local knowledge and because the work will be done predominantly by local people we are able to make sure the investment has a wider benefit beyond the people whose homes we help to improve.”
Renfrewshire Council has also launched a separate £6million fund to tackle child poverty in the area. The funding allocation comes months after the ground-breaking Renfrewshire Tackling Poverty Commission report published in March.