Rural homes going green

Council tenants in two rural villages will be warmer and better-off thanks to a Government scheme to get renewable heating into social housing.

Rotherham Council has been awarded £117,504 for the improvement of 12 council homes in Ulley and Firbeck that currently use LPG, electricity and solid fuel heating.

Registered social housing providers were able to bid for up to £156,000 under the Government’s Renewable Heat Premium Payment Social Landlord competition.

Rotherham is one of 44 social housing projects across the country awarded a share of £3.2 million that will be used to get renewable heating into the homes of over 1,000 housing tenants.

Rotherham secured 30 per cent of the funding - £35,760 - from the Energy Saving Trust to buy air source heat pumps and will also invest £81,744 of its own resources for the rest of the work.

The council hopes the project will improve the quality of life of council tenants by replacing costly and non-renewable energy with air to water heat pumps that will provide space and water heating to replace the solid fuel and LPG heating systems currently installed.

Coun Rose McNeely, Cabinet Member for safe and attractive neighbourhoods said she was sure the improvements would be welcomed by the tenants.

“At a time of ever-increasing energy costs it will really cut down the risk of fuel poverty for these particular tenants,” she said.

“The sustainability of current heating solutions for people in rural areas is questionable and from an environmental point of view, their homes will be far greener.”

“CO2 emissions from these properties will be significantly reduced and it will also increase our understanding of how mixed technology solutions are used by our tenants.”

The measures will add to the council’s plans for improving social housing across Rotherham and allows it to look at the impact of renewable energy schemes before they are considered for wider use.

Andy Deacon, director of delivery at the Energy Saving Trust added: “The renewable heating scheme is providing social housing providers with much-needed financial support to install renewable heating in homes across the UK.”

“The winners of the renewable heating scheme are really deserving and will ensure that thousands of homes are more energy efficient and warmer this winter. Energy Saving Trust wishes the winners every success in the future.”