Portsmouth City Council has been successful in a bid for £3.1 million of grant funding to assist with the installation of energy efficiency measures in up to 300 additional households across Portsmouth and Gosport.
The funding will form a key component in treating some of the least energy efficient homes across the cities by offering solid wall insulation and upgraded heating controls to residents. As part of Portsmouth City Council, Switched On Portsmouth will deliver these measures alongside all other household energy efficiency schemes currently made available by the council.
The grant will allow qualifying households to receive solid wall insulation for free up to a value of £10,000; with all other homes with hard-to-treat walls being eligible for 66% of the total cost, to a total of £5,000. Solid walls in homes allow for heat to escape easily, meaning higher fuel bills. Insulation helps to trap the heat within the home, making it warmer, easier and cheaper to heat, and reducing the carbon emissions from the property. In all, the scheme could save £43,500 annually from households in Portsmouth; and reduce carbon emissions by 177 tonnes per year.
The council has worked hard over the past year to increase the energy saving and fuel poverty mitigation services it offers. In November 2019, it launched the Switched On Portsmouth website and approved a residential home energy and water efficiency strategy. This year, Switched On Portsmouth published its 19-20 Impact Report, providing information on how it has helped 1,149 home.
Commenting upon the announcement of the funding award, Councillor Dave Ashmore, Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change, said, “I am over the moon to be able to announce the award of this funding. Treating solid walled homes in the city has always been difficult to fund, despite the enormous benefit to the households’ energy usage and carbon emissions. Domestic properties are responsible for around 15% of carbon emissions, with solid wall homes often being those with the highest emissions, so this is an important step on our journey to net zero carbon by 2030.”
The scheme is being managed by the council’s long-time partners, Agility Eco, who help to run a number of other schemes for Portsmouth City Council, including the Warmer Homes fund, to which this will be an addition. Agility Eco CEO, Gearoid Lane, welcomed further support in Portsmouth, “We’re delighted to have the opportunity to build on our partnership with Portsmouth City Council to help low income households stay warm and well. Working together over the years we have supported hundreds of households by installing efficient new heating systems, insulating properties to a high standard and providing energy and money-saving advice. This project will ensure Portsmouth continues to lead the way on reducing carbon emissions and eliminating fuel poverty.”
The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has provided the funding. The grant funding comes from the Local Authority Delivery (LAD) scheme; part of a wider energy efficiency budget announced by the Chancellor in July.
The council has previously been successful in securing grant funding for home visits, a telephone advice line and free first-time central heating installations. More details of the scheme will be announced in coming weeks, so please visit switchedonportsmouth.co.uk/green-homes-grant-form to register interest in the Warmer Homes insulation scheme, and find information about other schemes which can help households in Portsmouth and the surrounding areas save money on their energy bills.