Climate change is one of the greatest threats to both UK and global security and prosperity. There is an overwhelming scientific consensus that climate change is happening, and that it is very likely to be primarily the result of human activity. It is therefore vital that we reduce home energy use and as a result our carbon footprints, which contribute to climate change.
We have planned locally how we intend to work towards improving energy efficiency across housing with our affordable warmth strategy that runs from 2016 to 2019. The strategy and action plan it contains aims to bring agencies together to reduce health and poverty impacts and aid residents to gain access to energy efficiency grants and benefits. Progress will be published every two years in-line with requirements under the Home Energy Conservation Act (HECA). The latest report is the second Progress Update, outlining progress from April 2015 to March 2017 and our plans from April 2017 to March 2019. Authorities are required to publish further reports every two years.
Energy Company Obligation (ECO) is a requirement placed a few years ago on energy companies over a certain size to help improve domestic energy performance of the homes of the vulnerable. In the ECO2T phase that we are entering now there is a new additional facility called Flexible Eligibility. This is where the council can set criteria to direct assistance towards local private sector homes at risk of fuel poverty, but falling outside of the normal rules of ECO (usually qualifying benefits).
Following broad guidance from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), we can access, via our energy efficiency body Keep Herefordshire Warm, Flexible Eligibility funds on the production of this Statement of Intent.
Herefordshire Council has access to Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) data for over 20,000 properties in the county. Individual property EPCs can be accessed via Landmark Information Group or to view mapped EPC data for the county search our Energy Performance Certificates map.
Keep Herefordshire Warm
Keep Herefordshire Warm (KHW) is a partnership between Herefordshire Council and Marches Energy Agency (MEA). Increasing numbers of families and households are struggling to pay their energy bills and stay warm. Recent energy price rises are likely to have pushed even greater numbers into fuel poverty, potentially damaging households' quality of life and health, which can have wider costs for society. The KHW scheme aims to reduce fuel poverty and support vulnerable customers in heating their homes at an affordable cost.
A freephone advice line is available to all residents of Herefordshire and experts will be on hand to answer any energy query and provide information on the latest grants and assistance to improve the efficiency and warmth of people's homes. Information and advice can be provided on:
- Supplier/tariff switching to reduce fuel bills
- Energy efficiency measures (such as insulation, boilers) to help improve the comfort of the home
- Heating controls - many people struggle to use timers and temperature controls
- Heating repairs
- Fuel debts
- Energy efficiency grant availability
Household energy efficiency is a key factor; fuel poor families face a choice of living in the cold, experiencing physical and social detriment as a result, or coping with unnecessarily high energy bills caused by poorly insulated and/or inefficiently heated homes. Is your home poorly insulated? Enter a postcode or address to search for your property and view the heat loss. Take a look at our Herefordshire building heat loss map.
Signs of fuel poverty include:
- Cold or draughty houses
- Signs of mould around windows or in high corners
- Portable heaters
- Ventilators blocked up or covered
- Householder wearing lots of clothes indoors
To enquire about grants to help repair or replace your heating, check your eligibility for the Warm Homes Discount or for any other energy related advice, Herefordshire residents should contact:
- Keep Herefordshire Warm telephone: 0800 677 1432
- Text: 07583 740914
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact us about home energy related matters at email@example.com