Northumberland County Council to Offer Energy Efficiency Assessments
By Anne Lewis-Schneider
Residents in Northumberland are set to benefit from 50 free home assessments from the biggest energy efficiency project in the UK as part of the government Green Deal Scheme. Warm Up North is offering the 50 free assessments in Northumberland to show residents just how much they will be able to save by making their homes more energy efficient and has the approval of North East Councils in nine districts including that of the area where the assessments will be offered.
The assessments normally cost £99 per household and are going to be made available on a first come first served basis for Northumberland homes, and the aim is to show just how much can be saved by taking up the Green Deal Offer which is available through the government. A certified assessor will advise homeowners on what changes can be made to make their homes more energy efficient and as a result bring down electricity and gas bills for residents.
Local Green Deal companies will be ready to assist with installations should a home owner decide to proceed with energy saving improvements, which will include the replacement of old boilers, upgrading of heating systems, wall and loft insulation, and also the installation of solar panels on houses. The assessments will be done with no obligation to take up the suggestions put forward by the assessor, but those wanting to proceed will be assisted by Warm Up North in getting the right contractors to do the job. Green Deal Finance will be available for those residents who qualify and repayments can be made by using the savings that will be achieved on energy bills so there will be no need for a capital outlay to implement the changes and in some cases there may be an additional cash back payment as well.
The head of operations of Warm Up North is Mr Jon Kershaw who says that he hopes that home owners will take advantage of the Green Deal Assessments in each local authority area and resolve to make a change in the costs of energy that they are currently paying by implementing the changes that will save them in the long run. The energy saving measures will not only save on energy bills but will lead to more comfortable conditions in homes overall.
Allan Hepple is the councillor and policy board member who has the responsibility of Northumberland’s housing department at the County Council. He has said that the scheme on offer is a great opportunity for home owners to make a difference in their energy bills. He says that he has seen the impact that the scheme can have on a household through the results of a pilot project that has taken place in Northumberland. He says that the benefits are substantial and have been a part of tackling fuel poverty in the area. He also says that local contractors have been bidding to get the contracts to provide improvements in the area.
The free assessments are being made available in the following areas: South Tyneside and Sunderland, Redcar and Cleveland, Gateshead, Darlington, Durham, Hartlepool, Newcastle, Sunderland and Northumberland.
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