Cornwall Council has joined forces with Community Energy Plus to help park home owners to save money on their fuel bills and stay warm.
As park homes can be inefficient at retaining heat and are usually excluded from government schemes which provide free or discounted insulation, the Council and Community Energy Plus will help residents fund insulation and energy saving measures.
The Council’s Green Cornwall Programme has put £500,000 towards the scheme to part fund external wall, roof and floor insulation. Residents wanting to take advantage of the scheme will be offered a grant to cover up to 50% of the costs, and access to an interest free loan to cover the rest.
“Park homes often have the lowest energy efficiency ratings, and insulating them can significantly improve living conditions and increase the lifespan of the home,” Nicola McCheyne, Project Delivery Team Manager for Community Energy Plus. “With the majority of residents being over 65, it is especially important that they are able to have an adequately heated home.”
“This is a real step forward which I heartily applaud,” said Councillor Derris Watson, Chair of the Council’s Housing Task Group. “The scheme contributes to the aims of the Council’s Housing Investment Plan by assisting vulnerable groups who are not currently eligible for Government funding in the same way that those living in bricks and mortar homes are.”
An initial pilot of the scheme will see external wall insulation and energy saving measures fitted in 10 park homes. Measures include external cladding, roof and floor insulation and, where required, windows and doors will be upgraded to Upvc units. Research has shown insulating a park home can cut combined heating and electricity costs by around 30% to 40%.
“Excessively cold living conditions are directly linked to respiratory and coronary illnesses, and increased accidents within the home caused by mobility impairment,” said Stuart Kenney, Cornwall Council’s Private Sector Housing Manager. “Providing a warm environment in park homes benefits the wider society by reducing the costs to the NHS by a decline in cold weather related GP appointments and hospital admissions.
“Reducing the cost of heating a park home will also help cut the number of households in Cornwall living in fuel poverty.”
“I am pleased that the Council, and Community Energy Plus, have been able to step in to offer this support to park home residents,” said Councillor Mark Kaczmarek, Cornwall Council portfolio holder for Housing and Planning. “Improving home insulation will make a real difference not only to fuel bills, but also the property’s ability to retain heat.”
For more information or to register for the insulation scheme contact Community Energy Plus on 0800 954 1956 or [email protected]