Homes in Coventry and Solihull are set to receive ‘super-efficient insulation and low-carbon heating technology’ to help tackle soaring fuel bills while reducing energy use and gas emissions at greenhouse effect. Foleshill in Coventry and Elmdon in Solihull are the first two areas to be chosen to receive part of the £19million funding secured by the government’s Midlands Energy Hub last year.
A total of £2.86million will be invested in 300 homes by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA). Other plans will help another 1,700 old and cold homes under state-funded renovation programs as the region seeks to step up action to tackle climate change and reduce fuel poverty.
Homes will undergo a “deep renovation” using state-of-the-art insulation with options for solar panels and low-carbon heating systems. Each home will be individually assessed to ensure the most effective action is taken with additional measures such as exterior insulation of the property and installation of new energy sources also made available.
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Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “We are delighted to award this first round of funding to homes in Elmdon and Foleshill. Working with our partners in Solihull and Coventry, we have identified 300 homes that need this work the most, not only to reduce carbon emissions but also to help people cope with the challenges of rising bills fuel.
“Government investment of this type is absolutely vital if we are to achieve our home improvement goals, and this neighborhood approach to both the Sustainable Heat Competition funding and our Net Zero Neighborhood Demonstrators, together with our partners in the local authorities, will assure us that we deliver on the ground.
Councilor Jim O’Boyle, Cabinet Member for Jobs, Regeneration and Climate Change for Coventry City Council, added: ‘We know for some there are long standing issues with the energy poverty in this city and with an ongoing increase in energy prices, it’s only going to get worse. This funding will provide these low-income households with a way to make their homes more energy efficient, which will help them reduce their energy bills.
“By taking a place-based approach to implementing this program, we hope to make a real difference. People may be wary of offers of free, lower-cost energy-saving programs, but what this initiative will test is whether we can overcome this with lots of direct, one-on-one conversations. And by focusing on this area alone, we’ll be able to engage more of our residents and hopefully create an entire community full of energy-efficient, cost-effective, low-carbon homes.
“We are committed to ensuring that our city is a clean and green place to live and work, which is why Coventry is the perfect location for this project. This city is leading the green industrial revolution and this programme, which will run alongside our city-wide project Keeping Coventry Warm, has a major role to play. Even better, residents will feel the real benefits.