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ENERGY CRISIS - Herefordshire Must Address Problem of Homes Leaking Heat


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A one-off government grant reflecting housing growth in Herefordshire may be used to support insulating the county’s extensive stock of leaky homes making them warmer and healthier.

Herefordshire’s Coalition councillors will argue on Friday that the New Homes Bonus, a grant of £1.33 million, should be used as part of the county’s Climate Reserve to support county residents in insulating their homes and keeping warm.

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‘Limiting the amount of energy we have to put into our homes, and the amount we are losing out of them is crucial at a time when energy costs are rocketing,’ said Coun Liz Harvey, who will argue that developing the insulation opportunities will benefit everyone in the county and help them to keep their energy bills down.

Speaking on the day that BP announced profits of £9.4 billion while householders are struggling to pay energy bills, Coun Harvey said that advice, skills and support for householders in making their homes energy efficient would ‘pay you back every day’.

‘We will use the government bonus payment for new homes that have recently been built in Herefordshire to help householders living in all the homes that already exist to deal with the energy crisis that we are facing. It is the right thing to do for residents and for the environment. Not only will this impact current generations, but future home-owners and occupants for generations to come,’ said Coun Harvey. ‘Things are only going to get worse with energy supply and the easiest and quickest thing we can all do at a local level is to cut down on the energy we use.’

Councillors in Herefordshire will vote on the budget on Friday and it is anticipated that the New Homes Bonus will be an area of contention as some councillors may fail to see the benefits of using the grant to support this sort of action here in Herefordshire.

Coun Ellie Chowns said: ‘We already know that there are 87 000 homes leaking heat in Herefordshire. For the sake of the people living in those leaky homes we must address this issue and help residents save money, keep warm and do the right thing for the environment. Insulation and retrofit has enormous potential for residents and businesses in the county – as a responsible authority we must invest in it.’

Insulating Herefordshire’s properties is one of the key issues raised by the Citizens’ Climate Assembly held in January 2022 as a consequence of a unanimous vote by councillors back in 2019 to create a forum to look at environmental issues and solutions in the county. The Coalition is maintaining a Climate Reserve to ensure that important projects addressing climate and ecological issues can access funding when necessary.

#HerefordVoice | #HerefordNews | #Herefordshire

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