Norwich residents are being encouraged to apply for funding for energy efficiency improvements ahead of this winter, as a new strategy to tackle fuel poverty is agreed.
Norwich City Council’s new Sustainable Warmth Strategy 2022-2025, which has been agreed by cabinet and builds upon the work of the previous Affordable Warmth Strategy, is vital for leading and coordinating all the activities the council undertakes to reduce fuel poverty.
One of the ways the council is helping to reduce household bills and carbon emissions is through its retrofit programme. This includes £3.7 million available to private homeowners to apply for measures such as solar, insulation and more efficient boilers through the council’s partner Eon. Residents can find out more and apply for home improvement upgrades on Eon’s website.
The new strategy, and accompanying action plan, sets out commitments to ensuring the most vulnerable receive targeted support, new solutions and funding are identified for greater energy efficiencies in both council and private housing, promoting the council’s white label energy provider, and more. The ultimate goal is to eradicate fuel poverty in Norwich within the timescale of the 2040 City Vision.
Significant progress has already been made to make homes in Norwich cheaper to heat in recent years. This includes the success of the council’s ongoing energy efficiency housing retrofit programme – over the past five years improvements have been made to over 1,800 properties and 98% of council homes now meet current building regulations for existing properties including for loft insulation, wall insulation and draft proofing. Installation of energy-saving measures in private homes has been enabled through the council’s Cosy City scheme, leveraging over £170,000 in grants to date.
Councillor Emma Hampton, Cabinet member for climate change and digital inclusion at Norwich City Council, said:
“Too many people in Norwich are unable to heat their homes affordably and sustainably. Our Sustainable Warmth Strategy sets out how we will tackle the blight of fuel poverty in the city, protect residents as the cost of living continues to rise and cut carbon emissions from heating.
“Ultimately, two of the most important solutions to fuel poverty are going to be increasing household income and improving the energy efficiency of homes so people pay less for their bills. This requires joined up working throughout the council and in partnership across and beyond the city.
“I encourage all residents to explore what retrofit options are available to them. With millions of pounds available through our partner Eon, we are helping make energy efficiency more affordable. Go online, enter your details and see what is available to you today.
“The scale of the cost of living and climate challenges means we also need the government to properly fund councils to go further and faster – with this looking unlikely currently, it makes it even more important that we offer as much support and protection to local residents and communities as we can. It means showing leadership, and continuing to be bold and ambitious.”
Read the full Sustainable Warmth Strategy 2022 – 2025 and Action Plan here.
The council’s cost of living support page signposts Norwich residents to further financial support, as well as organisations that are able to offer advice.