Hip, Hip Hooray! First NEA health and innovation projects announced during NEA’s Warm Homes Campaign

As Great Britain prepares itself for Arctic conditions, NEA, the national fuel poverty charity, is delighted to announce the first projects to be funded under a £26.2 million health and innovation programme which will bring affordable warmth to over 6,000 fuel poor and vulnerable households in England, Wales and Scotland. NEA believes this is the biggest Great Britain-wide programme designed and delivered by a national charity that puts fuel poverty alleviation at its heart.

The programme is split into three distinct funds; two programmes are being delivered by NEA – the Technical Innovation Fund and Warm and Healthy Homes Fund; and the third is being delivered by NEA’s subsidiary Warm Zones cic. In Scotland a Healthy Homes Fund is being delivered by Energy Action Scotland (EAS).

The Technical Innovation Fund aims to facilitate community-level trials of innovative solutions utilising measures not traditionally within the scope of current fuel poverty and retrofit energy efficiency programmes. One of the first contracts has been agreed with Moat, a registered charitable housing association, and is being launched as NEA’s Warm Homes Campaign gains momentum. Jason Amos, Director of Property Services said: “We are delighted to be awarded £250,000 to help support the delivery of this very innovative renewable energy solution to our customers at Fletchers Close in Bromley, working in partnership with Mears, Ground-Heat and Vaillant.”

Mr Amos added: “This funding has enabled us to replace the existing gas-fired commercial boilers that serve the 56 apartments at Fletchers Close with individual Vaillant geoTHERM ground-source heat pumps, a new Vaillant product that has not yet been launched to the commercial market.”

The Warm and Healthy Homes Fund is supporting local health and housing partnerships to better address the needs of households at risk of cold-related illness as recommended in the guideline produced by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). The need for programmes that address the health impacts of living in cold homes is clearly demonstrated by the ONS recently publishing the highest number of excess winter deaths across England and Wales this century. An innovative partnership in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire is one of the first to be announced.

Rina Jones, Partnership Manager, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Local Authorities’ Energy Partnership said: “This funding has provided a fantastic opportunity for the partnership to significantly increase the number of householders we can target for help who are both in fuel poverty and suffer with long term health conditions made worse by a cold home. These residents often spend much of their time at home but are unable to afford to heat their home to a safe temperature or to invest in energy efficiency improvements.

With this funding we will be able to install new cost efficient heating systems and insulation for free where other funding streams are not available due to the cost or complexity of the measures required. Together with assistance we are providing to maximise household income, this funding is helping to keep people warm and well and improving their overall wellbeing. At a time of year when the NHS is really stretched we can also see how this funding is helping to reduce the strain on A&E and GP practices in our area.”

Jenny Saunders OBE, Chief Executive of NEA said: “This is a new and exciting programme for NEA. We know that the solutions to tackling fuel poverty require innovation and need to be tailored to local communities and this fund has given us the opportunity to test out a range of solutions. We will be announcing over 60 projects in the coming weeks.

Warm Zones cic has already installed substantial physical energy efficiency measures in 1,405 homes through their fund and to date 738 households have been provided with energy efficiency and welfare benefit take-up advice.

The programme will run until the end of 2017 and the results will be fully evaluated to demonstrate the impact it has had across Great Britain.

*ENDS*

Notes to Editors

  1. National Energy Action (NEA) is the national charity which aims to eradicate fuel poverty and campaigns for greater investment in energy efficiency to help those who are poor and vulnerable. For more information on NEA visit: www.nea.org.uk
  2. For more information on the Health and Innovation Programme visit: www.nea.org.uk
  3. The programme is being delivered in England and Wales by NEA and in Scotland by Energy Action Scotland. For more information on EAS visit: www.eas.org.uk
  4. For further information on Warm Zones cic visit: www.warmzones.co.uk
  5. The programme is launched as part of NEA’s Warm Homes Campaign. For further information go to http://www.nea.org.uk/campaigns-policy/warm-homes-campaign/.
  6. Further information on the projects mentioned above contact: Catherine.aldridge@moat.co.uk or visit www.moat.co.uk or www.mearsgroup.co.uk or www.ground-heat.co.uk or www.vaillant.co.uk and Rina.jones@derbyshire.gov.uk
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