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£3.2 million Grant to Cut Energy Bills of Surrey Homes in Fuel Poverty

Published on: 30 Sep, 2021
Updated on: 2 Oct, 2021

Heat exchange systems.

By Julie Armstrong

local democracy reporter

Low-income households in Surrey can access a pot of £3.2 million to cut their energy bills at a time of record prices.

Surrey County Council has accepted a second phase of green homes grants from the government to help households earning less than £30,000 to improve their energy efficiency, as the price of gas surges.

Each household can receive between £5,000 and £10,000 towards low carbon ground source heat pumps, which cost around £10,000, or solid wall insulation which costs about £13,000.

Councillor Marisa Heath, cabinet member for environment, said the funding would help improve the seven per cent of homes in Surrey in fuel poverty – those spending at least 10 per cent of their annual income on heating.

County council leader Tim Oliver said: “With gas prices as they are I really encourage people to use this grant.

“Of the things that affect people’s health and wellbeing and life expectancy, one of the key aspects of that is the quality of their housing.

“A cold, damp home is a major contributor to health issues such as respiratory diseases.”

With over a quarter (28 per cent) of Surrey’s carbon emissions coming from housing, the county council is keen for people to take up the offer to help achieve its goal of net-zero by 2050. It said the first grant of £6.9 million last October helped around 600 Surrey households.

Councillor Will Forster (LD, South Woking) asked how they would encourage private landlords to get the work done.

He said: “The challenge we’ve seen is that some landlords seem to have no interest in doing up their property for tackling fuel poverty, because it’s the tenants who see the benefits.”

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