Nearly £4m of government funding will provide energy efficiency upgrades for park homes across Central Bedfordshire, a meeting heard. An initial £990,000 in green homes grants for insulation and other improvements was shared among 100 of these premises locally.
“The local authority’s application was successful with an award of a further £3.9m which will benefit 400 park homes,” Central Bedfordshire Council’s executive was told.
The measures aim to help low income households, according to Conservative Dunstable Watling councillor Eugene Ghent, who’s the executive member for housing and assets.
“This new round of funding will enable the council to offer the grant across the whole of Central Bedfordshire to all park home residents who meet the criteria,” he explained.
“Successful applicants won’t be required to pay any money towards home improvements, which will include external wall, underfloor and loft insulation.
“These grants will cover the cost of the work up to a maximum of £10,000.
“Applicants must own their park home units, have an income of less than £30,000 and an energy rating of D or below.
“A full survey of all the units and a feasibility study for the works will be done before grants are agreed.
“If the work isn’t possible because of the age of the unit, alternative long-term housing options will be discussed with the occupants,” he said.
“The benefits for the residents will be a reduced risk of morbidity, improved wellbeing, more income from not spending as much on fuel, and a significant contribution towards the council becoming carbon neutral by 2030.
“It will improve the carbon footprint of these units and bring them up to an energy rating of at least C.
“The proposed contractor is an already approved one with experience of managing similar projects installing thermal cladding to park homes.”
All works are to be completed by a deadline of September 30th.
The executive was asked to agree “the receipt of a second award of green homes grants through the local authority delivery scheme“, said a report to councillors.
And it was asked “to approve a direct award of the contract for providing grant funded energy efficiency measures“.
Council leader and Conservative Arlesey councillor Richard Wenham said: “It’s absolutely excellent to receive this money to help some of our less well-off residents.
“This is not only directly with their fuel bills, but also contributing towards carbon neutrality within Central Bedfordshire.”
Nationally £500m was made available for councils to bid for through the local authority delivery scheme.
Central Bedfordshire Council identified 1,200 park homes on local sites, many of which are located away from mains gas and built before 2010, added the report.
“They have a low energy performance certificate (EPC) rating of E to F, which suggests homes are inefficient, resulting in fuel poverty and a carbon emission value that’s damaging to the environment.”
“Residents may be at an increased risk of poor health outcomes where excess cold is a factor, which has an impact on wider health costs.”
The executive unanimously approved both recommendations, with the award of a further contract to Cornerstones (East Anglia) Limited to manage the energy efficiency works.