Plymouth homes to get £4.2million energy efficiency makeover

British Gas, Plymouth City Council (PPC) and Plymouth Energy Community (PEC) join forces to provide solid wall insulation to homes across Plymouth.

British Gas, Plymouth City Council (PCC) and Plymouth Energy Community (PEC) have announced a new energy makeover to offer private home owners in Plymouth solid wall insulation, via a £4.2million investment.

The new private scheme is part funded by British Gas’ Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) and the Government’s Green Deal Community Fund awarded to PCC. This follows an existing scheme in the city where 4,000 properties are being transformed by British Gas and Plymouth Community Homes.

The project will target several neighbourhoods in the city beginning at Whitleigh, where entire neighbourhoods will benefit from insulation makeovers. The work will be rolled out in other areas of Plymouth including St Judes, St Budeaux, Plympton, Southway, Woodford and Keyham.

The average solid wall three-bed house in the area can now receive up to £5,400 off the cost of solid wall insulation, which can help residents benefit from energy bill savings of up to £270 per year*. At present, Plymouth is the only place in the UK to receive this huge discount on solid wall insulation from British Gas. The company is urging private home owners in Plymouth to get in touch in order to take advantage of the scheme before winter begins.

Steve Gapik, from British Gas, said: “This is a pioneering scheme, it’s a first for the residents of Plymouth and for British Gas. Hundreds of families will benefit from energy improvements and the look and feel of their homes, and as a result, they can expect to enjoy a much more comfortable standard of living.

"We are proud to be working at the forefront of community regeneration and energy efficiency. Our work in Plymouth will make a real difference to the residents and the wider community. By taking a street by street approach, the whole community is set to benefit as we update the exterior of old draughty and thermally inefficient homes.”

Research by British Gas has uncovered that 60 per cent of Plymouth people believe their home doesn’t qualify for free insulation, despite it being available to every home that needs it.

Michael Blakeborough, 74, has lived at his privately-owned home in Whitleigh, Plymouth since 1978. He was considering options regarding the re-rendering of his property’s exterior when he decided to have external wall insulation fitted in October 2014.

He said: “The back of my house was in need of some work, but the cost was prohibitive and putting me off getting the job done. But I found out about the external wall insulation offer from British Gas and realised that, with the help of the grants on offer, I could have the entire house cladded for a third of the cost I had been quoted for just one wall.

“As well as the obvious benefit of making the house much more energy efficient, the work has already improved the look of my home dramatically, and is going to add to its value – so it’s been well worth getting the work done.”

Alistair Macpherson, from PEC, said: “The partnership between PEC, PCC, PCH and British Gas is helping thousands of homes in the city to reduce their fuel bills, energy use, and carbon emissions.”

Throughout Plymouth, British Gas has already committed to investing over £50m to improve the look, warmth and energy efficiency of both private properties as well as social housing.

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About British Gas’ ECO

The Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) focuses on providing energy efficiency measures to low income and vulnerable consumers and those living in 'hard to treat' properties.

The ECO replaces the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target and the Community Energy Saving Programme after the introduction of the Green Deal. British Gas has joined forces with Plymouth City Council and Plymouth Energy Community to market this offer to the Plymouth community, targeting appropriate properties that would most benefit from the measures. The scheme also aims to keep costs low, ensuring a greater amount of funding is available to improve other homes across the community.

* Figures sourced from the Energy Saving Trust