Southend homes in line for winter warmth
Low-income Southend households without central heating could be given help to keep warm this winter.
Southend-on-Sea Borough Council is part of a consortium of nine local authorities, led by Portsmouth City Council, which will be delivering new gas heating systems to low-income households with inefficient electric heating systems. Those receiving their first central heating system will also receive a free connection to the gas grid, where this is required. The total value of a gas connection and central heating system typically equates to £6,000.
The consortium and its partner AgilityEco, have been successful in attracting £7.4m in funding from various grants to pay for the project. It’s hoped the scheme will deliver 1,500 free central heating installations over three years, with around 300 households in Southend thought to be eligible.
Cllr Mark Flewitt, executive councillor for public protection, said: “We are proud to be taking part in this project, which will directly benefit some of the poorest households in the Borough who might face the prospect of choosing between heating and eating.
“Electric heating systems can be inefficient and ineffective. But for those on low-incomes, the cost of replacing them with gas central heating can be prohibitive. This scheme will cover the expensive installation and connection costs, keep homes warmer while actually reducing energy bills.”
This scheme is operating on a first-come, first-served basis and for a limited time only, so qualifying local residents are urged to get their application in early. A wide range of people would qualify, including those who have long term health issues or are on benefits or on low incomes.