September 27th, 2016

Funding change angers residents

Funding change angers residents Funding change angers residents
Updated: 9:40 am, May 07, 2015

CHANGES to Government policy mean homeowners could end up forking out thousands for insulation their neighbours received for nothing.

Subsidies issued as part of the Energy Companies’ Obligation have meant both private homeowners and council tenants have been receiving external cladding for free.

But changes to the scheme mean those who own their homes are now no longer entitled to have the work funded by gas and electricity suppliers.

Although Green Deal funding has been secured by Redditch Borough Council to cover some of the bill, homeowners face having to pay between £1,000 and £2,000 if they want the work done.

They may also not be able to spread the payments, meaning if they do not have the money upfront they could end up missing out.

Rebecca Blake, Labour Parliamentary spokeswoman for Redditch, said properties in Woodrow and Winyates had already benefited from cladding fully funded by the energy industry but now people in neighbouring closes, which were some of the least energy efficient in the town, were at risk of losing out.

She added cheaper cavity wall insulation was not an option for the single concrete walls which often had damp so the council and private residents were funding the shortfall to carry out the work.

“While I am pleased the council has secured funding from the Green Deal for its own stock and private homes, why should people one side of the road have cladding for free while other homeowners have to pay around £2,000?” she said.

“If they are not eligible to spread their payments they may not be able to afford the cladding and will lose out on savings of approximately £120 a year and not benefit from a warmer home in the winter.

“And to add insult to injury, what will these closes look like for residents with some cladded and some not?”

Pedmore Close resident John Adams said: “If this work goes ahead it could depreciate the value of the properties with some having cladding and some not.

“It will look out of character. Either everyone does it or we shouldn’t do it at all.”

MP Karen Lumley said: “If these changes prevent the Energy Companies’ Obligation from working as it should then this is obviously a concern. I will of course be seeking clarification from the Department for Energy and Climate Change on this issue.”