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Project announced to improve thermal insulation in Kent

A four-year project has been announced by the Mears Group to deliver energy efficiency and renewable energy measures for the Kent and Medway Sustainable Energy Partnership. The framework, which is expected to cost £15-25 million, is expected to reduce energy usage across the region and help residents enjoy the benefits of warmer homes and reduced fuel bills.

One of the project's key aims will be to improve solid wall insulation in the region. There are an estimated 112,000 solid wall properties in Kent that are untreated, while tens of thousands of properties with cavity walls also have no insulation, according to Mears Energy. The firm will also have the chance to bid for contracts to install solar PV on 150,000 domestic and non-domestic buildings.

Making improvements to the thermal efficiency of properties and installing renewable technologies can provide homeowners and building occupiers with a range of benefits, explained Matt Lucas, Director for Mears Energy. "These measures will provide a real means to reduce their spend on energy bills and lower energy waste," he said.

Mears Energy secured the contract due to their strong understanding of customers and their ability to manage environmental impact during the works. The company already works closely with a number of Kent local authorities and it is hoped that the existing working relationship will help to ensure the project goes smoothly.

Commenting on the new partnership, Carolyn McKenzie, head of sustainable business and communities at Kent County Council said: “[We] are delighted to have awarded the retrofitting framework and look forward to working with the companies on the framework to make Kent homes warmer and more energy efficient.”

The help in improving energy efficiency is sure to be welcome by many homeowners and occupants across the region. A recent study by think tank Policy Exchange found that nearly half of England's fuel-poor homes have at least one person in work - and that those living in the least efficient homes could be spending as much as £1,700 more per year on energy costs compared to homes that are properly insulated and draft-proofed.