26 installation companies sign up to Affordable Warmth Scheme

Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council has announced that 26 local installation companies have signed up to be part of its Affordable Warmth Scheme. They will work together to carry out energy efficiency and heating system works in a bid to help tackle fuel poverty.

The companies were represented at a recent information seminar on the scheme, which is being delivered in partnership with the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) and the Department for Social Development. Through the programme, eligible households will be offered a package of energy efficiency and heating measures such as cavity and solid wall insulation, loft insulation, draught proofing, boiler and radiator replacement, window replacement and repair or the conversion and installation of a heating system.

According to the council, around half of the heat loss in a typical home is through the walls and loft. This results in increased heating costs to maintain an ambient temperature. It says that loft insulation can help reduce a property's energy bills by up to £150 per year.

Speaking at the event, the mayor, councillor Thomas Beckett, said the council is delighted to be managing the scheme, as it should help to improve health and wellbeing for local people.

So far, the council has had 650 surveys submitted to the NIHE and more than 200 are waiting for approvals. The monetary spend of energy improvements in the area to date is £495,000.

Alderman Allan Ewart, chairman of the council’s Development Committee said it was good to see so many local companies showing interest in the scheme, which should last three to five years.

"The investment by central government in improving our housing stock and in turn reducing the fuel poverty figures in the area is significant and much appreciated by the council on behalf of its residents," he said.

Mr Ewart added that local companies will benefit from being a registered installer on the scheme, as it should hopefully improve local employment figures and the economy.

"Should a householder not be eligible for this scheme then the council officers will advise of any appropriate energy savings and grant assistance programmes as the council is mindful of the reduced disposable incomes as the Northern Ireland economy slowly recovers," he explained.