Northumberland homes get help with heating

09 May 2017

Hundreds of householders  across Northumberland have had a  free central heating system installed in their homes  thanks to  a government scheme  to tackle  fuel poverty.

The £6.5m  scheme, which has now come to a close, aimed  to reduce fuel poverty and  improve the energy efficiency rating of homes by bringing free central heating systems  to those who needed it most.

Over the past year,  1472 properties across the north east  have had  heating installed but it is  Northumberland residents that has  benefited the most from the fund  receiving 458 installations -  the highest allocation in the region.

The Central Heating Fund has been delivered across the region by the Warm Up North partnership which comprises nine  local authorities, including Northumberland County Council.  

To qualify the householders had to meet a number of eligibility criteria including a joint household  income of less than £26,000, (including benefits)  and that there was  no existing central heating in the property.

Of those properties in the county that  had a  new central heating system installed ,  81 per cent  were  in rural areas and  many did not have access to a gas mains.

Steven Mason, Chief Executive of Northumberland County Council said:

“  It is great to see that the scheme has had such a fantastic  take up in the county.  Fuel poverty is a serious problem, particularly in rural areas like Northumberland but by offering this support we have been able to improve the energy efficiency of hundreds of Northumberland homes and improve the quality of life for all those who live in them.”

Mr and Mrs Telfer live in Warton Cottages near Thropton and recently had central heating installed.  Eileen Telfer said: “The new heating system has made such a difference to our home and our quality of life in the winter months.

“ We live in an old farm cottage and previously  had a coal fire which fed the radiators so  they never  got piping hot and it was always cold in the mornings.  Now we can wake up to  a warm house. It’s absolutely wonderful.”