RESIDENTS living in newly-designed homes in Huddersfield say they are dodging sky-high energy bills thanks to a pilot scheme.
Eight houses on Abbey Road, in Fartown, have been “retrofitted” with new windows, doors and roofs, along with thermal insulation in lofts, cavities and external walls.Resident Rebecca Simpson says she had been able to avoid the rise in energy bills thanks to her home being powered by ‘efficient’ energy[/caption]
The work was carried out by Kirklees Council last autumn and the residents claim their homes are warmer and cheaper to run as they use renewable technology to provide their heating and hot water.
One resident, Rebecca Simpson, who is part of the scheme, said she had been able to avoid the rise in energy bills thanks to her home being powered by “efficient” energy as the country is hit by an ongoing cost of living crisis.
Rebecca, 32, sufferers from epilepsy and had to move out of her home for six months during the work because she “could not do with the noise”.
She said: “It is way warmer and the house is brighter because they have opened up all of the windows. It is a bit more airy rather than stuffy and small. It has helped a lot – my house feels brighter.”
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Questioned if the scheme had helped her avoid costly energy bills as prices sky-rocketed for many people, she added: “It is cheaper now because it is all electric, but obviously bills have just gone up. I have been in here a month now, but because it has all gone up recently I am still paying what I would have been doing before.
“I am doing alright. It has not gone up like everyone else’s has, because it is efficient, but I am still paying the same in bills.”
Rebecca, a single mum, said it was “the way forward” and called for the scheme to be rolled out across Kirklees.
“It is an investment for the future,” she said. “Especially for people like me who have to budget for everything. It has helped a lot.”
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Another resident Belinda, who did not want to give her surname, said she had noticed a big difference in her home since the work had been completed.
She said: “The house is warmer and it is all electric now – we don’t use gas. The homes look beautiful as well.
“I would definitely recommend (living in a similar home). I have been here for 14 years and it was really cold before. I don’t know what the winter is going to be like, but right now the house is really warm.”
Belinda claimed her energy bills have fallen slightly since she moved back in.
She said: “I ‘punch’ and I don’t pay quarterly. It seems to be a bit less than what it was before – bills have gone down since I moved back in. I only have electric to pay, but obviously I am using more electricity.”
Kirklees Council leader Cllr Shabir Pandor has previously said the authority would need tens of millions of pounds to complete a retrofitting programme of more than 20,000 homes in the borough.
In March, Cllr Pandor said: “If we don’t do [retrofitting] at scale across the country we’re not going to meet our carbon efficiency targets.
“Projects like this one on Abbey Road help to deliver that. It’s a no-brainer. Why the government refuses to back local authorities to scale this up, I don’t know.”
WARNING OVER COST OF LIVING CRISIS
Last month the boss of the energy company Eon, Michael Lewis, warned the cost of living crisis could last for more than a year and a half.
He gave the gloomy prediction that millions of customers will be in fuel poverty when the price cap rises again in October.
He blamed most of the problems on the war in Ukraine – and said the situation will worsen in the months to come.
Many are already at breaking point, with bills set to dramatically leap as the colder months take hold, he said.
Households saw the energy price cap rise 54 per cent in April.
In October, it could rise 40 per cent – or an increase of £2,750 for the average dual fuel bill.
That’s a predicted increase of more than £700 from the current cap of £1,971, and would mean that energy prices would have doubled in just a year.
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He said the Government’s blueprint would be “more of a three, four or five-year answer” and it would do little to help Brits struggling to keep the heating on now.Eight homes have been ‘retrofitted’ to make them more energy efficient as part of a pilot scheme by Kirklees Council[/caption]
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