Free Central Heating To Be Offered To Islanders

hugh town housesFree central heating will be offered to some island homeowners and private tenants as part of Scilly’s share of a £1.3m funding package from the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

Up to thirty homes occupied by eligible locals could receive a new boiler, heating system and insulation.

The money has been awarded following a successful bid led by Cornwall Council. It was highly competitive and there were £65m worth of proposals applying for a share of a £25m funding pot.

The winning partnership included Scilly’s Council and the islands’ inclusion is thought to have strengthened the application, as we have the highest percentage of homes without central heating in England. Cornwall is at number three on the list.

Anthony Ball from Cornwall Council’s Public Health team says the funding will tackle what’s termed as ‘fuel poverty.’ That applies to someone who is spending a large proportion of their take home pay on heating and other energy costs.

236 households in Scilly are technically in fuel poverty and that’s partly because we don’t have mains gas here. Gas is generally cheaper for heating than electricity.

Anthony says his team are just finalising the assessments that will be used to decide who can have a free heating upgrade, but these are likely to include whether you receive child tax credits, have a disability or are over 60 years of age.

The work will begin this winter as the project has to be completed by the end of June next year.

Details on how to apply for the heating improvements or installations will be announced soon and Anthony says their partners, the energy company SSE, are experienced in delivering similar projects in challenging locations like the Scottish Islands.