Delay To Free Central Heating Upgrades For Some Islanders

hugh town housesFree central heating systems should still be offered to up to thirty islands’ households but the project timeline has slipped and it won’t be completed this winter.

Back in September, Radio Scilly reported that islanders with disabilities, locals on benefits or residents aged over 60 could be entitled to the upgrades, including new boilers and insulation.

Cornwall Council successfully applied for a share of a £25m government fund on our behalf, after they demonstrated that over one-fifth of Scilly properties don’t have central heating.

Islanders face another disadvantage. Many of us are in fuel poverty and spend a higher than average percentage of our income on keeping warm, made worse by the widespread use of electric heating. That’s considered more expensive than mains gas, which we don’t have.

This project was meant to have been completed by the end of June 2016 meaning tenants and homeowners would have been notified about work over the winter.

Project Leader Anthony Ball says that the funding agreement was signed by a minister on 15th October but Cornwall Council still needs to make one final approval later this month.

As the timeline for the works has moved, the programme will be extended until 31st August next year.