Homes across Swansea which are reliant on expensive electric heating systems and solid fuels are to be given support to install cheaper gas central heating.
The Swansea Labour-led Council administration has approved a funding offer from the Warm Homes Fund (WHF).
This means £150m has been made available UK-wide to tackle fuel poverty and provide struggling householders with a cheaper way to heat their homes.
A total of £850,000 is available in Swansea, to be spent on installing gas central heating systems at properties which have been identified within the Lower Super Output Areas (LSOA) – meaning those properties which are at risk of being or are in fuel poverty.
The Council is set to work in partnership with City Energy, who will carry out the installations on behalf of the Council.
Labour Cllr Andrea Lewis, Cabinet Member for Homes, Energy & Service Transformation, welcomed the initiative. Cllr Lewis said: “Heating your property is a basic need but for some it can be a decision taken on the basis of costs and if they can afford it.
“This initiative is going to help many families at risk of fuel poverty, who are currently using very expensive methods to heat their homes.
“Homes within the city have already been identified and we will now work with these homeowners during the next year to replace their existing heating systems with improved gas central heating.”
The Labour administration has recently completed an innovative retrofit scheme to six council-owned bungalows in Craig Cefn Parc where expensive heating methods were being utilised because of an absence of a gas supply.
All the bungalows have had battery storage installed, along with solar roofing and ground source heating.
The scheme is also a partnership between Swansea Council and Cardiff University’s Welsh School of Architecture, to trial the ‘Homes as Power Stations’ project.
Cllr Lewis added: “This ground-breaking scheme is also another example of our commitment as a council in tackling fuel poverty and making use of innovative methods to enable council tenants to reduce their annual heating costs.
“As a Council, we have already made significant investment to improve the energy efficiency of our Council homes, with £1/2 billion invested through our Welsh Housing Quality Standard programme and our homes as power stations initiative, with new homes in Birchgrove.
“It is great to see this investment in privately owned homes to help further tackle fuel poverty which is one of our top priorities.”