Half A Million To Insulate Oxford

11 December 2013

Council homes in Oxford are set to become more energy efficient after officials pledged to install £500,000 worth of insulation, it has been revealed.

Oxford City Council confirmed that it will look to better insulate 120 of its council homes in a bid to reduce carbon emissions and help lower the cost of fuel for those most in need of help.

The scheme will use funding obtained from the Energy Company Obligation, a Government initiative designed to provide financial assistance to low-income and vulnerable households.

External Wall Insulation will be fitted in 80 city properties while another 40 timber framed homes will be fitted with appropriate insulation.

“Many of the council’s 7,800 properties are in the 15 per cent most deprived areas – Rose Hill, Barton, Northfield Brook in Greater Leys and Blackbird Leys,” explains Debbie Haynes, an Oxford City Council project manager.

“As the majority of funding available for social housing is for Cavity Wall Insulation and External Wall Insulation, these energy efficiency measures are being prioritised.

“Solid Wall Insulation is expensive to install, typically around £10,000 per unit. Therefore [Energy Company Obligation] funding enables a larger scale roll-out, making a significant difference to the quality of the housing stock.”

News of the insulation scheme follows on from the council’s previous efforts to improve the energy efficiency of its social housing. Under a variety of schemes, the council has already installed Cavity Wall Insulation into nearly 3,500 properties as well as upgrading 3,900 boilers to condensing models.

More than 400 council houses in the region have already benefited from External Wall Insulation.

According to the Energy Saving Trust, External Wall Insulation can save the average bill payer up to £490 per year. The installation of Cavity Wall Insulation could save up to £140 per year.

The move to better improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions in and around Oxford comes as the Government looks to revamp its national green initiatives.

The Energy Company Obligation recently underwent changes to further lower the cost of fuel bills while the Green Deal is beginning to show positive results after a slow start.

The Green Deal allows all householders to apply for a loan to pay for energy efficient improvements, including Loft Insulation and Solid Wall Insulation. The cost of the loan is repaid via a property’s electricity bill.

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