The Wokingham Paper

Council grants plan will help borough tackle fuel poverty and reduce carbon emissions

solar panels
Solar panels on a home

HOW the council identifies residents who face fuel poverty in a bid to help them receive help was a question posed at a virtual meeting of Wokingham Borough Council on thursday, September 24. 

Daniel Hinton – who is Wokingham town council Conservative group leader – asked Cllr Gregor Murray, the executive member for Resident Services, Communications and Emissions for more details on the criteria used to priotise households. 

“Wokingham Council has 949 properties in (council tax) E, F, G bands,” he said. 

“In addition, from the database we can identify those older private properties that could benefit from this scheme, having a combined figure of 1,809 properties. These homes form our target group, which we will review against the eligibility criteria for this scheme.”

He added that local knowledge and experience will be essential for identifying those most in need. 

“These properties will receive a letter to invite those who meet the edibility criteria to contact us. We will liaise with our housing departments to target those on benefits or council tax benefits who could also benefit from this. 

“To be eligible, households must receive one or more of the benefits listed in the Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation (HHCRO) also known as the ‘the Affordable Warmth Obligation’.”

Cllr Murray added that he wanted a wide uptake opn the scheme “to ensure that energy efficiency measures are installed in as many eligible households as possible”. 

In response, Mr Hinton asked if the council’s scheme would be different to the government’s grants, which pays for up to two-thirds of the cost of green energy enhancements to the home. 

“This will be separate to the Government grant scheme, and many will be eligible for both,” Cllr Murray said.

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