Energy efficiency scheme has a positive impact on fuel poverty and carbon emissions
Buckinghamshire Council’s Better Housing Better Health scheme seeks to reduce the number of people in fuel poverty across the county by making their homes more energy efficient. This allows people to better afford the heat they need, helping to improve their health and wellbeing – while at the same time helping to reduce the county’s carbon footprint.
Better Housing Better Health operates through a network of health and social care agencies that make referrals to the scheme when they identify a household that is vulnerable to health and wellbeing problems through fuel poverty – the inability to easily afford the fuel for their home.
The scheme is coordinated by energy-efficiency charity the National Energy Foundation on behalf of Buckinghamshire Council, and operates by pulling in available funding from relevant grant programmes such as Eco Flex that are used to carry out the energy efficiency improvements to people’s homes.
The latest Better Housing Better Health annual report sets out what the scheme has achieved over the last year:
- 210 referrals of vulnerable households by health and social care agencies
- Over 500 interventions to improve the energy efficiency of homes
- Over £138,000 of grant funding spent on installing energy efficiency measures
- An estimated saving of £76,980 in people’s fuel costs over time
- An estimated reduction of 369,207 kg of CO2 emissions.
Angela Macpherson, Buckinghamshire Council Cabinet Member for Health & Wellbeing, said: “Fuel poverty is a known contributing factor to poor health. The Better Housing Better Health programme gives health and social care agencies a way to intervene and help alleviate the situation when fuel poverty is a factor in someone’s health or wellbeing problems.”
Mark Winn, Deputy Cabinet Member for Housing, Homelessness & Regulatory Services, said: “Poor energy efficiency is often a problem with older housing stock or where a householder has not been able maintain their dwelling properly. The Better Housing Better Health programme is a way in which we can target vulnerable households where better energy efficiency can make a big difference to their budget and help in the fight against climate change.”
Peter Strachan, Cabinet Member for Climate Change & Environment, said: “Not only does the Better Housing Better Health programme benefit individual households, but it also makes a valuable contribution to Buckinghamshire Council’s efforts to reduce the county’s carbon footprint.”