Fact-finding mission for DECC

deccA team of officials from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has visited a housing estate in order to examine the challenges faced by occupants of some of the poorest housing stock in the UK.

In an event organised by the National Insulation Association (NIA) and its member Hamilton (Building Contractors), the tour of the Holme Wood Estate in Bradford took place on October 27 and was designed to illustrate the benefits of solid wall insulation.

Neil Marshall, chief executive of the NIA, said: “Fuel Poverty affects millions of households in the UK and the situation can occur in all areas and demographics of the country. However, this can be particularly prevalent in poorly maintained housing and the types of private rented and owner occupied properties found in inner cities. The Holme Wood Estate in Bradford is an example of fuel poverty and poor insulation at its most extreme. But, as can be seen with this on-site examination of the problems, steps are being taken to meet the challenges and address the situation.”

During the three-hour visit, the group examined housing before, during and after the installation of external wall insulation, as well as assessing the differences between today’s solutions and those of 25 years ago. The group also had
the chance to talk with members of the local community and residents to discuss the issues
they face on a day-to-day basis and how the installation of external wall insulation has helped make a difference to their lives.

Local resident, Mr Ali, of Holmewood Road commented: “I had my house done a few months ago and I’ve already seen the benefits. It’s so much warmer and I’m not spending half as much to get it even warmer than I used to be able to. I know that my neighbours that haven’t had theirs done are desperate, especially now winter is on the way.”

Mr. Marshall said: “This was a really important visit for DECC as it allowed them to see first-hand how ECO measures are utilised to support those at risk of fuel poverty. I know that DECC are currently thinking about their future policy options for ECO, so I’m sure they will have gained a number of really useful insights from Bradford Council about the challenges around fuel poverty and what can be done to help overcome them.”

Daniel Mackie, business development director from Hamilton (Building Contractors), said: “For 20 years, we have been delivering the benefits of external wall insulation to homes such as these in Holme Wood, with the socially owned properties being the first to benefit through schemes like decent homes. Now though, those left living in thermally inefficient properties, are generally in the private sector and more needs to be done to support those most in need, those in fuel poverty. Hopefully days like today can play a part in shaping that support.”


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