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June 2022

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Published on 8 June 2022

Lower-income households invited to apply for free energy efficiency improvements to their homes

Solar panels being fitted
Solar panels being fitted

Lower-income householders across Devon and Torbay are invited to apply for free energy efficiency improvements to their homes worth thousands of pounds.

From this week members of the public can check their eligibility and apply through the Cosy Devon website.

The scheme is being delivered by the Cosy Devon partnership which consists of Devon County Council (DCC), East Devon, Mid Devon, North Devon, South Hams, Teignbridge and Torridge District Councils, Torbay Council, West Devon Borough Council, Exeter City Council and Plymouth City Council.

It follows the partnership securing nearly £10m of government funding. The scheme will offer householders the chance to improve their homes by ensuring that they are warmer, less draughty, and less damp.

Improvements will also reduce their energy bills and lower their home’s carbon emissions.  

More than 20 per cent per cent of Devon’s carbon emissions are caused by our homes.

Devon has higher levels of fuel poverty (13%) than the UK (10.6%).  Many homes in Devon need substantial investment and the Cosy Devon partnership is committed to reducing Devon’s domestic carbon footprint and lifting communities out of fuel poverty.

The scheme is available to Devon residents who have an annual combined household income of less than £30,000 and whose homes have an energy Performance Certificate rating of E, F or G.

If you are a homeowner, and live in that property, you can access funding to cover 100 per cent of costs to retrofit your home up to a cap.

Tenants of rented properties can also apply for grants up to a cap with the landlord expected to contribute at least one third towards the cost of the work.

Upgrades could include underfloor and solid floor insultation; insultation to cavity, external and internal walls, and lofts; double glazing, draught proofing, ventilation solar panels and heat pumps.

If you qualify, your home will have to be assessed to determine which energy efficiency measures could be installed. The initiative has a quality assurance plan in place to make sure that works are done correctly and deliver the benefits and savings expected.

The options will then be discussed with you before a final decision is reached.

Teignbridge Executive Member for Climate Change, Cllr Jackie Hook, urged local people to check the Cosy Devon website and if eligible take advantage of the funding on offer.  "This provides an opportunity for those struggling most with heating bills, living in homes with an Energy Performance Certificate Rating of E,F or G to make their homes more energy efficient, cutting their energy bills whilst also reducing carbon emissions and so helping to reduce the damaging effects of climate change."

Councillor John Hart, the Chair of Team Devon and Leader of DCC, said: “This scheme is an example of councils across Devon working in partnership to benefit the residents of Devon to help reduce the impact of the cost-of-living crises, lift low-income households out of fuel poverty and reduce carbon emissions.

“Retrofitting your home will ensure that you use less energy, as a more efficient home would lower your fuel bill. The improvements to your home will also help protect you from the health risks associated with damp and cold homes and they will reduce carbon emissions.

“I encourage Devon residents to check on the Cosy Devon website if they are eligible and apply.”

Leader of Torbay Council Councillor Steve Darling said: “This is an excellent way for residents to make their homes more energy efficient and help them to save money on their heating bills. Not only is this good for the planet, it’s also good for people’s pockets at a time when households are really struggling with the cost of living.”

If you’re struggling to keep your home warm and you think you might be eligible for some help, you can apply through the Cosy Devon website.