Better Homes Yorkshire are working with ten local authorities across Yorkshire, including Barnsley Council, to improve the energy efficiency of privately owned and rented properties so that residents can live in warmer and healthier homes.
How it works
Barnsley Council, together with Better Homes Yorkshire and West Yorkshire Combined Authority, secured £282,000 in government Local Growth Funding to improve homes in Barnsley. In addition, funding provided by Barnsley Council, Berneslai Homes and ECO Flex funding meant a total investment of £313,000 in Barnsley homes. The money was used to install external, internal and cavity wall insulation, loft and attic room insulation, and new energy saving boilers in 41owner-occupied and social homes on Cemetery Road in Barnsley.
Evidence has shown that living in a cold home can worsen respiratory diseases such as asthma and results in unnecessary GP and A&E visits. Research by the Chartered Institute of Housing estimated that every £1 spent improving a cold home could save the NHS £34.19 over 10 years.* It was hoped that improving the homes on Cemetery Road would make a big difference to the lives of local residents with health conditions which are affected by cold.
Living in a more energy efficient home – A Case Study
Ms Lorenza has lived on Cemetery Road for two years. “I noticed when I moved in it was definitely quite cold… I’d get home from work and I would have to put my coat on”. She found the low temperature affected her asthma and her moods: “when it’s really cold you sort of feel quite demotivated and it’s quite depressing”. Ms Lorenza found the cost of the insulation prohibitive: “I’d thought about [fitting insulation] before… but I’d say it was finances that stopped me from doing it”. As part of the scheme she had external wall insulation fitted on the back of her house. The installation was “smooth” and “the communication was really good and everything was really professional”.
Since having the insulation Ms Lorenza commented “it’s definitely made me feel a lot more homely and comfortable… I’ve noticed when I put my heating on… it stays warmer for longer so it tends to stay within the atmosphere rather than going out so it’s a lot better.” Her asthma has also improved: “I’m comfortable, and I’m not suffering with my asthma as much as I was”.
*Housing Learning & Improving Network 2011.