More heat but LESS to pay

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A LOCAL community interest company has received a £24,000 government windfall to help promote energy efficiency in Skerton.

LESS has received the cash from the Department of Energy and Climate Change Local Energy Assessment Fund.

It will deliver initiatives over the next two months to help residents and organisations to save energy, reduce fuel poverty and combat climate change.

The home of Clarendon Road resident Eva Tregidgo has been chosen to receive an “eco makeover” and act as a demonstration house to encourage others to invest in energy efficiency measures.

Free home energy surveys will be carried out to show residents what they could do to stay warmer and cut fuel bills, while St Luke’s Primary School and Skerton Youth and Community Centre have already received similar appraisals.

Eva, 28, was one of four residents to apply for the eco makeover, which could cut her energy bill by one-third. Her house was chosen after surveys of the four properties.

The work will include insulating the walls of her home, fitting cavity wall insulation in the bathroom extension, ensuring the existing loft insulation is adequate,

draft-proofing windows and doors, and fitting low-energy light bulbs.

The work will be carried out from March 12-22 by local contractor The Better Roofing Company, during which time Eva and her tenant Christina Donovan will receive funding to lodge in local hotels.

A photo-diary and blog will be posted at www.lessuk.org and the first of several open house events will be held on March 30 so people can see the impact.

Eva, a Natural England, outreach adviser, said: “I was very excited to be chosen.

“Even this week I could see my own breath in the bathroom and it really puts me off brushing my teeth at night.

“I would not have felt able to spend this money myself but hopefully when I see the difference it makes to my bills and quality of living I will see it would have been worthwhile.”

Project co-ordinator, Liz Horn, said 40 per cent of local homes had solid walls which could not benefit from straightforward cavity wall insulation.

“Given that one-third of heat in the home escapes through un-insulated walls, this causes a real problem,” she said.

“People are really struggling to keep their homes warm and pay fuel bills, so projects like this are important to test what measures work and how cost effective they are.”

A community energy event at Skerton St. Luke’s Primary School from 2.30pm-4.30pm will give parents and residents advice on how to save energy and reduce fuel bills.