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Warmth in the home, money in the pocket

“I’m really pleased with it. I noticed the warmth in the house was greatly improved immediately.”

Maureen (not her real name) was delighted with a total transformation of her Acton home this spring thanks to work carried out under Ealing Council’s Green Homes Grant: Local Authority Delivery Scheme (GHG:LAD). It will keep her warm, cut her energy bills and make her home ‘greener’ by having to use less gas.

The work was done as part of the west London Green Homes Grant scheme, led by the council on behalf of a consortium of 13 boroughs, and funded by the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy. The scheme is focused on providing grants to local, low-income homeowners living in cold and less energy-efficient properties.

Maureen applied for the help after being told about it by a friend.

‘I would lose warmth really quickly’

“My house is old,” she said. “It was built in the 1930s and was very, very cold in the winter. It had solid brick walls with no insulation on three sides, and poor insulation in the loft.

“When my heating was switched off, I would lose the warmth really quickly. Which meant I had to keep it on or get cold, and that becomes expensive.

“But now I’ve had external wall insulation on all three outside walls, and some improvements in the loft, and now the heat stays in the home. The idea is to cut down on your bills because you don’t lose all your heat and don’t need to use as much. And that is what I am seeing already.

“The weather was so cold earlier in the year, but I noticed a difference straight away. The house retained heat rather than it all leaking out of the walls.”

‘I feel very fortunate’

“And the outside of the house looks fabulous now, too,” Maureen continued. “It has been smartly rendered with smooth silicone that is coloured and will never need to be painted again. It can just be hosed down with a jet wash, if it needs a clean, rather than having to paint it every two years like normal rendering.

“It even keeps your home cooler in the summer, too.

“I feel very fortunate. I’ve never had anything free in my life, so I couldn’t believe my luck. I recently suffered a bad illness and can pick up infections very easily. This work will help enormously, and I feel more secure. Especially with the heating bills rising so much at the moment around the country. I feel like I can look forward to the winter now.”

Getting help

The GHG: LAD scheme is open to landlords and homeowners of homes with D, E, F, and G ratings on their energy performance certificates (EPC). It operates across west London until March 2023. The GHG:LAD scheme offers grants for energy efficiency measures, including insulation, low carbon heating systems, solar PV, and replacement of single-glazing windows.

To be eligible, the total household income must be below £30,000-per-year (and up to £20,000 in housing benefits). Landlords may apply on behalf of eligible tenants, but must agree to cover one third of the cost of works (owner occupiers do not have to contribute towards the cost of works). If you believe that you or your tenant may qualify, you can call 0808 196 8255 and ask to be screened for the GHG:LAD programme or register for the scheme online.

The Healthy Homes Ealing helpline is also available to residents and offers energy efficiency advice to those struggling with rising energy bills. Find out more on the council’s Healthy Homes Ealing web pages or call 0800 083 2265.

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