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Fuel cost help coming for council home tenants
2:49pm Wednesday 19th September 2012 in News
TENANTS living in council homes will soon get help with rising fuel costs thanks to solar panels and a pump that sucks warm air in from outside their property.
Mid Devon District Council has been awarded £100k to install air source heat pumps and solar thermal panels on council-owned properties throughout the area.
They have become one of only seven social housing providers in the south west to have successfully bid for Government money to invest in renewable heating systems for council homes.
Air source heat pumps work by extracting small amounts of heat from the outside air over a long period of time and storing it for heating and hot water - the opposite of how a fridge works. Last year 40 pumps were installed in council homes and feedback from tenants has been “extremely positive”, a district council spokesman said.
Solar thermal panels, meanwhile, use the sun's energy to provide hot water rather than electricity. Despite a short period between the fund being announced and the application deadline, the district council submitted two projects to install modern renewable heating technology at 85 homes. Air source heat pumps and solar thermal panels are now being installed on more properties across Mid Devon.
Cllr Ray Stanley, cabinet member for housing, said: “This award which is being match-funded by the council will improve the energy efficiency of some of our properties. These improvements will assist some tenants to cope with rising fuel costs. “Income received through schemes such as this will continue to be re-invested in our housing stock to further improve their efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.”