More than 600 homes in Chopwell could be offered free insulation

In a drive to improve the energy efficiency of homes and help address the global climate emergency, more than 600 homes in Chopwell, Gateshead could be offered free wall insulation.

The initiative comes as a direct result of the government’s flagship Green Homes Grant scheme and will see £5.2m of funding delivered to install the improvements to 620 solid wall properties in Chopwell.

As part of the project, work will involve installing external insulation to a number of privately owned properties, which do not currently benefit from cavity wall insulation because of their age. This will help to remedy the lack of insulation on the properties and greatly increase energy efficiency.

Gateshead fuel poverty

If the government moves ahead with the scheme, all private households within the project will receive up to £10,000 in insulation works free of charge, the grant will cover 100% of the costs. However, work carried out on properties owned by social and private landlords will receive a reduced percentage of 66%, the shortfall will have to be covered by themselves.

The Cabinet member for Housing, John Adams, said: "In the UK, any household that finds itself needing to spend more than 10% of its income just on heating their home to a reasonable standard can be said to be experiencing fuel poverty. Unfortunately, a lot of former miners' homes in Chopwell fall into this category.

"The council is committed to tackling inequalities and putting people and families first and if we are successful in securing funding for this improvement scheme it should make a huge difference to households who are having to spend more than most just on keeping warm.

"As well as providing warmer and more energy-efficient homes, this investment will also support our work to reduce Gateshead's carbon emissions, something that is crucially important in tackling climate change. We have set ourselves the target of achieving net zero emissions by 2030 and this is exactly the sort of work that's needed to deliver that."

Work could begin in April

If the scheme moves forward as expected, construction work could begin in April 2021 and is predicted to take around 6 months to complete.

The positive effects of the initiative will help to cut carbon emissions, reduce fuel poverty in the area, increase the energy efficiency of homes and support housing market uplift. This project will work within a wider scheme to regenerate the Chopwell area, spearheaded by a 10-year council plan.

Green Homes Grant Scheme

To learn more about the government's Green Homes Grant Scheme follow this link: /certification/news/green-home-grant-two-months-later