Sandwell Council named as West Midlands Council of the Year at Energy Efficiency Awards
Published 13th May 2022
Sandwell Council has been named as the Regional Council/Local Authority Body of the Year at the West Midlands Regional Energy Efficiency Awards 2022.
The award recognises the efforts of one council within the region that has shown a ‘true commitment’ to promoting energy efficiency, and in tackling fuel poverty among residents.
The council was nominated for the award by AgilityEco, the council’s partner for the Local Energy Advice Partnership (LEAP) scheme. LEAP targets those households that are already in fuel poverty or at risk of falling into fuel poverty. The scheme provides a wide range of free support services to residents who, for example, are struggling to pay their energy bills or who have cold homes in winter.
The council is also working to make its housing stock greener by implementing minimum energy performance standards for existing and new-build homes, using exemplar methods of construction. By investing in homes to ensure they are low carbon, the authority’s energy efficiency work will support initiatives like LEAP, help it achieve its climate change strategy and the target of being a carbon neutral borough by 2041.
Since October 2018 Sandwell Council has processed approximately 2,000 applications for grant funding towards energy saving and efficiency measures in private sector accommodation. During that time, approximately 3,000 such measures have been delivered, including:
- Installation of 612 boilers
- 1,399 cavity wall insulations
- Insulation of 540 lofts
- Installation of 362 modern electric storage heaters
- 218 underfloor insulations, and
- 14 solid wall insulation infills
Please note: some properties have had more than one measure installed.
Within the council’s own housing stock, since 2019 there have also been:
- Insulation of 872 lofts
- Window replacements at 715 properties, amounting to 2,108 windows
- Vertical tile hanging replaced with insulated panels at 146 properties, and
- 3,220 front or rear doors replaced with insulated composite doors.
Lorraine Gumbs of AgilityEco said: “I have worked with Sandwell Council for over 20 years. They have always been very proactive in tackling fuel poverty and committed to reducing the level of fuel poverty in the borough.
“Over the years they have taken advantage of all the funding available to improve the energy efficiency of the properties in the borough in order to improve the lives of their residents.”
Councillor Kerrie Carmichael, Leader of Sandwell Council, said: “The award recognises the achievements we are making in improving the energy efficiency of existing council properties and private sector accommodation to create quality homes. With partners like AgilityEco we will continue to help improve the energy efficiency of the borough’s existing housing stock.
“We intend to incorporate more renewable energy measures into the design of new-build council homes, and deliver a rolling programme of upgrades to improve energy efficiency and install alternative heating systems in council buildings.”
Find out more about energy-saving tips (the text takes you to a web link).
Work carried out to council homes was delivered through a mixture of council and government funding. Work on private sector accommodation was mainly financed under the government’s Energy Company Obligation, with contributions from major energy companies.