25 September 2017   |  Last Updated 19-12-2014 01:59

      Little Bill campaign turns up the heat in Salford



      THIRTY-one free, energy-efficient boilers have been fitted in homes across Salford, as part of the Little Bill campaign.

      The campaign, which is unique to Greater Manchester, allows households to apply for energy improvements to cut costs and improve efficiency, with more boilers planning in being introduced in the coming months.

      The brand new boilers have been made available as part of a £30 million fund introduced on Wednesday by the Green Deal Communities scheme and the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund, and seeks to help residents across England and Wales.

      The scheme means households in Salford can apply for a maximum of £5,600 worth of improvement works to their property, including double-glazing and floor insulation. Loft and cavity wall insulation is also available and can help wipe more than £300 off the average household bill.

       

      A new boiler can save as much as £305 on bills every year, potentially securing residents a combined net total of £7,300 over the next year.

      Salford residents were generally in a buoyant mood after hearing of the energy improvements, with one saying:

      “I am over the moon with the service that I received. The boiler has made a huge difference to the house as it is now warm when we get home and we can have hot water to wash the dishes with (instead of boiling kettles) and hot baths.

      “I have told many people about Little Bill and recommended them to all. It was lovely to hear a caring vice on the telephone and the response was rapid and any concerns I had were dealt with in a quick and professional manner,” she said.

      78% of residents were pleased to hear they could apply for household energy improvements, while 80% expressed their delight at how the new money was planning on being spent.


      ‘Little Bill’ refers to a canine mascot for the Greater Manchester Energy Advice group, which works closely with all 10 Greater Manchester councils to provide residents with both friendly advice and the best government and local council approved energy schemes.

      The mascot can also be used on a more practical basis, acting as a draught excluder in homes.

      The Greater Manchester Energy Advice Service (GMEA), who deliver on behalf of all 10 Greater Manchester local authorities, have procured three framework partners - Keepmoat, Wates and Willmott Dixon - to deliver Green Deal and ECO in Greater Manchester to homeowners and private tenants over the next three to five years.

      This year, GMEA secured £6.1 million worth of funding from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) Green Deal to deliver Green Deal Communities in Greater Manchester.

      The Green Deal offer provides ‘special loans’ or grants to allow residents to improve their homes and cut energy bills.

      Almost eight million people in the UK rent their home, so the Government is also encouraging landlords to sign up for the Green Deal. From 2016, landlords will no longer be able to refuse home improvements such as these.


      Under the ‘Little Bill Communities’ scheme, specific communities have been identified within each local authority by the council as areas which could potentially benefit greatly from installing energy saving improvements such as solid wall insulation. The target for Greater Manchester is to reduce carbon emissions by 48% by 2020.

      To apply for new energy improvements, you can ring 0161 234 5460 Monday to Friday, or visit the Greater Manchester Energy Advice Group website, and submit an online enquiry form.

      By Matt Farr

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