SWEA, Gloucestershire, UK
Energy efficiency improving health and comfort
It is well documented that living in a cold, damp home aggravates respiratory and cardiovascular illness, and may increase the risk of accidents. Improvements to energy efficiency and heating are effective at improving comfort and health, as well as saving energy and money. There are schemes to help with the up-front costs, but often those most in need do not know, or understand, what can be done.
So the Severn Wye Energy Agency (SWEA) set up the 'Gloucestershire Warm and Well' partnership, bringing together seven local authorities with a range of organisations working on health and community support, to get improved insulation and heating to those who need it most. The scheme is run throughout Gloucestershire and offers energy saving measures and advice to both homeowners and private rented tenants. Discounts and advice are available for everyone, and free installations are offered to those on low incomes, with health problems, or aged over 70. The active involvement of the health and community sectors has helped to identify the neediest households.
Between 2001 and March 2006, the scheme made improvements including insulation, draught-proofing and central heating in 9,000 properties, or 3.6% of all housing in Gloucestershire. The scheme is funded by Local Authorities, CERT funds and the Primary Care Trusts, with contributions from householders who can afford to pay.