Sandwell Council wins Midlands award for saving energy and helping residents out of fuel poverty

Sandwell Council has been named as the Local Authority of the Year at the West Midlands Regional Energy Efficiency Awards 2022.

Leader of Sandwell Council Councillor Kerrie Carmichael
Leader of Sandwell Council Councillor Kerrie Carmichael

The award recognises the council's ‘true commitment’ to promoting energy efficiency, and in tackling fuel poverty among 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."

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.

Approximately 3,000 energy-saving measures have been delivered, including the 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.

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.”

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