Report from Cllr Lynn Daniel – West Devon Borough Council – Feb 2022

West Devon Borough Council Report February 2022

Home Scheme To Cut Bills and Carbon Is Still Available

A £600,000 scheme to reduce home energy consumption in West Devon is underway. The first installations of measures including air source heating systems and external insulation are now being carried out through West Devon Borough District Council’s Green Home Grant. Further funding to help home-owners improve the energy efficiency of their home is still available, however time is limited and funding is likely to stop in April.  
60 eligible homeowners across the Borough are having the energy- and money-saving work carried out over the next few months. Insulation, such as solid/single wall external insulation, is one of the measures being installed as well as fitting air source heat pump central heating systems (a kind of renewable energy technology that takes the warmth from the air outside, even when it’s freezing and uses it to heat the home). As well as being better for the planet, it’s estimated that using an air source heat pump could cut as much as £900 a year from energy bills. External wall insulation also brings significant energy bill savings, up to an estimated £415 a year. 

The cost of the eco-friendly work is fully-covered after the Council obtained funding from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). To make it easier for local people to access the money and reduce their carbon footprint, the team at the Council has taken control to oversee the whole process, from the initial application to connecting homeowners with contractors.  As well as letting people know about the grant in the media and on social media, the Council team also wrote to everyone living in suitable properties with an EPC rating of E or below. To be eligible for the Green Homes Grant, you must meet the criteria below: These energy efficiency improvements will not be suitable for every home.  

Owner Occupier (sorry this scheme is not open to housing association tenants)

EPC of E or below (please speak to us if you do not know or not have one)

Be on either means tested benefit or a net household income of less £30,000 a year (this is after household expenses such as mortgage, Council tax, utility bills. Further funding to help home owners improve the energy efficiency of their home is still available, however time is limited and funding will stop in April.  If you think you may be eligible for a grant and are interested in finding out more, please contact eco@swdevon.gov.uk / complete the webform at www.westdevon.gov.uk/ReduceFuelBills  or call 01822 813600 

On 8 December 2021 following the Superlinks meeting with Cllr John Hart, WDBC wrote to all Town and Parish Councils asking for their thoughts on the frequency of the Northern, Eastern and Southern Links meetings with WDBC.

To date we’ve only received a handful of responses. Please can you as councillors consider the options and reply to me or WDBC.

Community Funding News

£20 notes- money

Devon Funding News is a great place to go to see what new grant funding schemes are available to our communities – as many of you will be involved with community groups.

The website is updated regularly and some of the new schemes added in January include:

  • Up to £5,000 for the repair or improvement of community buildings Screwfix Foundation
  • Up to £10,000 for community groups and artists planning activities focusing on art, creativity and culture in celebration of the Platinum Jubilee Devon CF Notes for Applicants

https://www.devon.gov.uk/fundingnews

BroadBand Champions

WDBC have a scheme for broadband champions in areas of poor wifi connection to raise this issue for local people and try to get some resolution to the problem. We have 2 champions in our local area covering Belstone and South Tawton. At a recent seminar regarding rural broadband connectivity, the issue of very rural homes was raised. There is a possibility that a provider ‘Jurassic Fibre’ can set up radio broadband in those areas where other solutions are not possible because of difficult access and high cost to householders. Radio broadband has been a solution for very remote households elsewhere and could be used in our area. Our champions will continue to work with WDBC to improve rural connectivity.

WDBC climate change advice for Town and Parish Councils

https://www.climatechange.westdevon.gov.uk/parish-and-town-councils

The above link will take you to an updated page on WDBC website with lots of ideas and assistance for councils that are seeking to address climate change in their areas.

Cllr Lynn Daniel February 2022 report