A QUEENS PARK resident put on a fresh pot of tea for government minister Nelson McCausland when he paid a visit to her home recently.
The Social Development minister, along with Deputy Mayor Fraser Agnew, visited Lyla Johnston’s home recently to see how she benefitted from the ‘achieving affordable warmth area based pilot’.
The scheme is aimed at testing an area-based approach to delivering energy efficiency improvements to householders.
Homes included in the pilot have been identified as those who could benefit the most from energy efficiency improvements, based on mapping information developed by Professor Christine Liddell from the University of Ulster who has used extensive research to identify fuel poverty prevalence across Northern Ireland and map it by census output area.
Council staff surveyed the selected areas and identified 2,750 homes across Northern Ireland eligible for intervention. Around 150 households were identified in the Newtownabbey area.
During the pilot, those householders selected completed a survey conducted by council employees in their area. Those householders identified as being potentially eligible for Warm Homes have been referred to the scheme managers for heating and/or insulation measures.
The improvements could include loft insulation, cavity wall insulation or a new energy efficient boiler. Householders not eligible for Warm Homes will be offered loft insulation and given a benefit entitlement check in addition to the boiler scheme. All householders will be offered some assistance with energy improvements.
Minister McCausland said: “Those households identified as being potentially eligible for the Warm Homes Scheme are being referred to the scheme and I was delighted to visit Lyla Johnston in her home who will benefit as part of this pilot.
“My department is committed to helping householders improve the energy efficiency of their home. Tackling fuel poverty is also a priority for the Northern Ireland Executive and we will continue to work with others to identify those most vulnerable and in need.”