MP visits energy efficient homes as national campaign launched

December 1, 2009 10:03 AM
Talbot House energy efficient homes

David Howarth marks the launch of the Warm Homes Campaign with residents at Talbot House

MP David Howarth has seen first hand the action being taken in Cambridge to cut fuel bills and protect the elderly as winter sets in.

He visited Talbot House in Fishers Lane, Cherry Hinton where Cambridge City Council has invested £2.4 million refurbishing flats in a sheltered housing scheme.

Mr Howarth visited the scheme as the annual national Warm Homes Campaign is launched aimed at cutting winter deaths among the elderly and raising awareness of the help available to people who cannot afford to heat their homes.

During the winter of 2006-2007 there were 40 excess winter deaths in Cambridge and 2,590 pensioners - 17 per cent - are living on pension credit. More than nine per cent of households live in fuel poverty.

At Talbot House the city council spent 13 months converting 29 bedsits into 23 one and two bed flats. All the flats benefit from high efficiency gas condensing boilers; the community lighting is controlled by motion sensors and the flats have higher than average air-tightness performance.

Three of the flats have been renovated to an extra high energy efficiency standard including triple glazed windows, high thermal performance wall insulation and heat recovery ventilation units.

Mr Howarth said: "Winter can be an extremely difficult time for the elderly, many of whom are living on small incomes and worry that they won't be able to afford to heat their homes.

"Improved energy efficiency is a powerful and sustainable way to bring down people's energy bills. Talbot House is an excellent example of how new technology can be used to protect vulnerable people and reduce their bills.

"I am optimistic that, if these ideas were incorporated in buildings across the city, we could go a long way to reducing the worrying fuel poverty statistics."

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