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Affordable warmth

Affordable warmth. Causes and remedies for the private rented sector. What is affordable warmth?. “The ability to heat your home to an adequate level for household comfort and health, without developing debt as a result”. The lack of affordable warmth is known as ‘fuel poverty’.

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Affordable warmth

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  1. Affordable warmth • Causes and remedies for the private rented sector

  2. What is affordable warmth? • “The ability to heat your home to an adequate level for household comfort and health, without developing debt as a result”. • The lack of affordable warmth is known as ‘fuel poverty’. • Households that need to spend 10% or more of their income for adequate warmth are experiencing fuel poverty.

  3. The affordable warmth partnership for Gloucestershire • The partnership was launched in 2001, with the aim that all homes would be warm homes by 2016. • The partnership has forged valuable links to realise this aim • The revised strategy states that “The local authorities of Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire, in partnership with the Severn Wye Energy Agency, the health, community and private sectors, will tackle fuel poverty and provide affordable warmth by 2016”

  4. The size of the problem • In England as a whole, in September 2008, NEA estimates that 19% of households were in fuel poverty. • In September 2008, the number of households in fuel poverty in the South West was estimated by NEA as 433,000, or 19.9% of all households.

  5. What is affordable warmth? • Landlords: reasonable cost to install and maintain. • Tenants: the cost to keep warm

  6. Factors affecting affordability • Type of heating system • Age and efficiency of boilers • Existence of controls • Insulation and ventilation • Structural integrity of building • Location and orientation of building

  7. Intervention • Grants • Advice and Information • Enforcement (by the local authority)

  8. Warm Front • Tenant, not landlord, must be eligible • Insulation measures available • Provision of heating where none exists

  9. Gloucestershire Warm and Well • Tenant, not landlord, must be eligible • Insulation (loft and cavity) • Replacement gas boilers • Full gas heating systems where funding available • Additional discount for insulation when landlord applies via Rent Warm, Rent Well

  10. CERT (Carbon Emissions Reduction Target) • From fuel suppliers • Focus is on insulation measures • NOTE: Measures available to all, not exclusive to the customers of particular fuel suppliers

  11. Communication is key • All grants need landlord approval and tenant co-operation for access • Effective communication between landlord and tenant is essential

  12. Grant advice for all grants • For free and impartial advice on ALL grants, as well as signposting and referrals, contact the Energy Savings Trust Advice Centre for the South West • Ring 0800 512 012 • NOTE: ESTAC advisors can advise on local authority grant variations

  13. How to spread the word • During visit • Website • Municipal offices • Health centres • Targeted mail shots • Targeted inspections • Landlord forums

  14. Decent Homes Standard • Meets the current statutory minimum standard for housing Health and Housing Safety RatingSystem HHSRS • Is in a reasonable state of repair; • has reasonably modern facilities and services; • provides a reasonable degree of thermal comfort withefficient heating and insulation.

  15. Decent Homes • Target for social housing to meet the standard by 2010 • Gloucestershire LAA target NBE(1) Number of private sector dwellings occupied by vulnerable people made decent

  16. Enforcement • In April 2006 the Housing Act 2004 replaced the old housing fitness standard with the Housing Health & Safety Rating System (HHSRS)

  17. Potential Hazards • A - Physiological Requirements • EXCESS COLD • B - Psychological Requirements • C - Protection Against Infection • D - Protection Against Accidents

  18. Harm Outcomes • Class 1 • Death from hypothermia & cardiovascular & respiratory illness, regular severe pneumonia. • Class 2 • Cardio-respiratory disease requiring hospitalisation • Class 3 • Cardio-respiratory disease not requiring hospital • Class 4 • Regular repeated colds and minor chest infections

  19. What is “Excess Cold”? • A healthy indoor temperature is around 21oC • A small risk to health begins below 19oC • Serious health risks occur below 16oC • Below 10oC Hypothermia begins.

  20. HHSRS Hazard Rating • Calculation gives a rating for each hazard expressed as a numerical score. • Scores are then banded into 10 bands A to J. • A to C (>1000) - Category 1 hazards. • D to J (<1000) - Category 2 hazards.

  21. Excess Cold Hazard • Average scores • Pre 1920 1,066 A Cat 1 • 1920-45 1,035 A Cat 1 • 1946-79 880 D Cat 2 • Post 1979 664 D Cat 2 • Average scores for HMOs are higher

  22. The Ideal for insulation • Cavity walls should be insulated. • Post 1930s housing usually has cavity walls. • Loft insulation ideal is 250-270mm (can be more!) • Less than 150mm can be topped up. • Hard to Treat insulation • Sloping ceilings and solid walls

  23. The Ideal for heating • Ideal is ‘whole house’ fixed heating • Heating must be controllable and the controls understandable • Appropriate heating systems: • Storage heaters in well insulated dwellings • solid fuel unsuitable for older people • portable heaters are not a heating system

  24. Alternatives to central heating • In living rooms and bedrooms, a 3kW (or equivalent) appliance with thermostatic control and programmer/timer (on appliance or system) but must provide adequate heat output • Use following websites to calculate required heat output:- www.radcals.comwww.dimplex.co.uk/products/domestic_heating/installed_heating/how_much_heat_do_I_need.

  25. Problems • Landlord reluctance • Hard to treat properties • Hard to reach occupiers

  26. Action Plan for Tenants • Get advice • Speak to landlord • Apply for grants If all else fails…… • Contact L.A if enforcement action needed. (The Housing or Environmental Health department is usually the best department to speak to)

  27. Action plan for landlords • Get advice • Speak to tenants • Decide whether tenant or landlord to apply for grants • Apply for grants

  28. Questions If you would like further information, please contact Julie Wight Environmental Health Manager Gloucester City Council 01452 396320 Julie.wight@gloucester.gov.uk

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