Essex resident “so grateful” for fully funded insulation to reduce fire risk in home


A homeowner in Essex has praised the Essex County Council’s Green Home Grants Local Authority Delivery scheme, which saw unsafe loft insulation in her home identified and replaced within two weeks.

The Council is inviting all local homeowners with a low income and low energy efficiency rating to apply for free funding of up to £10,000 to replace sub-standard insulation, save on energy bills and tackle climate change through the scheme, which is available until 30 August 2021.

Elizabeth Sadler (75), a retired radiographer who lives in Tendring, applied for the Council’s scheme after seeing a post on the Essex is Green.

Shortly after her enquiry a surveyor from Aran Insulation, Essex County Council’s contractor for the scheme, visited her property, which was built in the 1970s.
During this inspection, the surveyor was alarmed to see that Elizabeth’s loft insulation was paper-based, meaning that not only did it fall far below current government standards, it was also highly flammable.

Speaking about this realisation, Elizabeth said: “It was very frightening to hear that my loft insulation didn’t comply with any fire regulations and posed a real risk to my safety. The surveyor said that Aran would replace the insulation as soon as possible for me. I was so grateful.”

Less than two weeks later, contractors arrived at Elizabeth’s home to replace her dangerous loft insulation, with the whole process taking less than a day to complete.

Once works were completed, Elizabeth was sent a certificate in the post to show that her new loft insulation meets all current fire and energy efficiency regulations.

Elizabeth added: “I’m so relieved my home now has a reduced fire risk. I would strongly urge all Essex residents who feel they fit the scheme’s criteria to just pick up the phone and call Aran Insulation. Like myself, many others may be living in a dangerous home and not even realise it. Getting my loft insulated didn’t cost me a penny and was so simple to sign up for. If I can do it, anybody can!”

Aside from improved fire safety, the new loft insulation has also boosted the energy efficiency of Elizabeth’s home.

“I particularly noticed the difference when it was cooler a couple of weeks ago. My upstairs rooms were so warm as the heat wasn’t escaping through the gaps in the loft like it used to. I know I’ll appreciate the new insulation in the winter as it’s made a vast difference to the warmth of my house already”, she said.

Homeowners with a combined household income below £30,000 and an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of E, F or G are invited to check eligibility for the free local authority grant of up to £10,000* to install energy efficiency measures in their homes. The funding, which will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis at no cost to the homeowner, can be used to upgrade heating systems and install insulation.

Cllr Peter Schwier, Deputy to the Leader with the lead on Climate Action at Essex County Council said: “Although it’s fantastic to hear that Elizabeth’s insulation has now been upgraded, there are still many homes in Essex with sub-standard insulation who are simply unaware of the danger within their lofts and walls.

I hope that Elizabeth’s story will encourage more residents to check their eligibility and consider applying for the scheme. The works are fully funded, meaning they cost nothing to the homeowner, and all it takes is a quick phone call to start the application process.”

All works must be completed 30 August 2021. Qualifying homeowners are therefore encouraged to contact Aran Insulation, delivery partner for the scheme, as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

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