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Arbed Scheme in Penrhiwceiber takes aim at Fuel Poverty and Carbon Emissions

An energy scheme aimed at addressing fuel poverty has provided 113 Homes in Penrhiwceiber with new heat and cost-saving energy measures since September 2020.

The Arbed am Byth Scheme – delivered in partnership with Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, the Energy Saving Trust and Welsh Government as part of the Warm Homes scheme – aims to address fuel poverty as well as helping to  reduce Carbon Emissions in the pilot area.  The scheme aims to provide insulation and efficient heating systems to households in the Penrhiwceiber area struggling with the cost of high energy bills.

Energy measures installed to the 113 homes have included loft insulation, condensing boilers, heating controls, new central heating, electric storage heaters, solar PV, LED lighting, and water efficient taps. The new installed energy measures have generated an estimated external investment of half a million pounds into Penrhiwceiber.

The project has been carried out through 2 door knocking exercises, which covered over 350 houses; whilst over 140 telephone calls from interested residents in the area were received, highlighting the demand for the project locally.  Despite the restrictions brought about by the pandemic impacting the ability to carry out face-to-face interaction, the scheme has been very positively received.

Other schemes in Rhondda Cynon Taf include a Heat and Save Grant established in November 2020 as a pilot to provide assistance to 20 households at risk of fuel poverty, who may not be eligible for other sources of financial assistance through other Council grants or external schemes such as the Welsh Government NEST scheme. This grant is available to repair, replace or install a new heating system, and will provide funding of up to £5000. 10 applications have been made so far, with the majority of applications coming to £1,500.

Councillor Robert Bevan, Cabinet Member for Enterprise Development and Housing, said: “The Council is committed to challenging fuel poverty, and it is important that the range of measures we are taking to address the pressures facing residents in Rhondda Cynon Taf must also address the Climate Emergency we all face.

“At the same time, projections have said that 80% of the housing stock that’s in existence today, will still exist in 2050. So if we are going to achieve any of the net zero or lower carbon targets, it’s important we look at schemes such as this in Penrhiwceiber for existing housing. Supply chain partners have also been chosen locally, helping with carbon reduction, and providing greater opportunities for local employment and apprenticeships.”