Affordable pilot scheme could help to keep Ballymoney homes warm

BALLYMONEY Borough Council has submitted an express of interest to take part in the Affordable Warmth Pilot Scheme.

During a recent Health an Environmental Services Committee meeting, members heard that the scheme would install a range of energy efficiency measures in homes within the Ballymoney area.

The report explained: ‘Further to committee reports 378.17 and 380.22, the Directorate had submitted an expression of interest on behalf of Council to participate in the DSD pilot scheme. The scheme will install a range of energy efficiency measures in homes within the Ballymoney area.

‘The homes included in the pilot have been identified as those who could benefit the most from energy efficiency improvements based on mapping information from the University of Ulster. Approximately 125 homes in the Ballymoney area will be surveyed in the coming months in order to identify a range of energy efficiency improvements that may be made. These may include loft insulation, cavity wall insulation or a new energy efficient boiler.

‘Letters will be issued to the most eligible homes as identified from the mapping information. Visits will be made to each home and an assessment/questionnaire will be completed (should the home owner/occupier be willing). Completed questionnaires will be forwarded to and assessed by University of Ulster. Council will then be advised as to which householders will be eligible for the warm homes scheme and to make these referrals directly. For those dwellings not eligible for the warm homes scheme, a technical survey of the property will be completed by Building Control Officers from Ballymoney Borough Council to identify the exact improvements required in relation to loft insulation and boiler efficiency. This will include loft measurements and ventilation requirements, age and date of last boiler service.

‘On completion of the technical survey where appropriate a Building Control application form will also be completed. The owner/occupier will be advised to contact a contractor of their choice to have the works completed and then submit the invoice to NIHE Grants Office for payment. NIHE will pay invoices directly.

‘It is envisaged that the pilot scheme will commence 1st October and be completed by 30th November 2012. DSD will pay the cost of fees payable to councils for those properties which council carried out the technical survey. It will be necessary to prioritise other work within the Directorate to ensure delivery of this pilot.

‘The Director emphasised the workload entailed in the delivery of this project.’