Energy companies will be made to help residents across Middlesbrough reduce their fuel bills in a landmark move by Middlesbrough Council.
The authority has become the first in the North East to adopt regulations to allow it to set criteria for who is eligible for energy saving improvement measures, following approval by a meeting of its Executive this week.
The policy, tabled by Cllr Lewis Young, Executive Member for Economic Development and Infrastructure, will open up the opportunity of savings to people across Middlesbrough.
Under the policy those who will be eligible to apply for energy saving assistance from their energy supplier would be:
- Anyone who lives in a ward classed as ‘deprived’, regardless of their own situation. These wards are Coulby Newham, Ladgate, Park, Ayresome, Hemlington, Park End & Beckfield, Longlands & Beechwood, Newport, Central, Berwick Hills & Pallister, Brambles & Thorntree and North Ormesby.
- Anyone living in a high value home but with a household income of less than £21,000 and not in receipt of other related benefits.
- Those who have a referral from a health practitioner.
Cllr Young said: “This policy has been developed with the intention of trying to make as many people as possible across Middlesbrough eligible for reductions in their fuel bill.
“Middlesbrough Council has made a priority of tackling fuel poverty across the town and I am very happy that we are the first authority in the North East to use these new regulations to help keep more money in the pockets of our residents.”
The new Energy Company Obligation Regulations 2017–2018 (ECO2t) have allowed local authorities to set their own criteria for eligibility for funding for domestic energy efficiency measures.
However, the final decision on whether any individual household can benefit from energy saving improvements rests with obligated energy suppliers or their contractors.