Exeter Warm and Healthy Park Homes Grant

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 Client Guide on Exeter Warm and Healthy Park Homes Grant

The Exeter Warm and Healthy Park Homes Grant is targeting help to those people who met the qualifying criteria below. The Grant is available to Park Home residents in the Exeter City Council area only,

The eligibility criteria for this grant will focus on the following households. Applicants must:

  • be aged 50 or over on the date of application
  • live in the dwelling as their man residence
  • have an owner’s interest, or be a private tenant with the landlord’s consent to the works.

The Grant and Process

The grant of up to £2000 per property is to part-fund solid wall insulation to be fitted to the external walls of private park home dwellings.

If your home was built in 1995 or afterwards, then you may not qualify for external wall insulation under the grant. Howeever, you would be considered for the low interest Wessex Home Improvement Loan [see below].

To apply for the grant you must: receive, complete and sign all the relevant application forms, declarations and the questionnaire.

You must also supply supporting documentation to prove your age and return them to Wessex Energy at the address below.

After the works are installed you must also sign-off completion paperwork, answer questions about the work and the grant, and once the works are completed to confirm you are satisfied.

The approved installer Therm-Eco EWI Ltd will provide a quotation to you, then if you are approved for the grant, a specification and a method statement for the works will then be supplied. Wessex Energy will also receive copies of these documents to check.

You will be provided will be provided with a 10-year insurance backed guarantee for the works through Therm-Eco after the work has been completed.

Therm-Eco should be able to provide you with the information about the installation process and the products they use during their initial survey visit

You, or if applicable your landlord, can use their own funds to top up the grant if necessary.

Please note: Although the grant scheme is primarily for external wall insulation, you can also use the grant towards other measures such as underfloor insulation [50% grant, unless you are on benefits], roof insulation or a new insulated roof system.

Heating Measures

If you require any heating measures, such as a central heating system, a new boiler or heating repair, please contact us directly to provide us with further details. We have an Exeter based heating company registered with a scheme that my be able to help.

Energy Company Obligation [ECO]

You may also be eligible for a new boiler under ECO, a utility funded grant, if you receive certain qualifying benefits. Please call us for up-to-date information

Wessex Home Improvement Loan 

There is also the availability of an Exeter City Council supported Wessex Home Improvement Loan of up to £10,000 which is offered at a4% [4.1 APR] interest rate over a term of up to 10 years. Minimum loan value is £500.

Anybody living in the park home receiving the work can apply for the loan.

The loan is also able to cover some other home improvements. So please ask if there is something you have been looking at to improve in or on your home.

If you fill in a loan referral form and return this to us, Wessex Resolutions CIC will contact you to arrange a visit to fill in the necessary forms.

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Contact details

if you have any questions about your grant application or anything else, please contact:
Peter Bywater, Wessex Energy, 8 park Place, 6 North Road, POOLE, Dorset BH14 0LY
e-mail: info@wessex.energy
tel: 01202 209410

Further reading:

Exeter Mobile Homes Residents Forum: Launch of Exeter Warm and Healthy Park Homes Grant [05 April 2016]

Launch of Exeter Warm and Healthy Park Homes Grant

When I started campaigning in Cowick in the autumn of 2010, I was introduced by Cllr Heather Morris to the Exonia Park Park Home site – a community of some 100 or so homes. What became obvious was that owners of these homes faced specific problems, many resulting to specific legislation relating to park homes [sometimes referred to mobile homes]

As a result of dealing with these problems, it became obvious that these problems would be faced by owners on the other park home sites across Exeter – The Rydons [St Loyes],  Ringswell Park [Topsham] and Newport Park [Topsham]. To  allow residents of these park sites have a stronger voice, Heather and I suggested setting up a city-wide Mobile Homes Residents Forum.

Set up in 2012, the Forum had its inaugural meeting on 23 May 2012. Since then, it has met regularly – at first 4 times a year, and latterly twice a year – with Heather as the Chair, and continues to be a successful way to address common concerns problems that residents living in park homes may have.

In May 2015, Heather was appointed Portfolio Holder for Customer Access and  since park homes fall under her portfolio, she felt it was no longer appropriate to Chair the Forum.  I was duly elected Chair of the Forum in her place at the meeting held on 25 October 2015.

As a Council, Exeter City Council has been aware that many park home properties have poor levels of insulation and the residents often find themselves in fuel poverty, and the Forum supported the Age UK campaign Don’t leave park homes out in the cold.

One of  biggest problems that face park home owners is applying for the Green Deal grant which provides funding towards insulating homes.  As a result, officers have been working up a scheme for Exeter’s park home residents – Exeter Warm and Healthy Park Homes grant which was launched at the Forum meeting held on 05 April 2016.

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed Peter Bywater, Senior Project Manager of Wessex Energy to the meeting.

Peter Bywater gave a presentation on the Exeter Healthy Park Homes Scheme [see below] which was yet to commence, and further comments on the presentation were as follows:

Once the concept of this new scheme is approved, there may be opportunities to contact other funders such as Public Health, who had committed some funding to similar schemes in Dorset.

Wessex Energy will oversee the grant, and qualifying households need to be over 50 years old and in a park home in the Exeter City Council area.  Park homes need to be built prior to 1995.  Any park homes built post 1995 could take advantage of other energy efficiency measures such as underfloor insulation which will be covered by the £2,000 grant.

Registered installers who are Members of the National Insulation Association will carry out works to properties, and where possible, local companies will be used. Background checks will be made on companies, including its directors, how works are installed and standards within the industry.  Reference was made to the Buy With Confidence Scheme and Trading Standards would welcome working with Wessex Energy.

A decision has not yet been made on what heating repairs will be covered by the scheme.

Peter advised that the Energy Company Obligation [ECO] grant will be cut by about 50%, and by 2018 this will change to a fuel poverty led grant.  A resident advised that some companies did not recognise the ECO grant.  Residents may want to take this into account when considering switching energy provider.

The grant will come from Exeter City Council.  A plea was made that the scheme is transparent.  The application process had yet to be finalised, and it may involve a pre-survey.  There was likely to be a priority list for clients to complete.

If the grant does not cover the total cost of the work, discussions would take place at the application stage in terms of an affordability check.  Clients will then be able to prioritise works according to their means with indicative costs provided.

Peter advised that he was meeting with Wessex Loans the following day to discuss their affordability/vulnerability checks and the process around this.

Caroline Aird advised that Turn2Us was not necessarily the best site to obtain advice on grants as often ground rent and service charges are not included as in the case for park homes.  Either the CAB or Citizens Advice Bureau would be happy to provide guidance.

The typical width of insulation is 90-110mm.  However, it was noted that some park home owners are refusing installation on the grounds of the distance between park homes.  Peter advised that they would need to look at this on a case by case basis.

Peter would welcome the opportunity to attend a future meeting once the scheme had been finalised, and the Forum welcomed this.

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