Residents’ joy as insulation scheme cuts energy bills and improves homes

Councillors Smith, Whiteside and Greensmith outside the homes in Leigh with the new insulation.
Councillors Smith, Whiteside and Greensmith outside the homes in Leigh with the new insulation.

A ground-breaking scheme to insulate terraced homes in the centre of Leigh is proving a hit with residents and is set to reduce their energy bills.

The external wall insulation scheme run by Wigan Council has seen insulation added to 18 homes in Glebe Street, Gordon Street, Prescott Street and Selwyn Street in Leigh.

A further six are set to be completed by the end of March.

The scheme sees expanded polystyrene insulation applied to the external walls of the houses. It is then rendered with a brick effect finish – giving the home a new and smart look.

One resident who is delighted with the work is Helen Gill, aged 72, who has lived in Selwyn Street for 35 years. She has had her insulation for three weeks.

She said: “It has already made a difference. I now don’t have the heating on as long and when I turn it off it stays warmer for longer.”

And Helen is pleased with how the insulation has made her home look.

“This is the nicest it’s ever looked in 35 years!” she said.

The scheme is 75 per cent funded through the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund.

The council has set aside £400,000 to make interest free loans available to residents to cover the 25 per cent shortfall. This means that homeowners do not have to find any money up front.

The three ward councillors for Leigh West dropped by to have a look at the work for themselves.

Lord Peter Smith, council leader and ward member, said: “This scheme will improve some of the most energy inefficient homes in the borough, which will help to reduce energy bills for residents who are increasingly finding it difficult to heat their homes adequately.

“By making interest free loans available to residents we have enabled them to make the most of the Green Deal funding that is currently available.”

Councillor Myra Whiteside said: “I have been working closely with local residents to help regenerate this area of Leigh for some time now and it is great to see this scheme being delivered on the ground.

“Residents have commented that they have hardly needed to have their heating on since the insulation was installed, which has helped them to keep warm and healthy during the winter months.”

Councillor Susan Greensmith said: “It is wonderful to see and hear how the residents are benefiting from this scheme.

“By reducing energy bills it is helping to save residents money and keep their houses warm and comfortable.

“I would urge others in the area to take-up the scheme when the council contact them.”

Anees Mank, service manager for housing services at Wigan Council, said: “The council is working with Dyson Energy Services on securing funding for the second phase of the scheme and will be offering cavity wall insulation for houses with cavity walls and external wall insulation for houses with solid walls, together with new windows and doors where necessary.”

For further information contact Wigan Council Housing Services, on 01942 489214.