More than 1,000 Northants homes to get free central heating after county's £4m funding bid

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Free central heating could be fitted in 1,400 homes across Northamptonshire after a consortium led by Corby Council successfully lobbied to win £4m in funding.

The cash is provided by Cadent (formerly the National Grid) from its Warm Homes Fund and will go to homes classed as ‘fuel poor’ - those that do not presently have central heating.

The money will be spent on a mix of private residents and social tenants across Northamptonshire during the next three years.

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In Corby, members of the borough council’s One Corby Policy Committee voted to top up their portion of the fund with £75,000 from Corby Council’s own home repair grant fund and some cash from energy company grant schemes to ensure that between 100 and 200 homes in the borough can receive new central heating.

The bid for the cash was made by the Northants Warm Homes Partnership (NWHP) which is a collaboration between the seven Northamptonshire districts and boroughs and the County Council and aims to help residents of the county to reduce their energy bills, alleviate fuel poverty and lower their carbon emissions. Since the 1990s the group has undertaken many successful projects across Northamptonshire in partnership with fuel utility providers and installers including boiler replacement schemes, renewable energy schemes, home energy advice and insulation schemes.

The other councils will also now have to decide whether to top up the fund with their own cash in order to become eligible for their part of the grant money.

It is estimated each central heating system will cost an average of £3,860 and will help save the average home about £1.400 each per year on fuel bills.

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Corby Borough Council’s Lead Member for Environment, Cllr Mark Pengelly, said: “We are pleased to be able to support and implement the Warm Homes Project in Corby. This project will enable the installation of first time gas central heating to around 100 – 200 fuel poor homes in the Borough, which will reduce their fuel bills and therefore help alleviate fuel poverty.”