Pilot lights way for mains gas project
COUNCIL house tenants in Wadebridge have benefited from a scheme that has extended the mains gas network in the town and will bring central heating to 50 Cornwall Housing properties.
The project by Cornwall Council's Green Cornwall team along with Cornwall Housing and British Gas, forms part of a pilot scheme that could ultimately provide the means to connect many thousands of homes.
The properties' tenants will also have new central heating systems fitted by British Gas, as part of the Glow Cornwall programme, helping to make their homes more comfortable during the winter and cutting fuel bills.
"Around half of Cornish homes are not on the mains gas network and it is these households that experience higher fuel costs and are reliant on fuels, such as oil, that have a significant impact on the environment," said Councillor Julian German, Cornwall Council portfolio holder for Economy and Culture.
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"Tackling fuel poverty, improving health and wellbeing and reducing our impact on the environment are key aims of the council's Green Cornwall programme. The extension of the mains gas network will help facilitate access to a much cheaper and less environmentally damaging source of energy."
While mains gas extensions to publicly owned or housing association stock will always be dependent on available budgets, reducing households' reliance on expensive fuels was an important long-term goal of the Green Cornwall programme, said the local authority.
A council spokesperson said: "While the role of renewables will become increasingly important, any extension to the mains gas network is an important step on the journey to tackle a range of social and environmental challenges that we currently face in Cornwall.
"The project builds on current work by Cornwall Housing to connect its council house properties to mains gas.''
Nick Ball, chair of Cornwall Housing Board, said: "We are pleased to be able to help kick-start this initiative, which will help reduce fuel poverty in Cornwall and will at the same time help reduce some of our tenants' heating bills."