Winchester council committed to fighting fuel poverty

9:34am Friday 22nd February 2013

WINCHESTER City Council is focused on tackling fuel poverty, according to its housing boss.

Cllr Tony Coates, portfolio holder for housing, said renewable energy sources were key to the council’s housing strategy.

It followed a question at yesterday's full council meeting (Feb 21) where Lib Dem Cllr Anne Weir asked how many people in the district were living in fuel poverty and what the council was doing to help.

She said: “What is the council going to do to put more emphasis on renewables in the fight against fuel poverty?”

The most recent figures from 2010 show 5,212 homes are living in fuel poverty in the Winchester district, or 11.2 per cent, lower than the national average of 16.4 per cent.

But Cllr Coates said: “In rural housing stock we have been putting in biomass boilers and solar heating panels to replace the extensive electric systems. We are also spending £1m a year replacing old gas boilers with modern ones. I know that is not replacing fossil fuels but it does help minimise the use.”

Environment boss Cllr Roger Huxstep added officers were preparing a report on renewable energy which would be published in March.

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