A new scheme to improve energy efficiency in the most vulnerable homes is being piloted in parts of the Limavady Borough Council area.
The Department for Social Development in conjunction with Limavady Borough Council will be offering a range of energy efficiency measures free of charge to around 125 homes in the Borough.
Limavady Council will work with selected householders to identify a range of energy efficiency improvements which may be available to them.
The homes included in the pilot have been identified as those that could benefit most from energy efficiency improvements, based on mapping information developed by Professor Christine Liddell from the University of Ulster. Professor Liddell has used extensive research to identify fuel poverty prevalence across Northern Ireland and mapped it by census output area.
The selected homes in the Borough will be surveyed in the coming months.
The improvements could include loft insulation, cavity wall insulation, servicing of existing boiler or a new energy efficient boiler.
Encouraging householders identified to participate in the pilot scheme, DSD Minister Nelson McCausland said: “In April 2011, the Department published ‘Warmer Healthier Homes: A Fuel Poverty Strategy for Northern Ireland’ which placed significant emphasis on the partnership approach required to tackle fuel poverty.
“Since then we have been working with the University of Ulster and a number of local councils to develop maps which highlight the areas most affected by fuel poverty.
“Councils participating in the scheme will shortly be issuing a letter to those householders advising them of the scheme and offering each a home energy check to discuss the range of energy efficient improvements that may be available to them.
“I would encourage all those who receive a letter to avail of this offer as research shows that by improving the energy efficiency in your home you can reduce your energy bills and ultimately improve your health and well being.”
The Minister continued: “The Department for Social Development is committed to helping householders improve the energy efficiency of their home.
“Tackling fuel poverty is also a priority for the Northern Ireland Executive and we will continue to work with others to identify those most vulnerable and in need.”
Limavady Council will issue letters in the coming weeks to those homes within the target areas.
“If you receive a letter you can then expect a representative from the council to visit your home and if you are willing, carry out a survey.
All council representatives will have photographic identification and will provide a phone number to enable the householder to confirm their identity.