COUNCILLORS have pledged their support for a scheme aimed at delivering mains gas for communities.
The scheme, which forms part of Flintshire Council’s energy efficiency programme for 2014-15, is to provide properties in Aston and Mostyn with a gas main.
In a report, discussed yesterday by members of Flintshire Council’s housing overview and scrutiny committee, it is estimated that the scheme could help households save more than £700 a year on their bills.
At yesterday’s meeting, council officer Gavin Griffith said they hoped to roll mains gas out to several other communities in the county.
Flintshire Council’s head of housing Clare Budden added: “A lot of members would really welcome a similar scheme like this in their wards but historically it has proved uneconomic.
“The reason we have chosen Aston and Mostyn first is that there is a significant proportion of council properties so we can give the provider a commitment with the properties that we are able to fund.”
The scheme would provide 233 council-owned properties, currently reliant on non-mains energy such as oil tanks, with connections, and offer private homeowners a nominal or low interest loan – issued through energy funding – to join up.
According to the report, it is expected that 111 homes in Aston and 806 homes in Mostyn would sign up.
The report said: “It is proposed that a nominal interest loan at up to 2 per cent or a low interest loan is made available.
“The low interest loan will be at 6.25 per cent, which covers the cost of administering the loan.
“The nominal interest loan will be available to customers in receipt of a means tested benefit or who are spending more than 10 per cent of their disposable income on fuel.”
The scheme came as figures released by Flintshire Council showed that nearly a third of households in Flintshire - around 20,000 properties - are in fuel poverty.
At the meeting, Connah’s Quay councillor Paul Shotton said: “The new energy efficiency programme to provide gas is potentially saving poor households over £774 and that is a fantastic saving and we are putting money back into people’s pockets.”
Several councillors at the meeting asked that if loans were provided, the local authority should ensure the residents were able to pay them back.