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Tai Ceredigion secures £550k grant for green improvements

Tai Ceredigion, the new locally-based not-for-profit housing association, has succeeded with its application for £550,000 of funding from the Welsh Assembly Government Arbed programme to help fund its green energy improvement projects in the regeneration area on the association's estates in Aberystwyth.
The organisation is the first in West Wales to secure such a grant and is pioneering the use of green energy for rural housing through microgeneration measures.

These improvements will include the installation of external wall insulation as well as fuel switching from electricity to gas which will benefit tenants, leaseholders and private owners by saving them money on their energy bills.

Adding external wall insulation to homes will help to heat them more efficiently and could cut heating costs by up to 40%.

The association has sustainability and green initiatives at its core, and has explored ways to be more sustainable by providing low carbon solutions for electricity, heating and hot water for its tenants and leaseholders.

'We are delighted to have secured this grant as we urgently need to bring affordable warmth to our housing stock and want to supply the best for our tenants and leaseholders by reducing energy bills without having an effect on the environment,' said Tai Ceredigion's chief executive, Steve Jones.

'We believe sourcing a sustainable energy solution not only for today but for the future is essential.'

Arbed, the strategic energy performance investment programme for the Welsh Assembly Government has been established to help fund home energy efficiency and renewable energy retrofit projects to fuel-poor and low-income households within Regeneration Areas.

'Wales is leading the way with Arbed,' said environment minister Jane Davidson, speaking about the grant.

'It is an innovative scheme that focuses on making homes in some of Wales' most deprived areas much more energy efficient.

'Not only will this help reduce fuel costs for those that need it most, it will also help us drastically to reduce carbon emissions and ensure the creation of new job and training opportunities throughout Wales.

'I am delighted that householders in Ceredigion will feel the benefits of warmer homes and lower fuel bills, not just in the short term, but for years to come.'

Tai Ceredigion is working in partnership with not-for-profit company Warm Wales, Npower, the Energy Saving Trust, and the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) to deliver its promises as nearly 2,500 homes in the county need to be brought up to the Welsh Housing Quality Standard.

During the next five years Tai Ceredigion will spend £40million bringing them up to that standard. Its 30 year business plan will also see £136million investment in maintaining them.
14 July 2010

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