'Energy Doctor' plan

A new £5.8 million ‘Energy Doctor’ scheme has been launched in Buckinghamshire.

The county has been allocated the amount from the Government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund. It is there to spend until the end of March 2025.

Gareth Williams, the council’s cabinet member for climate change and environment, said: ‘We all know that current high energy costs are one of the biggest pressures on household budgets at the moment. Reducing energy use is an important way to reduce bills.’

Councillors plan to use the funding to support local businesses and improve skills training, as well as creating a new Domestic Resource Efficiency Service – the ‘Energy Doctor’ scheme.

This is already helping some households struggling with energy costs.

Under the scheme, council officers are visiting qualifying homes to assess and advise on measures that can reduce energy consumption and costs.

The team also implements suitable low-cost measures such as:

* Draught proofing;
* Hot water cylinder insulation jackets;
* Reflective radiator panels;
* Secondary glazing film.
* LED lights.

The scheme is initially providing a helping hand to low-income households living in privately rented homes. It is hoped each household taking part in the scheme will save around £100 a year in energy costs as a result.

‘Energy Doctor’ complements the support already given by Buckinghamshire Council under a Sustainable Warmth programme. Here, the energy performance of more than 200 homes has been improved.

To qualify for an Energy Doctor visit, a home must meet all of the following criteria:
* You rent the property through a private rental agreement, or own and live in the property;
* Your household has an income of £30,000 or less (before tax), is in receipt of means-tested benefits such as Universal Credit and Council Tax Support, or a member of your household is disabled;
* The domestic property you live in has an energy performance certificate rating of D, E, F or G, or does not legally require a certificate.

To find out more and to request a visit, visit the council’s website.

In addition to the scheme, funding from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund is also be used to provide extra support for businesses regarding energy costs and consumption.

This programme is initially prioritising businesses in 10 council wards in Aylesbury, High Wycombe and Chesham.

Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Environment Gareth Williams, right, with one of the Energy Doctors during installation of a reflective radiator panel.