Confusion over Cowdenbeath energy efficiency scheme

© DC ThomsonMr Mitchell at his Milne Crescent home
Mr Mitchell at his Milne Crescent home

A Cowdenbeath pensioner has complained Fife Council isn’t doing more to help private home owners get a good deal on home insulation schemes.

Norman Mitchell, 73, who lives in the town’s Milne Crescent, has been upset to see workmen in carrying out cladding and insulation work on homes in the estate which are still under local authority ownership.

Meanwhile those homes sold on under tenants’ right to buy aren’t afforded the same work.

Not only is this resulting in what he called a “domino” effect, as new cladding sits alongside old, but he argued the local authority could be doing more to help.

In particular he said the council could have a stronger negotiating tool at its disposal when it came to bulk ordering.

He suggested this is Scottish Government funding, to make homes more energy efficient, which is passed to councils to do the work.

As such, he said, the council should be helping subsidise costs for private home owners too.

While he realised private grants could be available for private home owners as as him, he felt the council could do more.

However, Fife Council said Mr Mitchell may be mixing up Scottish Government projects with the work being carried out in Milne Crescent.

Ian Dawson, the lead officer for housing sustainability, said the resident was confusing the Scottish Government’s home energy efficiency programmes Scotland area based schemes home energy efficiency grant allocation with Fife Council’s own energy efficiency improvement works.

“The grant that Fife Council has available to them from the Scottish Government is delivering external wall insulation to mixed housing in Kirkcaldy, with Glenrothes and Inverkeithing properties to be targeted later this year,” he explained.

“Through this programme, which targets the most fuel poor areas, we have improved over 2,000 private and council homes in Dunfermline, Kirkcaldy, Ballingry, Anstruther and Cardenden.

“The work under way in Cowdenbeath is funded directly by Fife Council.

“We are not receiving any grant or subsidy to undertake this work.”

He added that anyone interested in improving their home energy efficiency can seek assistance from the Energy Saving Trust.

Independent advice and support was available from Home Energy Scotland at freephone 0808 808 2282.