J&J Crump is about to launch a special rural project in the parish of Williton in West Somerset that we hope will benefit some 200 homes and provide a useful template for further rural projects.
The parish has a population of just over 2,500 in two LSOA’s (lower level super output areas), one of which is a CSCO (Carbon Saving Communities Obligation) area. The boundary between the two LSOA’s runs through the middle of the village of Williton.
18 per cent of homes in the parish are of solid wall construction, and as part of this project we will work with our energy company partner to determine how many of these could be provided with external wall insulation free of charge. The number will be determined by the quantity of other insulation measures installed.
23 per cent of homes are ‘off-gas’ and 21 per cent have economy 7 electricity meters, so there is quite a high dependency on expensive electric heating.
14 per cent of households in the CSCO area are fuel poor, compared to 21 per cent in the neighbouring non-CSCO area. This may seem odd but actually is what we expect, primarily because there is no correlation (or at best a very weak correlation) between fuel poverty and CSCO areas, which are areas with high levels of poverty rather than fuel poverty.
We are working with the local authority and the main housing association (Magna) to finalise the project and marketing plan, and hope to have surveyors in the village soon.
The lessons we learn from this pilot project will enable us to repeat the project template in other rural areas. We will work with local authorities and registered providers to deliver either individual rural projects or to package rural areas into larger schemes.