Charity worried substandard homes increasing heating bills

Man checking boiler
Mr and Mrs Cox's house was assessed as an EPC rating of E

The National Energy Action charity is worried that homes in Staffordshire are substandard and causing heating bills to increase.

Danielle and Josh Cox from Rugeley had an energy assessment done on their property, which is below the recommended EPC rating of C.

Mr Cox said in the past three months their heating bills doubled.

The assessment showed damp walls, draughts around the windows and the boiler was over 15 years old.

"It definitely is a worry especially with my daughter's bedroom, the damp in there is my main concern," Mrs Cox said.

Josh and Danielle Cox
Josh and Danielle Cox said their energy bills had doubled

The National Energy Action charity said 40% of homes in Staffordshire have below average levels of loft insulation, while 36% of homes there have substandard walls.

Mr and Mrs Cox's home was assessed by Residential Energy Services (RES) which has been awarded £400,000 by the government to reach its target of giving advice to 12,000 households by March 2025.

The couple are now waiting for funding from Staffordshire County Council so their home can be improved to bring it up to the governments standards.

This will include new loft and external wall insulation which should significantly reduce heating bills.

'Eat or heat'

Speaking generally, Sarah Parry, director at RES, said: "Nobody should be in a position of 'heat or eat'.

"I think we're slowly getting there with the different funding initiatives that are available... to get efficient homes that aren't hard to heat."

Geoff Dickenson, who is a stroke survivor, and his wife Pauline said when they had their home assessed by RES, they needed an incredible amount of work done such as new radiators, insulations and windows.

Mrs Dickenson said: "We didn't know any of this existed and we were told we could get quite a lot done to the house to make it warmer."

Sarah Parry
Sarah Parry, director at Residential Energy Services, said people should not have to chose between eating or heating

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