Ground-breaking Ascham Energy Partnership set to invest millions in Waltham Forest

An innovative partnership has been formed between Osborne, Ascham Homes (the arms-length housing management organisation for Waltham Forest Council) and British Gas plc as part of the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) scheme which will see up to £25 million of ECO funding invested into energy saving works for Waltham Forest residents.

The Ascham Energy Partnership is the first on this scale in London, and a unique three-way partnership building on existing relationships with Ascham Homes, Osborne, British Gas, and supported by Waltham Forest Council. It is designed to help reduce fuel poverty and energy bills by building on the strengths of each partner organisation. It is estimated that half of the entire Council stock of 12,000 properties could benefit from one or more of the measures on offer.

It is a community-focused initiative, supported by the Council, providing energy efficiency advice and services to improve fuel usage and reduce carbon emissions. Works will include insulation and heating upgrades, initially to Council housing, but with the potential to expand into the private sector in the future. Potential savings for residents could be as much as £200 a year on energy bills.

Survey and planning works have already commenced and residents will begin to see the benefits in the late summer, with savings on their bills during next winter.

Not only will this boost the borough’s green credentials, but it should provide much needed employment and vocational training opportunities for local people. The Partnership will provide up to 40 permanent jobs in the borough.

Jo Murphy, Deputy Chief Executive of Ascham Homes said, “Ascham Homes are delighted to be part of a fantastic partnership bringing millions of pounds into the borough to deliver energy initiatives and jobs for Waltham Forest residents. The current economic climate means that we are all ‘feeling the pinch’ in paying household bills and this investment will provide help where it is needed most.

Osborne are already delivering our response, void and planned works with great success throughout the borough and we are delighted they have brought this opportunity to us. We are also very pleased to be working with British Gas who are able to provide their extensive experience and expertise in energy reduction for the benefit of our residents. The potential for job creation will be a much-welcomed boost to our local economy.”

Councillor Marie Pye, Waltham Forest Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, said, “£25 million is a huge and welcome investment in the borough’s housing stock. It will have a marked effect on thousands of homes and benefit both residents’ bank balances and the planet. I’m delighted that such a significant amount of help can be offered to people struggling to pay their energy bills and that at the same time it can create jobs for local people and invest in the quality of our built environment.”

Andrew Reaney, Regional Director for London for British Gas, said, “We are delighted that Ascham Homes and the London Borough of Waltham Forest have decided to take such an innovative, borough wide approach to tackling energy efficiency issues. The challenges facing the borough are significant but we are confident that this partnership will be best placed to tackle the key issues outlined above and deliver real benefits for communities across the borough.”

Nick Sterling from Osborne said, “Part of our role in a long term, relationship such as the one we currently have with Ascham Homes is to innovate and bring opportunities for our partners. This Energy Partnership brings to life this philosophy, providing significant investment for the borough and will be the first of our partnerships to go ‘live’. We anticipate that we will commence work in the summer.”