HUNDREDS of tower block residents are benefiting from cheaper fuel bills thanks to external wall insulation which has been installed as part of a multi-million pound energy saving project.
Chester & District Housing Trust (CDHT) has completed work at its three Blacon high-rise blocks including a white and grey thermal render, improved balconies, new entrances with canopies and revamped communal areas.
City centre housing trust tenants in the three tower blocks by the fire station will benefit from phase two, starting this summer, involving similar improvements plus a £1.25m bio-mass heating system which uses wood pellets to heat and provide hot water to the blocks.
This communal and renewable energy source will replace individual storage heaters and boilers making it more fuel efficient and cheaper for householders.
There are plans to improve the thermal efficiency of the other three Newtown tower blocks.
The project also aims to improve the appearance of the buildings and has been made possible through £4m of investment from CDHT plus £3.6m EU funding in partnership with Cheshire West and Chester Council and British Gas.
David Soothill, CDHT assistant director, asset management and development, said: “The rendering will enhance the thermal performance of the building, which will help to cut bills. With fuel prices rising, this will reduce fuel poverty.
“Another important factor is that both phases will have a beneficial impact on the city of Chester as both sites are located in gateway entrances.”
The improved thermal efficiency of the blocks will go some way toward the council’s aim of reducing Cheshire West’s carbon dioxide emissions by 1,437 tonnes per year by December 2013.