IMPROVEMENTS to make homes more energy-efficient and slash fuel bills have received a warm reception in Keighley.

Work started in July on a Bradford-district programme to provide grants to low-income households for measures such as insulation.

And properties in central Keighley were the first to benefit.

So far, 17 households have signed-up to the scheme, with work being completed in five of the homes.

Bradford Council, which has partnered with Eclipse Energy and Better Homes Yorkshire to deliver the initiative, says feedback has been positive.

Funding is from the Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Work includes the full insulation of attic space, measures to improve air flow and plastering and redecorating.

A property’s so-called EPC rating – a measurement of energy efficiency, ranging from a top-scoring A to bottom-of-the-table G – can be upped by two bands as a result of the scheme.

Annual energy-bill savings can exceed £480, with a lifetime carbon reduction of 75.26 tonnes per property.

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s portfolio holder for healthy people and places, said: “I am delighted to hear that there has been a good response to this scheme.

“These measures can really make a difference to families’ energy bills and with us getting into autumn and colder weather, it feels very timely.”

Stephen Batty, head of sustainability at Better Homes Yorkshire, urges more people who qualify for the scheme to take-up the offer.

He added: “Existing housing in the UK currently contributes around 27 per cent of total carbon emissions and, with 80 per cent of the houses that will still be around in 2050 already built, it’s vital we look at innovative and practical solutions if we are to achieve the Government’s zero-carbon ambitions.

“This offer is a great opportunity for people in Bradford district to make their homes warmer and cheaper to heat. I’d urge anyone who is eligible to take advantage.”

Qualifying criteria for households includes a total combined income of less than £30,000.

Canvassers have been visiting properties to outline the scheme and assess if households are eligible.

For more details, visit, call Eclipse Energy on 01422 414850 or email