HUNDREDS of homes in South Tyneside are benefiting from a £3.84m scheme aimed at tackling fuel poverty and boosting the environment.
Properties in Jarrow and South Shields have been fitted with a wide range of energy-saving technologies as part of a green scheme backed by the European Regional Development Fund.
Homes have had solid-wall insulation, energy-efficient boilers, low-energy lighting and photo-voltaic panels installed as part of the project.
Staff from the National Renewable Energy Centre at Blyth in Northumberland assessed the energy performance of the properties as part of a drive to alleviate fuel poverty across the North East.
The scheme, run jointly by South Tyneside Homes and Homes for Northumberland, saw 300 rented properties in South Tyneside and Blyth benefit from the energy-saving measures, including 136 prefabricated post-Second World War homes in South Shields and 132 properties at three high-rise blocks of flats in Jarrow town centre.
The scheme has improved air penetration at the South Shields properties by 32 per cent and by 26 per cent at the Jarrow flats.
Temperatures in all the properties are now more stable as a result, and big reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are expected to follow.
Project manager Kerry Furness said: “I am delighted with the success of the project. It is wonderful to know that it has had a demonstrable impact on the quality of life of residents, while helping to tackle the issue of fuel poverty.
“The project has also helped to provide a greater understanding and impact of the performance and utilisation of innovative energy products, as well as how best to apply low-carbon products in socially rented prefabricated properties.”
Almost 100 small and medium-sized businesses across the region were also able to access energy-saving support and help as part of the scheme, now at an end.