Northamptonshire councils working together

Category Archive: News & Events

  1. Free First Time Gas Central Heating – Connect for Warmth

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    Connected for Warmth is a scheme to install first-time central heating into fuel poor and vulnerable homes that don’t currently have it.

    Its aims are to reduce bills, increase comfort in non-gas households, and improve health outcomes for residents. It is run by AgilityEco in partnership with installers, local authorities and housing associations across the Cadent area. It is free for households.



    What happens after you apply to the scheme?

    • ​The first step towards getting a new central heating system installed is for us to check your eligibility and the suitability of your property for a gas central heating system. This will include a home survey which will identify any technical challenges that might prevent the installation going ahead.
    • ​After this we will arrange for a gas connection and a gas meter (if you don’t already have them) and after that for the installation of the new central heating system. This includes a condensing combi-gas boiler, radiators in all habitable rooms and suitable heating controls.
    • ​It can take anywhere between 3-6 months for the installation to take place, depending on a number of factors. Timescales will vary for each property as the location of your property and results of the survey will affect the speed at which we can install your central heating. New gas connections, where needed, will often involve digging up nearby roads – this process can take a little while.
    • ​With your permission we will also refer you to the appropriate local energy advice service which may be able to assist with switching to a better energy tariff, provide other energy efficiency improvements and help to maximise your income and reduce your bills.

    This is open to private landlords too, with a small financial contribution.

    For more information visit


  2. Corby LEAP – Free home energy visits

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    LEAP is a free energy and money saving service specifically created to help households that need extra support.

    As part of the fully funded service, a qualified LEAP Home Energy Advisor will visit residents’ homes to take a look at their current heating and temperature levels. The advisor can then fit a variety of energy and water-saving measures, such as draught-proofing, low-energy LED lightbulbs, radiator panels and shower savers, during the visit itself, which can save households around £30 a year on their energy bills.

    The advisor will also be able to give free energy efficiency hints and tips and, if they have a heating controller, advice on how to set it to save energy. The residents’ energy tariff will be checked and, if they are not on the best tariff, the advisor can help them to change to a cheaper one. They will also signpost the savings available from switching energy tariff. On average, a household can save over £200 a year by switching their heating and electricity supply to the cheapest tariff.

    In addition, the advisor can assess whether further support is required. Residents can be referred for income maximisation help, who will ensure the resident is receiving the correct financial help and support with debt, if needed. Help with hazards in the home and safety checks from the Unitary Council and/or the Fire Service can also be arranged if necessary.

    The advisor will also check if the house has uninsulated cavity walls or an uninsulated loft. If so, it may be possible to arrange for FREE insulation to be installed. ​This service includes a helping hand with broken boilers, and broken white good appliances.

    The LEAP service is being promoted by direct referrals from local partners in the public and voluntary sectors. All visits will be by appointment only and advisors will carry photo ID.



    Who’s eligible? The LEAP service is available to those on low income, benefits or with certain physical and mental health problems. For Corby area residents (town and rural). Full eligibility criteria are set out at

    The service is open to those living in owner-occupied, private rented sector or social housing who meet the eligibility criteria.

    The Corby LEAP Project is coordinated by North Northants Council with Public Health funding through the Corby Health and Wellbeing Forum.

    To find out more about the LEAP service and whether you qualify, please visit: or call 0800 060 7567

  3. Smart Meters

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    A smart meter can help identify when a lot of energy is being used and help us use less

    Smart meters are the new generation of gas and electricity meters being rolled out across Great Britain. A smart meter helps you take control of your energy use, by showing you exactly what you are spending in pounds and pence; no more estimated bills or supplying meter readings. A smart meter can help identify when we’re using a lot of energy and might want to make changes to this. If you use the information shown on your in-home display to reduce your energy use, you could cut costs and become more energy efficient.

    There is no additional cost for installation of your smart meter and with a new, second-generation smart meter, you should be able to switch energy supplier and tariff with no interruption.

    To request your smart meter, contact your energy supplier.

    For more information on


  4. Green Home Grants *now closed*

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    Green Home Grant Information for Householders *update – the Government has closed this scheme as of the 31st March 2021*

    This is a new scheme which is time limited from September 2020 till March 2022. The following is a breakdown on the new scheme and how this may help you to make your home more energy efficient, warmer and low carbon;

    –              New voucher scheme launched by the Government in September 2020

    –              In order to obtain a voucher, homeowners will have to make an online application detailing the energy efficiency measures they wish to carry out.

    –              The measures will be split into two categories: primary and secondary. Homeowners must install at least one measure from the primary category in order to qualify for the vouchers.

    –              Further information from Government can be found here:

    –              Website to register for a voucher will open in September is found here

    –              Under the scheme, the government will pay at least two-thirds of the cost of home improvements that save energy, up to £5,000.

    –              Lower income households can receive up to £10,000.

    –              Once you have applied, your details will then be forwarded to accredited local suppliers.

    –              Once one of the suppliers has issued a quote, and the requested work has been approved,  the government will then issue the voucher.

    –              Fossil fuel boilers are not included such as gas boilers

    –              Householders are unable to blend or include other government schemes such as ECO


    What are the energy saving measures I can use the voucher for?

    The primary category:

    • insulation (such as loft, cavity wall or under-floor insulation)
    • low carbon heating (such as air source heat pumps, ground source heat pumps or solar thermal).

    The secondary category:

    Vouchers for secondary measures will be capped at the same amount provided in relation to the primary measures For example, if you claim £1,500 for insulation, then you will receive a maximum of £1,500 for double glazing

    Providing that you apply for at least one measure from the primary category, you will also be able to claim for a grant for secondary measures. These include:

    • double/triple glazing (only where replacing single glazing)
    • energy efficient doors (only where replacing doors installed prior to 2002)
    • draught proofing
    • heating controls and insulation, such as thermostats and smart heating controls.


    How much are the vouchers worth?

    This is split into two parts.

    Under the scheme, the government will pay at least two-thirds of the cost of home improvements that save energy, up to £5,000.  For example, if you were to have double-glazed windows installed for around £2,000, then the government would contribute around £1,333 and the homeowner would pay around £666.


    Low-income element of the scheme, households will be eligible to receive up to £10,000 towards these improvements. And these homeowners will not have to contribute anything to the cost.

    You can qualify for the Green Home Grants low-income element of the scheme if you receive at least one of the following:

    • Attendance Allowance
    • Carer’s Allowance
    • Child Tax Credits (CTC)
    • Contribution based Employment & Support Allowance (ESA)
    • Contribution based Jobseekers allowance (JSA)
    • Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
    • Income based Employment & Support Allowance (ESA)
    • Income based Jobseekers allowance (JSA)
    • Income Support (IS)
    • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
    • Housing benefit
    • Pension Guarantee Credit
    • Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
    • Severe Disablement Allowance
    • Universal Credit (UC)
    • Working Tax Credit (WTC)


    Who can apply for the vouchers?

    Only homeowners and landlords will be eligible.


    How can I claim Green Homes Grant vouchers?

    From September, it will be possible to apply for the grant online, but you will not be able to sign up before then, using the Government ‘Simply Energy Advice’ website


    Who can install these energy saving measures?

    Tradespeople must be from a TrustMark Registered Business. The Government ‘Simply Energy Advice’ website will suggest appropriate home improvements that you may be able to apply for. They will then direct you to a list of approved TrustMark and or Microgeneration Certification Scheme  (MCS) registered tradespeople in your local area to carry out the work.





  5. Young family’s thanks to ‘life-changing’ fund

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    Miles Priestley with Jacob

    A young family have expressed their delight after having free central heating installed thanks to the Warm Homes Fund.

    Miles and Hannah Priestley were struggling to heat their Brixworth home with electric storage heaters, which left their house too hot during the day and too cold at night.

    But the young couple and their 10-month-old son Jacob are now enjoying the benefit of an efficient gas central heating system, which was funded and installed entirely free-of-charge following a successful application to the Warm Homes Fund.

    Miles said: “Our home was heated by 30-year-old electric storage heaters which were expensive to run and heated the house very poorly. It was too hot during the day, and freezing at night, which was no fun with a new born baby getting us up three times a night.

    “We applied for the Fund online, and were very pleased to hear we had been successful. The central heating was installed by Plumb-Line, who were extremely competent and worked cleanly and efficiently.

    “Having the central heating is an unbelievable relief. We are a new family, just starting out, and having just got on the housing market we have very little spare income to pay for heating. This really has been life-changing.”

    The Northants Warm Homes partnership has secured nearly £4 million to provide fully-funded gas central heating for fuel poor homes across Northamptonshire that do not already have it.

    Households eligible for the Warm Homes Fund are those most in need of support, including people on low incomes that have high energy bills, and those who are vulnerable to the cold because of health conditions.

    Both owner-occupiers and private tenants can apply, though tenants will need the permission of their landlord. The project aims to put ‘first-time’ gas central heating in homes, so properties with central heating powered by oil, or in villages which are off the gas network, are not eligible.

    Nationally, the £150m Warm Homes Fund has been established by National Grid and is administered by Community Interest Company, Affordable Warmth Solutions.

    Within Northamptonshire, the Warm Homes Fund scheme will run until 2021 and is run by Surefire Management Services on behalf of local authorities in the county, including Daventry District Council.

    Councillor Daniel Cribbin, Environmental Health and Housing Portfolio Holder on Daventry District Council, said: “We’re very pleased to be a partner in this programme, which aims to help reduce fuel poverty and have a positive impact on people’s health.

    “I’m delighted to hear about the difference having central heating will make to this young family, and I would urge anyone who thinks they might be eligible to visit the website or call the freephone number to find out more.”

    Jeremy Nesbitt, Managing Director of Affordable Warmth Solutions, said: “We’re delighted to be providing funding through the Warm Homes Fund programme and to be working with the partnership to provide solutions to the challenges associated with homes living in fuel poverty.”

    To find out more, visit the Northants Warm Homes website or phone 0800 029 4542.

    Residents can also access advice and support to improve their home’s energy efficiency and reduce their bills with the Northamptonshire Energy Saving Service

  6. NESS Launch

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    Andrew Lewer MBE MP officially launched Northamptonshire Energy Saving Service (NESS) on Friday 19th October at Kings Park Conference Centre in Northampton in the presence of The Worshipful Mayor, Cllr Tony Ansell and Cllr Wendy Brackenberry Chairman of East Northamptonshire Council. The event was also attended by a number of representatives from local authorities and voluntary organisations across the County.  Nicky Swetnam, Project Development Co-ordinator from National Energy Action was the guest speaker at the event and provided an overview of fuel poverty issues at both a national and local level.

    NESS is an exciting new 3 year £1.1million Project funded by National Grid’s Warm Homes Fund which aims to tackling Fuel Poverty across Northamptonshire.  The Project will support up to 6000 households over the three year period was designed and is being delivered by Community Law Service ( Northampton & County)  in partnership with Care and Repair (Northamptonshire), South Northants Volunteer Bureau (SNVB) and Citizens Advice Services Corby and Kettering. Northamptonshire County Council are providing a strategic lead for the Project.

    NESS will build on and broaden the scope of current fuel poverty activity in the County targeting services to low income households, older people, people with physical or mental health problems and people in living in rural areas. Key services being provided by NESS include Welfare Benefit and Debt advice, energy efficiency advice, help with switching to better energy deals and a range of practical energy efficiency measures in the home. A key feature of the Project is a Rural Information Centre (RIC) vehicle which will travel across the County to promote the Project services. The RIC has a private interview room and experienced staff will be available to provide advice and support .


    Julie Silver, Chief Executive of Community Law Service said, “The NESS partnership is delighted to have received this new funding. In the current climate many households on low incomes are struggling to afford their energy costs and as the winter approaches we want as many people as possible to contact us to see if we can help”.


    For more information about NESS:

    Tel: 01604 623700


  7. Northamptonshire Energy Saving Service (NESS)

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    Northamptonshire Energy Saving Service (NESS) is a three-year project funded by National Grid’s Warm Homes Fund to help address fuel poverty in Northamptonshire. It provides help which is free, confidential and independent.

    What help can you get?

    • An Energy Comparison Review
      A free and impartial review of your current energy supply to show potential cost savings and/or better deals
    • A Home Energy Assessment
      Improve the comfort of your home with practical measures to reduce energy consumption
    • A financial health check
      Ensures your finances are in their best shape, including advice and assistance with eligibility and applying for grants, benefits or allowances, and/or assistance to help you manage any debts
    • An Information and Advice Pack
      To help you save money and reduce your utility bills
    • Gas safety checks, servicing and minor boiler repairs

    Who is delivering the project?

    Northamptonshire County Council are working in partnership with local voluntary and charity sector organisations to deliver NESS. Community Law Service are operating as lead delivery partner, alongside Citizens Advice Services Corby and Kettering, Care and Repair Northamptonshire and South Northants Volunteer Bureau.

    Contact the NESS team


  8. East Northants Switch Save Smile

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    Using the power of collective switching to save money on your energy bills.

    Why should you SWITCH?

    Households in East Northamptonshire could save themselves hundreds of pounds a year by simply registering to switch energy supplier. The more people that register and choose to switch, the greater the savings could be.

    How much could you SAVE?

    Whilst we can’t guarantee every household in the district will save £250 a year, we have seen this happen in similar campaigns. The peace of mind that you are paying a fair price is invaluable.

    Go on, make yourself SMILE!

    We are working with an expert in collective switching, iChoosr, who have run successful campaigns around the UK, saving households well earned money. It takes less than 10mins to register your interest. What are you waiting for?

    Click here for more information

  9. Information for Private Sector Tenants and Landlords

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    If a tenant rents from a private landlord or letting agent there are a few key areas that they should be aware of and in some cases should request to see copies of certificates before signing any tenancy agreement. There are a number of helpful topics on privately renting on the Governments website.


    If a tenant is having problems with their property they should contact their landlord or letting agents as soon as possible to notify them of the problem. Depending on the severity of the problem will depend upon how quickly it can be resolved so the tenant should ask when the problem can be looked and then fixed. If no action is taken the tenant can make a complaint to the council for an inspection to be undertaken. The council is legally required to notify the landlord that a complaint has been made and that we intend to inspect the property, we have to advise them of when we intend to inspect the visit and they can attend at this time if they wish.

    Housing inspections look at a number of different hazards and a risk assessment is competed following the inspection. Where works are required we will formally write to the person responsible for the repairs advising them of what must be completed. If they fail to complete the works as requested legal notices may be served requiring them to complete the works within a set time.

    We do not advise any tenant to withhold their rent on the grounds of disrepair. However, should tenants feel this is the only option they must first discuss this with a solicitor as there is set process that must be followed to avoid risk of eviction. Further information can be found in Shelter’s leaflet on disrepair.

    The most common type of complaint is damp and mould growth, however the majority of these complaints once investigated are due to condensation caused by how the tenant lives in the property. For information on condensation, how to avoid it and what to do if you have it, please see East Northants District advice leaflet. 

    Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Regulations

    The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 came into force on 1 October 2015. These will require private sector landlords to have at least one smoke alarm installed on every storey of their properties, and a carbon monoxide alarm in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance (e.g. a coal fire, wood burning stove etc). After that, the landlord must make sure the alarms are in working order at the start of each new tenancy. Failure to comply with the regulations will lead to a penalty of up to £5000.

    The regulations aim to reduce the risk of injury or death to tenants caused by fire or carbon monoxide poisoning, landlords can find further information in the explanatory booklet.

    Landlords are required by the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 to ensure that all gas appliances are maintained in good order and that an annual safety check is carried out by a tradesman who is registered with Gas Safe Register.

    The landlord must keep a record of the safety checks and issue it to the tenant within 28 days of each annual check. The landlord is not responsible for maintaining any gas appliances the tenant is entitled to take with them at the end of the letting.

    A copy of the most up to date gas safety certificate should be provided to the tenant or should be available on request from the landlord. If there is no gas safety certificate in place tenants should report this to the Health and Safety Executive who are the enforcing body.

    Fire safety of furniture and furnishings

    Landlords must ensure that any furniture and furnishings they supply meet the fire resistance requirements in the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988.

    The regulations set levels of fire resistance for domestic upholstered furniture. All new and second hand furniture provided in accommodation that is let for the first time, or replacement furniture in existing let accommodation, must meet the fire resistance requirements unless it was made before 1950. Most furniture will have a manufacturer’s label on it saying if it meets the requirements.

  10. Kettering Switch2Save

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    Join our new energy switch scheme

    Save money on your energy bills with our new collective energy switch scheme – go on it’s free!

    Our hassle free, no obligation switching scheme is ideal if you’ve;

    • Never switched energy suppliers
    • Not switched for a number of years
    • Or, simply want to check you’ve got the best deal

    Why pay more for your gas and electric when you don’t need to?!

    It’s as easy as 1,2,3…

    1. Register by Monday 8 October 2018
      It’s all about PEOPLE POWER – The more households that register and switch the cheaper the energy tariff. You’ll need a recent bill or annual statement with information on your energy usage and current tariff.

      **Don’t have an email address or know someone who could benefit from this but they can’t access the internet? Households can still register by using a trusted family member or friends email address (each email address can be used up to five times). Alternatively, visit us or call 01536 410 333 to complete a registration with our support.

    2. Receive your personal offer from Monday 22 October 2018
      There’s no obligation, but if you like what you see ensure you switch by Tuesday 27 November 2018!
    3. Save, Save, Save
      Whilst we can’t guarantee it, on average people save between £250 – £300 a year!

    Register Here

    Alternatively, visit our drop-in sessions at our Bowling Green Road offices on:

    Wednesday 19th September and 3rd October between 10am – 3pm

    Bring along your recent energy bill and our ‘Energy Champions’ will help you through the process and offer advice.

    Need help?  

    We have teamed up with iChoosr, the independent experts in group energy buying. There are a number of ways you can get the help you need;

    Please note: All information provided will be held by iChoosr. When considering your offer keep in mind whether there are exit fees to leave your current tariff (there can be one per fuel) and whether payments such as the Warm Homes Discount might be lost if the winning supplier does not offer this.