The Minister was speaking at a visit to a street in Ger y Bont in the Rhondda that has been transformed by money for the Welsh Government’s strategic energy programme, ARBED.
The Minister met and visited the home of a Penywaun couple whose home had been transformed by ARBED improvements including re-cladding, wall insulation and new windows and doors. He also met a local man, Robert Smith who has found work in the area as a result of ARBED funded improvements.
The funding will see a further 957 homes in Wales benefitting from the installation of energy saving and renewable energy generating technology through the Welsh Government’s successful ARBED scheme.
Investment will be targeted at some of Wales’s most deprived areas and will help Welsh householders to slash their fuel bills whilst also reducing their reliance on traditional forms of energy that are damaging to the environment.
Speaking about the extra £8.8m, Environment Minister John Griffiths said:
“Ensuring that Welsh homes are more energy efficient is vital if we are to successfully tackle fuel poverty.
“It is also a key part of our efforts to provide new job opportunities, to stimulate Wales’ green economy, to support the construction industry and to achieve the challenging carbon reduction targets set out in our Climate Change Strategy.
“I am delighted that we are using this European funding to ensure that homes in some of Wales’ most deprived areas become much more energy efficient."
Collectively, ARBED funding will ensure that almost 5,000 households across Wales benefit from energy saving measures such as solid wall insulation, draft proofing and heat pumps.
This latest funding follows a £37m ARBED investment announced earlier this year and is backed by the European Regional Development Fund.
It will help to increase local skill levels and will result in the creation of 49 new jobs focused on the production and fitting of energy efficient products, taking the total number of jobs created by phase 2 of ARBED to 283.
During the first phase of ARBED, which ran from 2009 to 2011, 6,000 homes across Wales were transformed by the installation of energy efficiency measures.
The programme also saw over 4,500 weeks of training being delivered in Wales and 80% of the technology being installed by companies that were Welsh or have a large employment base in Wales.
ARBED is delivered in partnership with local authorities and Welsh Housing Associations.