THE homes of thousands of people on Teesside will be made more energy-efficient following the award of grants totalling millions of pounds.

People living in properties owned by Erimus Housing and Tees Valley Housing will see their heating bills reduced thanks to work to secure grants to make homes warmer and lower residents’ gas and electricity usage.

Fabrick, the parent company of Erimus Housing, Tees Valley Housing and housing support charity Norcare, has been awarded £8.6m in grants to carry out a range of initiatives.

Geoff Prior, head of asset management for Fabrick Housing Group, said: “We are extremely proud of our work in making homes as energy-efficient as possible to reduce tenants’ heating costs.

“Energy costs have recently risen again and by maximising grant insulation opportunities we have made thousands of homes warmer and more affordable.”

So far a range of initiatives have been carried out to make a number of homes warmer and more fuel-efficient, including converting heating systems and installing insulation.

The list of schemes includes cavity wall insulation and loft insulation top-up in a number of areas; external wall insulation and new boilers to non-traditional homes in Hemlington in Middlesbrough; installation of photovoltaic panels to 272 properties in Hemlington, Middlesbrough; external insulation and fuel switch work - electric heating to gas - at Stockton, Redcar, Hemlington in Middlesbrough and Hartlepool; fuel switching and gas in-fills to homes in Thorntree and Brambles Farm in Middlesbrough; and installation of fuel switch pumps to replace electric heating at Loftus in East Cleveland.

The work forms part of a wider sustainability strategy implemented by the partners in Fabrick Housing Group and highlights the company’s commitment to tackling fuel poverty.