Mr and Mrs Lamb
Laura Facey

Member Article

Gentoo ECO scheme off the ground despite funding cuts

An energy efficiency scheme to retrofit 100 homes with external wall insulation in Sunderland is set to save households hundreds of pounds a year on their energy bill just two months after funding was withdrawn by a national energy company.

Social business, Gentoo Group, had Energy Company Obligation (ECO) funding pulled in November - just two weeks before energy saving works were due to begin on 100 post-war prefabricated bungalows in Springwell, Sunderland.

The decision that prevented the scheme from going ahead in November was made by the government as it announced its decision to slash ECO funding nationwide.

Graham Smith, Operations Director, Gentoo Group, said: “It was a major blow when the ECO funding was withdrawn in November as it left some of the coldest homes in Sunderland unable to benefit from the scheme. We have put a lot of work into negotiating a new funding package with an alternative funding provider in order to achieve what we set out to do, which was to provide local people with warmer, more energy efficient homes.”

Allan Thompson, Managing Director, Gentoo Construction, said: “At Gentoo we believe nothing is impossible and although the decision to withdraw the initial funding was out of our hands, we have done everything in our power to get the scheme off the ground again. We are delighted to be giving the residents an opportunity to make lifetime savings on their energy bill which will undoubtedly improve their Art of Living”.

The news has delighted residents who were resigned to not being able to have the work undertaken to their homes following Chancellor George Osborne’s autumn statement announcement which outlined significant cuts to ECO funding for the foreseeable future.

As part of the scheme, some homes will also receive double glazed windows, further enhancing warmth and comfort for householders.

Fred and Gladys Lamb, who have recently received this work said: “It was such a disappointment the energy company funding was initially withdrawn. Our home is hard to heat and we’re forced to budget how much we spend on our energy bill because it’s so expensive. But we are absolutely delighted the scheme is now going ahead. We can’t thank Gentoo enough for bringing the scheme back to life.”

Gentoo Group’s whole ethos is about believing nothing is impossible and finding new ways to challenge conventions, Gentoo aims to make society a better place to live and to make a real difference to the way people live their life. To find out more about Gentoo, visit for more information or follow @gentoogroup on Twitter.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Laura Facey .

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