The Shadow Minister for Energy and Climate Change, Luciana Berger MP, was in the region today visiting ‘Art of Living’ company Gentoo Group, to discuss innovative environmental improvements being used to challenge fuel poverty and poor health.
During the visit, held at Gentoo’s award-winning energy efficient PassivHaus development in Houghton-le-Spring, Ms Berger met with Gentoo customers to see first hand how their lives have been significantly improved through the installation of energy saving measures to their home.
Discussions centred on how Gentoo are tackling the issues of environmental sustainability and poor health, and focussed on a new study being carried out by Gentoo, in partnership with Nottingham City Homes and Bangor University, which is attempting to quantify whether improving homes positively impacts on life expectancy, proving that warm homes equals healthy people.
Luciana Berger MP, said: “I’m delighted to visit Gentoo Group and see first hand the great work they are doing to create more energy efficient homes in the North East. It’s a responsible housing association which is making a tangible difference to people’s lives.
“Millions of families up and down the country are struggling with soaring energy bills and being pushed deeper into fuel poverty. Ultimately the best way to help people get their gas and electricity costs down is to reduce the amount of energy households use in the first place, and the Government needs to be doing more to encourage this across the UK.”
Chief executive of Gentoo Group, Peter Walls said: “Today’s visit has been a great opportunity to demonstrate the innovative ways Gentoo Group is working with other organisations to do the right thing for the people around the country.
“We have the chance to significantly improve people’s lives, through warmer homes, potentially improving people’s health and wellbeing. We pride ourselves at looking towards the future and coming up with new ways of working, and sharing our vision with Ms Berger has been extremely beneficial.”
Gentoo’s study will attempt to create a Qualified Adjusted Life Year (QALY) measurement that demonstrates for every pound spent on retrofitting a home, there will be a positive impact on life expectancy. The study is expected to last three years.
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 gentoogroup.com for more information or follow @gentoogroup on Twitter.