Published: 06:00, 26 July 2021
Homeless people could live in more environmentally-friendly homes over the next four years in a £160,000 plan unveiled by a local authority.
Gas boilers are expected to be converted to electric heating in 24 flats owned by Dover District Council, with solar panels likely to be installed.
They are based in two separate buildings, including 16 studio apartments at Dover's Kimberley Close and eight one-bedroom flats at Stockdale Gardens, Deal.
Cllr Derek Murphy (Con), who is Dartford council's portfolio holder for social housing, said: "These measures will significantly reduce the environmental impact of the developments.
"They will reduce the long-term heating costs for the tenants, helping mitigate fuel poverty concerns whilst housed in the accommodation."
His comments about the potential upgrades were published in a Dover council report ahead of a meeting in seven days' time.
If approved, the new measures will help the local authority to meet its net zero carbon targets as government laws are expected to come forward to prohibit the use of gas in buildings from 2025.
"The increased use of green technology will also provide benefits of reducing both the tenants' heating costs and the carbon footprints of the developments..."
Additionally, costs will be significantly lower for tenants as the annual fees may reduce from a maximum of £209 to between £38 to £137 at Kimberley Close.
Meanwhile, the fees at Stockdale Gardens will halve from at least £270 to £132 over the 12-month period.
Dover council's cabinet originally approved planning consent in October 2017 to build the flats for homeless people, with projects tended by Jenner Contracts Ltd to deliver the accommodation.
The use of gas for heating, including water, is being reviewed. The Ministry of Housing and Local Government issued a consultation paper on changes to fuel and power in 2019 as it seeks to become carbon neutral by 2050.
In his report, Cllr Murphy added: "This is the recommended option as this will allow electric heating to be installed in all 24 flats, future proofing the developments against the phasing out of gas.
"The increased use of green technology will also provide benefits of reducing both the tenants' heating costs and the carbon footprints of the developments."
A final decision will be made by Dover council's Conservative cabinet in a public meeting at White Cliffs Business Park tonight (Monday) from 6pm.
Read more: All the latest news from Dover