A not-for-profit company has been appointed to run a fuel poverty scheme in Powys.

Warm Wales is to run the Eco3 programme for Powys Council, the authority's cabinet heard on Tuesday.

They will assess applications made for a number of energy efficiency measures including new central heating systems, heating upgrades, and ground and air source heat pumps.

The authority's portfolio holder for economic development, housing and regulatory services, Cllr James Evans, told his fellow cabinet members that Warm Wales would encourage the agents to work with local companies and that “meet the buyer”events would be organised to help this.

“The service will be delivered at zero net cost to the council, funded via referral fees from energy providers,” he added.

Adult services portfolio holder Cllr Myfanwy Alexander said:  “This decision is being made in very uncertain economic times.

“There will be more need of this scheme than ever before as people may be furloughed or had sadly lost their jobs and so it’s very timely to have this ability to help.”

The scheme is a UK government energy-efficiency programme funded by energy companies, which is designed to reduce carbon emissions and tackle fuel poverty throughout the UK.

About 9,500 of the 59,600 households in Powys are in fuel poverty, having been identified by Powys Council’s Wellbeing Assessment 2017.

The roll out of ECO3 has been delayed by several months in Powys to allow an investigation to take place into it’s predecessor, Eco2.

Powys Plumbing Group claimed that people earning more than £21,000 a year, the threshold to qualify, were receiving free boilers.

Warm Wales has been brought in to administer the scheme, following recommendations by the council’s internal auditor Swap, which investigated the fraud claims and cleared PCC of wrongdoing last year.

Eco3 is the third version of the scheme and will run until March 31, 2022.