A GROUND-BREAKING scheme is expected to slash Maldon residents' energy bills in half.

The pilot initiative from English Housing Association, Moat, plans to reduce the level of carbon dioxide per house by 3.2-tonnes per year, making an overall saving of around 82,000 tonnes across Maldon.

A selection of five homes in Maldon which are surrounded by open farmland and catch the wind of the North Sea were picked out for the pilot.

The scheme involves making homes airtight using triple glazed windows to avoid draughts, installing up to 20 solar panels on the roof of the homes, replacing the gas boiler with a modern air-source heat pump to control the central heating and new air vents to circulate fresh air through every house.

John Tuck was one of the beneficiaries of the new scheme.

He said: "It’s great now the work is all done.

"There aren’t any draughts anymore and there is no comparison with the new insulation levels.

"I’m glad it’s been done, it seems my house will be a much warmer property and cheaper to run.

"This is the way forward for the planet, it is cheaper to pay and tackle climate change now rather than pay to sort out issues later down the line.”

The homes, which currently cost around £2,000 per year to heat and provide gas and electric were selected as they are the more expensive properties to run in the district.

Moat claim its new innovation could reduce the carbon emissions of all five homes by up to 90 per cent.

This is the first pilot of this kind to have taken place in the South East of England.

Jason Amos, Moat’s director of property services, said: “The time for action over household carbon emissions is now.

"Moat’s innovative pilot in Maldon has shown how to turn draughty homes into warm, desirable places to live with massively reduced energy bills for our residents whilst cutting household emissions by 90 per cent.

"We hope to show energy efficiency is possible for all and that this ground-breaking approach can be reflected across the country.”

Adrian Fluker, leader of Maldon District Council was also very pleased by the news.

Recently, he expressed an ambition for the council to become carbon neutral by 2027.

He added: "I am delighted that Moat have chosen Maldon for their first ground breaking energy efficient refurbishment in the South East.

"I very much welcome exciting initiatives such as these which will cut household emissions, reduce energy bills and provide clean electricity."