Climate News

Individuals across England to benefit from energy-efficient social homes


Tens of thousands of individuals across England are set to benefit from warmer and greener social homes as social housing providers were given the chance to bid for government funding to make major improvements to their stocks.

This is part of a wider £9 billion commitment from the government to increase the energy proficiency of homes, schools and hospitals to drive forward the Prime Minister’s ambitious 10-point plan for a green industrial revolution.

In moving this project forward, local authorities and housing associations will be given the chance to secure their share in a significant £160 million cash injection through the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund, which sets to enhance the energy efficiency of socially rented homes.

In the first wave of funding, up to 38,000 of the worst energy-performing social housing properties with energy performance certificate (EPC) ratings of D or below will have the chance to receive vital energy efficiency upgrades such as installation of insulation and more energy-efficient doors, windows and heating systems.

This investment will help tenants save £170 per year on energy bills while making their homes warmer.

A total of £3.8 billion will be spent over a 10-year period to help improve homes across the country, which should be more energy-efficient and cheaper to run. Following this, the government is also planning to publish a Heat and Buildings Strategy, which will set out the approach it will take over the coming decade, as well as the longer-term strategic approach to achieve net-zero emissions in 2050.

Minister for Business, Energy and Corporate Responsibility, Lord Callanan said: “With a real appetite among councils and housing associations to make their homes cheaper to heat and warmer to live in, this investment is putting the power in the hands of the people who know their communities best, allowing the right decisions to be made for each home they manage while ensuring the very best for their tenants and the environment.” (Related: The big fraud of green homes: they suffocate their owners with indoor air poisons.)

The funding will ensure that the government is achieving its aspiration to ensure as many homes as possible reach EPC Band C or above by 2035 in a way that is practical, cost-effective and affordable for its inhabitants.

The announcement is the latest in the government’s plan to eradicate fuel poverty by 2050. The government also plans to invest over £9 billion to increase the energy efficiency of homes, schools and hospitals. It is also set to support 50,000 jobs by 2030 and install 600,000 heat pumps every year by 2028.

Applying for funding

Those who are registered social housing providers, including private and local authority providers, can apply to the SHDF to support the installation of energy performance measures in social homes in the U.K. This will upgrade social housing stock to an EPC rating of C.

The fund will help deliver warm, energy-efficient homes, reduce carbon emissions, tackle fuel poverty, develop the retrofit sector and improve the health and well-being of social housing tenants.

The fund follows the structure from the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund Demonstrator, where over 2,300 homes were improved to EPC B and C, and at least 1,300 local jobs were supported.

In applying for funding, there must be support from a local authority. Private registered providers of social housing must apply as part of a consortium with a lead local authority.

To apply, there is a list of competition guidance and associated questions and answers document to be read. Complete an application form and submit the complete form and required attachments to the Ricardo Application Portal by 23:59 on 15 October 2021.

Read more information about social housing at GreenLivingNews.com.

Sources include:

Gov.uk 1

Gov.uk 2

Committees.Parliament.uk

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