Over 8,000 households to benefit from warmer homes

  • Up to 8,800 social homes will benefit from free upgrades to make them more energy efficient and cheaper to maintain.
  • More than £75 million will be allocated to councils and housing associations to install insulation, heat pumps and double glazing.
  • Funding from the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund will help tenants save an average of £400 a year on their energy bills, while supporting 1,300 jobs.

Social housing tenants could save up to £400 a year on their energy bills, as part of improvements to their homes backed by millions of pounds of government funding.

Secretary of State for Energy Security Claire Coutinho today (Monday 18 March) announced the award of more than £75 million from the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund to provide free improvements to tenants' homes, including insulation, double glazing and installation of heat pumps. The plan is already working to reach around 100,000 homes.

Funding will be available to 42 councils and housing associations across England to install energy-saving measures in social homes, while supporting 1,300 jobs in the UK retrofit industry.

This funding will help some of the lowest income households by providing warm, energy-efficient homes, lifting people out of energy poverty and improving the comfort and wellbeing of social housing tenants.

Almost half of all homes in England are now Energy Performance Certified (EPC) Band C or higher, compared to 14% in 2010.

Secretary of State for Energy Security Claire Coutinho said:

Our Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund is helping families keep their homes warm and their bills low. We want to support working families to make changes, rather than burdening them with unnecessary costs.

This funding will today help up to 8,800 more households save around £400 a year on their energy bills.

Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance, Lord Callanan, said:

The Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund, which is already working to deliver free upgrades to around 100,000 social homes, is helping low-income families have cheaper bills and a warmer home.

We are now going even further to reduce energy bills for more social tenants while supporting an additional 1,300 jobs in the UK retrofit industry.

Open to applicants who had not received funding in the previous wave, which is also expected to save tenants around £400 on their energy bills, this funding will attract many new social housing owners to the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund by first time. helping to ensure that the program reaches as many social homes as possible.

The Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund has already allocated more than £1 billion since 2019, with projects including:

  • Durham County Council, which previously received more than £5 million to improve around 1,300 homes. This includes Colin Barnes, a local Karbon Homes social housing tenant, who described the positive impact of the changes on his home as follows: “You turn on the heating for 20 to 30 minutes and it heats up even faster; keeps warm for years. .”
  • Manchester City Council and One Manchester, which previously received around £3 million to help install external wall insulation and air source heat pumps. Asked if the new measures had made a difference to her energy bills, One Manchester tenant Vicky Connor said: “Yes, it works. If you're looking at it, if you're watching it, it turns out to be good. It costs about £7 a day.”

The government is allocating around £20 billion over this Parliament and the next to improve energy efficiency and low-carbon heating of homes and businesses, reducing reliance on fossil fuel heating and reducing household energy bills. the homes.

This includes the Boiler Upgrade Programme, which is helping households switch from fossil fuel heating systems to cleaner, lower carbon alternatives.

Having increased the grant by 50% to £7,500, making it one of the most generous programs of its kind in Europe, applications are on a steady rise, with the average monthly number of applications running from November 2023 to January this year 39% higher than the monthly average before the increase.

The government also recently announced that homeowners will have more choice when it comes to improving their home and will no longer have to install cavity walls or loft insulation to use the Boiler Improvement Scheme.

National Housing Federation chief executive Kate Henderson said:

Housing associations play a crucial role in helping the country meet its net zero emissions targets and are already leading the way on energy efficiency, but funding is essential to sustain this work.

The sector is committed to providing its residents with energy-efficient and comfortable homes that are affordable to heat, and the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund is key to enabling them to do so; I have seen firsthand the difference it has made.

The funding announced today will give housing associations the certainty and confidence they need to plan and deliver more retrofit projects, tackle fuel poverty and improve the homes of their residents.

Northern Housing Consortium chief executive Tracy Harrison said:

I am delighted to see the continued government support for SHDF, and Wave 2.2 helped support a number of smaller housing associations. This is vital funding to complement the investment our members are making in delivering greener improvements to their homes, helping residents with lower bills and warmer homes.

Reaction from previous winners of the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund

Durham Country Council's Head of Planning and Housing, Michael Kelleher, said:

We have ambitious targets to reduce County Durham's carbon footprint and we continue to work with partners to achieve this goal.

Energy efficiency modernization works carried out through the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund have made a significant difference for households. Not only has it benefited the environment by reducing carbon emissions from the homes involved, but the more efficient use of energy has also helped reduce heating and electricity costs for tenants.

Karbon Homes CEO Paul Fiddaman said:

With a wide range of homes, in rural and urban communities and everything in between, this vital funding allows us and other registered providers across the North East to make real progress in modernizing and decarbonising our homes.

This program has not only helped us reduce the carbon footprint of these homes, but has also helped us provide our customers with warmer, more comfortable homes. As the cost of living crisis continues to have an impact and we look for more ways to help clients financially, this work has never been more important.

Notes to editors

A total of £75.5 million Wave 2.2 of the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF) will be offered to 42 local authorities, housing associations, registered social housing providers and charities across England, subject to signing grant funding agreements.

Applicants to the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund are required to co-finance their projects, with the total value of Wave 2.2 co-funding being £139 million.

Wave 2.2 builds on the success of previous waves of the SHDF and was announced in October 2023. It follows the £778 million funding for Wave 2.1 announced in March 2023, which is currently in delivery.

He SHDF An additional £1.25 billion was allocated in December 2023 for the period 2025-2026 - 2027-2028.

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