£21.7 million has been awarded to ten different councils across the North East of England to retrofit over 4,000 homes, establishing the country’s first decarbonised neighbourhoods.
These councils within North East England are ten of the over 200 councils benefiting from a £562 million government fund to improve the homes of those living in the least energy efficient buildings, rated EPC C or below - many of whom live in fuel poverty and off the main gas grid – and helping homeowners on low incomes create their own green energy to power their homes.
The £21.7 million government funding for low-income households and social housing properties in North East will be used to install wall and roof insulation, new low carbon alternatives to gas boilers such as air-source heat pumps, and solar panels across the least energy efficient homes in the city.
Emissions from domestic properties currently account for around 25% of the UK’s carbon emissions. As a priority area for the government, today’s funding is expected to cut 70,000 tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere – equivalent to the total direct and indirect carbon footprint produced by around 9,000 UK households.
As part of its commitment to tackle climate change and provide more energy efficient homes for its residents, Darlington Borough Council has submitted bids for funding from central government to help support its improvement programme.
The council has been successful in obtaining government grants for two local authority delivery schemes. The first scheme is exclusively for council housing with around £1m of grant available to deliver insulation works to a range of properties and double-glazed windows to over 300 homes . The council’s housing revenue account will provide match funding bringing the total additional spend to £1.5m. Double glazing was already planned for 400 more homes this year so this will bring the total number of homes having new windows installed to 700 in 2021/22.
The second scheme is for both council and private housing, with £677K available as grant and both social and private landlords being required to make additional financial contributions towards the maximum spend limit of £10K per property. Eligible measures are varied but include insulation works and wall cladding, low carbon heat, such as air/ground source heat pumps, windows, doors and heating controls.
Other North East England councils receiving cash boosts to deliver greener warmer homes include Newcastle upon Tyne Metropolitan District council, Durham County, North Tyneside Metropolitan Borough Council, and Northumberland County UA – all receiving £3 million or over to improve the lives of thousands of households in the most energy inefficient properties across the region.
The North East will also benefit from £53 million awarded to the North East Local Energy Hub. The Local Energy Hub will work with Local Authorities and delivery partners to upgrade additional homes in the region.
Peter Gibson, Member of Parliament for Darlington, said:
“This funding with help Darlington to build back greener and help residents to heat their homes cleanly and cheaply whilst reducing their carbon footprint in the process.
“This launch is the latest step in the Government’s plan to reduce emissions from low-income households and builds on the Prime Minister’s 10 Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, Energy White Paper and the Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy, setting out Government’s vision for a world-leading, low carbon industrial sector. This is truly is levelling up in action.”
“Many of our residents are on low incomes and find it challenging to adequately heat their homes, particularly in the past year when most of us have been spending more time at home.
“This funding recognises this and is aimed specifically at those households in fuel poverty. Having highly efficient, modern, well insulated homes with doubled glazed windows will be a great benefit in helping to keep our many vulnerable residents warm and will also help them manage their budgets more easily.
“At the same time, making homes more energy efficient will also help the council’s commitment to climate change which will benefit the community as a whole.”
Visit www.darlington.gov.uk/housing then click on ‘Finding a home’ to find out more about council properties available to rent.