Warmer, greener and cheaper homes as government opens triple upgrade for social housing

  • this investment will help tenants reduce their emissions while saving around £ 170 per year on energy bills
  • as part of a wider £ 9bn pledge to increase energy efficiency in homes, schools and hospitals – advancing the Prime Minister’s ambitious 10-point plan for a green industrial revolution

Tens of thousands of people across England are expected to benefit from warmer and greener social housing, with social housing providers having the opportunity to bid for government funding to make major improvements to their stock.

Local authorities and housing associations across England will have the opportunity to secure a share of a large £ 160million cash injection through the government’s Social Housing Decarbonization Fund, intended to improve the energy efficiency of social housing in the country.

In total, thanks to this first wave of funding, up to 38,000 of the least energy efficient social housing units in the UK – with energy performance certificate (CPE) D ratings or lower – will have the opportunity to benefit from vital energy efficiency improvements, including the installation of insulation and more energy efficient doors, windows and heating systems.

This investment will help tenants save around £ 170 a year on their energy bills, while warming their homes and reducing carbon emissions.

Today is the first wave of funding out of a total of £ 3.8bn to be spent over a 10-year period – with the aim of improving homes across the country to be cheaper to operate, more energy efficient and suitable for the future.

And with homes accounting for 15% of the UK’s carbon emissions, the investment will also help eliminate the country’s contribution to climate change by 2050.

Business, Energy and Corporate Responsibility Minister Lord Callanan said:

Today’s announcement is a key step in ending fuel poverty in the UK and improving the lives and housing of low-income households, while creating new jobs for plumbers , local builders and artisans who will build homes suitable for our greener future.

With a real appetite among housing councils and associations to make their homes cheaper to heat and warmer to live in, this investment puts the power in the hands of the people who know their communities best, making it possible to make the right decisions for each house they manage ensuring the best for their tenants and the environment.

Together, the funding will ensure that the government achieves its aspiration to ensure that as many households as possible reach CPE C-band or better by 2035 in a practical, cost-effective and affordable way.

Madame Vivienne Challice is an example of a tenant that social landlords can help through this system.

Ms Challice, 79, has lived on a Clarion Housing Association property on the outskirts of Tonbridge for 49 years. Her house was one of the first to be modernized thanks to the Social Housing Decarbonization Fund demonstrator and the work is now complete, with Clarion estimating that it will save more than £ 500 on its energy bills each year.

Ms. Vivienne Challice said:

While the work was being completed I received a daily visit from the Resident Liaison Officer to check in and the team on site was brilliant. They explained what was going on and how long it would take, and I appreciate all the work that has been done at home.

The weather hasn’t been cold since the construction was completed, and even on a hot day, I noticed my house was comfortably cool unlike before, which was great.

Councilor Samantha Hoy, Cabinet Member of the Fenland District Housing Council, said:

We are extremely proud to play a role in this fantastic project, working alongside our partners Clarion and Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council to help improve the energy efficiency of social housing and to pilot innovative new ways of working.

It’s really exciting that Fenland’s first property is now complete and we can’t wait to see work begin on the other homes in the district. Retrofit measures, including solar panels and insulation, will reduce carbon emissions and give residents more money in their pockets through cheaper energy bills. Local businesses are also thinking about how they can take this opportunity to diversify the sector and scale up to help meet national energy efficiency goals.

This is because emissions from domestic properties currently account for around 20% of UK carbon output.

Today’s announcement is the latest step in the government’s plan to reduce emissions from social housing, a priority area for the government to help end fuel poverty and achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The government also plans to invest more than £ 9bn to increase the energy efficiency of homes, schools and hospitals, while supporting 50,000 jobs by 2030 and installing 600,000 heat pumps each year. ‘by 2028 – advancing the Prime Minister’s ambitious 10-point plan for a green industrial revolution.

Social housing decarbonisation fund (SHDF) Demonstrator phase

The first wave of the Social Housing Decarbonization Fund follows an earlier demonstration phase launched in March 2021, which awarded £ 62million to projects in England and Scotland that will seek to modernize c. 2,300 social rental housing units to demonstrate innovative approaches to large-scale social housing renovation, using a whole house approach.

A successful example of the demonstrator phase includes Fenland District Council and Tonbridge and Malling Borough Councils which secured £ 4.5million from the Social Housing Decarbonization Fund (SHDF) Demonstrator, led by the Economic, Energy and Industrial Strategy Department, to improve the energy efficiency of social housing. The grant was co-funded by an additional investment of £ 4.5million from Clarion Housing Group, the country’s largest social landlord which owns and manages thousands of homes in the 2 local authorities.

The funds are used to significantly retrofit 115 of the most energy-consuming Clarion homes in Fenland, Tonbridge and Malling, which currently have a CPE grade of D or less. As a result, carbon emissions will be reduced and it is expected that people living in improved properties will save between £ 300 and £ 500 on their energy bills each year. Clarion estimates that the project will also generate 68 jobs and apprenticeships in the green energy sector by employing local contractors and installers.

Notes to Editors

The SHDF The Wave 1 competition will launch on August 23 and will last 8 weeks until October 15, 2021. Successful applicants will be announced in early 2022.

Learn more about the competition.

Accessible via: www.socialhousingretrofit.org.uk
Contactable via: [email protected]

A technical assistance facility (job) was set up to provide technical support to all social landlords wishing to access funding from the Social Housing Decarbonation Fund. This will help with stock analysis; compilation of offers and technical advice.

This technical assistance is provided by the Greater London Authority under the name of Social Housing Retrofit Accelerator (LRLS) which is available to all registered social housing providers across England who intend to apply to the SHDF Competition wave 1.

Government has committed to a £ 3.8 billion social housing decarbonisation fund over 10 years to improve the energy performance of rental social housing, on track to Net Zero 2050

The government is also improving energy efficiency through the Sustainable Heat Competition, launched in June 2021. It will provide funding to local authorities to help them retrofit the energy-hungry homes of low-income households in England. This competition combines two programs: a third phase of £ 200million of the Local Authority Delivery Program (LAD3) and an initial £ 150million phase of the Home Upgrade Grant (HUG1) diet. This is in addition to the £ 500million already awarded through the BOY scheme. Together, this provides £ 350million in funding from 2021 to 2022. Both programs focus on homeowners and private rental owners.

The UK government’s Future Homes Standard is also improving the quality of housing across the country by ensuring that new homes meet strict energy efficiency standards. From 2025, the UK government’s Future Homes Standard will ensure new homes produce at least 75% less CO2emissions compared to those built to current standards, with future-proof homes with low-carbon heating and high levels of energy efficiency.

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