York councillors working for more energy efficient homes

City of York Council has bid for £4.6m to extend energy efficiency measures for up to a further 380 fuel-poor homes in the region – 150 of them in York.

At a Decision Session on Monday 2 August, the Executive Member for Housing granted approval for a funding bid to be submitted by the council, as the lead authority in a regional consortium, for £4.6m to the government’s Sustainable Warmth Competition. If successful this bid will fund a wide range of insulation measures and renewable energy measures including external wall and underfloor insulation.

We have already secured over £2.6m of Government funding for energy efficiency works. This funding provides grants to insulate rooms in roofs, improve loft and cavity wall insulation, as well as to install solar panels. Some of the funds will be used to install air source heat pumps and external wall insulation in partnership with two local housing associations. This funding will improve more than 291 homes in the region including insulation measures and solar panels for 50 council homes. Officers are currently visiting eligible homeowners and tenants of private rented properties in parts of the city with the highest rates of fuel poverty and lowest EPC ratings.

The first phase of our £2m investment to improve the energy efficiency of up to 60 council homes is progressing well. This includes taking up opportunities to maximise the council’s own funding by matching it with Government funds. To deliver the measures, we’ve recruited new staff to grow its expertise. It’s also developing a city-wide energy efficiency retrofit strategy which will be published later this year.

Cllr Denise Craghill, Executive Member for Housing and Safer Neighbourhoods, said:

“This paper demonstrates that the council is getting on with tackling our challenges locally, whilst also lobbying Government for more consistent and longer-term funding, and working closely with other local organisations to develop a strategy for the whole city.

“This is a very new area of activity nationally with all councils facing challenges around developing new skills and more capacity in local building firms, as well more support and advice for residents and I am confident we are making good progress. I really want to commend officers for the extra funding that they have successfully brought in to the city so far and the lead that we are taking at a regional level.

“I’m very happy to support the bid made to the Sustainable Warmth Competition – and hopefully in early autumn we will be in a good position to put in another very convincing bid to the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund.”

Meanwhile, residents who want to apply for a Home Upgrade Grant can check their eligibility and find out more online.

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