By Joshua Manning • 29 September 2022 • 7:47
UK Government to fund £1.5 billion to upgrade 130,000 social housing properties Credit: Ink Drop/Shutterstock.com
Around 130,000 social housing properties and low-income households across the UK could see bills slashed by around £400 to £700 a year as their homes receive energy efficiency upgrades through the government’s latest Help to Heat funding.
Up to £1.5 billion is being made available through the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund and Home Upgrade Grant schemes.
The funding will see the installation of measures such as external wall and loft insulation, energy efficient doors and windows, heat pumps and solar panels, with multiple measures often being installed in a single home to considerably improve the energy performance.
Local authorities and social housing providers will be able to submit bids for funding and will deliver upgrades from early next year until March 2025, building on more than 30,000 homes already being upgraded under the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund and Home Upgrade Grant schemes.
Today’s announcement comes ahead of unprecedented government support which kicks in this weekend, helping to protect households, businesses and public sector organisations from rising energy costs following Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine.
Thanks to the government’s Energy Price Guarantee, for the next two years, the typical annual household bill will be £2,500, a saving of at least £1,000 a year based on current prices and energy usage. This is on top of existing government plans to give all households £400 off bills this winter. This direct and decisive action means households will receive significant protection from an 80% rise in the Energy Price Cap and won’t see average household bills increase to over £3,500 annually, with some reports predicting bills could have risen as high as £6,500 next year.
There was also no price cap in place for businesses, meaning British companies were also experiencing significant increases in energy costs – in some cases of more than 500% – but thanks to government intervention through the Energy Bill Relief Scheme, businesses, public and third sector organisations will pay wholesale energy costs well below half of expected prices for this winter.
Business and Energy Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg stated:
“Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine, would have had dire consequences on the energy bills of both households and businesses this winter, without the government’s decisive action.”
“Today I am cutting costs even further for the most vulnerable households for years to come.”
“By making homes warmer and cheaper to live in, we are not only transforming the lives of households across England, we are creating huge growth in the economy, backing the green energy sector and supporting thousands of high-skilled jobs.”
Minister for Business and Energy Lord Callanan said:
“The cheapest form of energy is the energy we do not use. Our Help to Heat schemes are already bringing real benefits to tens of thousands of low-income households across the country by improving the energy performance of their homes and saving them hundreds of pounds on their bills.”
“Together with the unprecedented support government is putting in place to help households and businesses with rising energy costs, this latest funding will extend that assistance even further, targeting help to those who need it most by making their homes warmer and cheaper to run.”
Kate Henderson, Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation, stated:
“The launch of the second wave of the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund is hugely welcome. This vital funding will enable housing associations across the country to make significant progress in retrofitting and decarbonising their homes – work that not only cuts carbon emissions but saves residents money on their heating bills.”
“We know that England’s homes produce more carbon each year than the average annual use of the country’s cars, so decarbonising social homes has a pivotal role to play to meeting the country’s net zero target.”
“The National Housing Federation and our members look forward to continuing to work with BEIS to demonstrate the benefits that decarbonising homes has on residents’ lives.”
Tracy Harrison, Chief Executive, Northern Housing Consortium stated:
“We welcome the opening of this important funding, which gives the North the opportunity to scale-up social housing retrofit programmes, creating good, skilled, green jobs and helping to tackle fuel poverty in our communities.”
“The North is ambitious for this Wave – some significant collaborations are under way and councils and housing associations are looking forward to working with BEIS to build on the momentum we’ve already established together.”
The news follows reports that around 114,000 working people in the UK on Universal Credit will be supported to boost their wages, helping families improve their prospects and pay, as reported on Monday, September 26.
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Originally from the UK, Joshua is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]
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