£7 million to make hundreds of homes energy efficient
More than 700 homes in Halton look set to receive energy efficiency improvements in the next 18 months as part of the Council’s ongoing efforts to tackle climate change and reduce carbon emissions.
The project will be funded by external grants which will be available to be accessed by a mix of homeowners, social and private landlord-owned properties.
The Council is working in partnership with the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, other local authorities and registered providers to secure funding and deliver grant schemes and improvements.
The Council’s Executive Board recently agreed to seek further funding for retrofitting energy inefficient homes. These measures include wall, loft or underfloor insulation, double glazing, upgraded home heating systems, and other renewable and low carbon technologies.
The Council intends to focus on the worst homes first and those at risk of or already experiencing fuel poverty in the borough.
With rising energy prices a major issue across the country the report highlights the current estimates of how big a problem energy inefficient homes is in Halton, with over 36,000 homes requiring improvements in future years.
The Council’s lead on Climate Change, Cllr Phil Harris, tabled a report to the Executive Board with a breakdown of external funding secured to date of almost £6 million to improve approximately 571 homes, and confirmed that another £1 million had been secured for around 147 further houses. This will see over 700 homes tackled in 2022/2023. Cllr Harris will also lead on arrangements for funding from the Liverpool City Region on housing energy retrofit schemes.
Cllr Harris said: “The funding from the Liverpool City Region for approximately 147 homes under the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund has been confirmed, which is great news.”
Around 129 homes are already underway in Halton and due to be completed in the summer of 2022.
The initial target being set by the Council is to focus on more than 7,000 of the least energy efficient homes and those facing fuel poverty.
Cllr Harris said: “Ideally, we need to be doing a lot more retrofitting, but the government is in the driving seat on this. We need to be offering the worst 7,700 homes the opportunity to be retrofitted for energy improvements by 2030 and that is what I am going to pursue as best I can. At the current rate we will struggle to achieve this by 2040, unless the government releases more funding.
“We will also want value for money, to learn any lessons that can improve future schemes, and I welcome the opportunity to help develop a green growth business alliance in the year ahead with local training and business partners to maximise economic benefits for Halton.’’
The report has recommended continuing the existing energy advice support for households seeking advice provided by Energy Projects Plus and Groundwork Cheshire.
Residents can find out more about grant schemes available from the Council to improve the energy efficiency of their home by visiting https://www3.halton.gov.uk/Pages/planning/greenhomesgrant.aspx Here you can check your eligibility for a grant, and if you think you qualify, request an expression of interest form to arrange a home energy survey.