Hundreds of homes across the Tees Valley are set to be made more energy efficient and cheaper to run after the region was successful in securing £2.6million of Government funding.
The Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority, with support from the North East & Yorkshire Energy Hub, led the bid to the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund, which aims to raise the energy performance certificate (EPC) rating of social homes to a minimum of Band C where possible.
In turn, the fund will help reduce the number of people in fuel poverty and improve their comfort and health while driving down CO2 emissions and supporting the green economy and jobs.
The £2.6million from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has been match-funded by £2.25million from partners to deliver the £4.86million scheme of 997 measures at 231 homes.
A range of work will be carried out to dramatically improve the energy efficiency of the properties, including the installation of cavity wall insulation, solar panels, air source heat pumps and triple glazing.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “There have been lots of announcements recently of the game-changing low carbon projects and trials going on across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool, from carbon capture to hydrogen, sustainable aviation fuels to offshore wind.
“While these are vital to decarbonising our industries, meeting our net-zero targets and creating the good-quality, well-paid jobs of tomorrow, we can’t ignore other, smaller-scale projects, that can also make a massive impact.
“Energy inefficient homes play a big part in CO2 emissions and, on top of that, lead to even higher energy costs for households that may already be struggling. This funding will help to change that, directly improving people’s homes and lives and practically putting more money into their pockets.
“What’s more, it will do so by supporting the cleaner, healthier and safer industries of the future, backing the jobs of tomorrow – many of which will come to our regional.”
North East and Yorkshire Energy Hub Manager Karen Oliver-Spry said: ‘The success of this bid is great news for households in the area and builds on the achievements of the Hub’s LAD2 scheme delivery in tackling poor energy performance in housing. This successful bid is one of several in the North East and Yorkshire, helped by Hub-funded support.”
The Mayor and Combined Authority made the bid on behalf of a consortium made up of Darlington Borough Council, Beyond Housing group, Thirteen Group and NorthStar Housing Group.
Councillor Heather Scott, Leader of Darlington Borough Council, said: “There are many benefits of making our homes more energy efficient – including environmental and financial. I warmly welcome news of this funding that will enable hundreds of people across Darlington and the wider Tees Valley to improve the energy efficiency of their homes.”
Rosemary Du Rose, Chief Executive of Beyond Housing, said: “This funding is very welcome, and supports Beyond Housing to improve energy-efficiency, reduce carbon emissions and most importantly, help customers to spend less on fuel.”
Thirteen’s head of environmental sustainability Samantha Granger said: “We’re delighted to be a part of this successful bid, which will help support our journey to ensuring our homes are energy efficient and carbon neutral in the future.”
Chris Harris, North Star Asset and Compliance Manager, added: “This is great news for North Star and our tenants as we continue the journey to install energy efficiency measures and reduce carbon emissions in our homes.”