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New funding to accelerate plan to make Cumbrian homes more energy efficient
Steve Heywood, media manager
One of the largest housing associations in the UK has secured Government funding to dramatically improve the energy efficiency of scores of its homes in Cumbria.
Home Group has been successful in its bid to the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF) to upgrade the fabric of 90 homes in Allerdale.
The homes in Oughterside and Abbeytown will benefit from a range of enhancements which will make them much more energy efficient, while bringing significant cost savings for customers.
The northern-based housing association will receive £1.2m through the SHDF, which will be supplemented by Home Group to the tune of £3.3m as part of its five-year retrofit delivery plan.
It’s a plan being piloted in Cumbria, and is already underway in the county, with the complete retrofit of 25 homes in Summer Hill, Bootle.
The plan is to pilot whole house retrofit solutions on estates which are predominantly without gas, and will see the installation new roofs, heat pumps, solar panels, battery storage and external wall insulation, as well as upgraded windows and doors.
After Summer Hill, the project moves on to the 90 homes in Oughterside and Abbeytown. Work will then expand across homes in Cumbria over the coming years.
The pilot is part of a long-term sustainability strategy to ensure Home Group meets its net zero targets, as well as those of Government.
Nusheen Hussain, Executive Director of Business Development at Home Group, and who leads its net zero strategy, said: “We’re delighted to have received Government funding as it allows us to accelerate our plans to make our homes in Cumbria the most energy efficient they can be, and in turn allow for significant savings for our customers.
“We have developed our thinking around customer experience before, during and after retrofit as well as understanding what is needed commercially and operationally to scale up to achieve our long-term net zero targets.
“A key part of the retrofit plan is to engage with local authorities and colleges to develop the skills and infrastructure required at the earliest possible point to ensure we can deliver for our customers whilst having positive impact on local communities.”
Close to £160m has been made available to local authorities and housing associations across England through the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund, in-order-to enhance the country’s energy efficiency of socially rented homes.
Government estimate this investment will help tenants save around £170 per year on energy bills, while making homes warmer and reducing carbon emissions.
This is the first wave of funding out of a total £3.8bn Government has promised will be spent over a 10-year period – with the aim of improving homes across the country to be cheaper to run, more energy efficient and future proofed.
With figures suggesting homes account for 15% of the UK’s carbon emissions, Government expect the investment will also help towards its plan to reach net zero by 2050.