Government grant boosts borough’s energy efficiency plans

Councillors outside council office.

Tenants of some of the least energy efficient council-owned homes in Welwyn Hatfield will save hundreds of pounds on their fuel bills thanks to a successful borough council bid for a government grant.

The grant of nearly £3m from the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund which is awarded by the Department of Energy Security and Net Zero, in addition to a £2m investment from the council, will enable significant investment in work to improve energy efficiency in homes across the borough. The investment will ensure that nearly 200 properties are insulated up to a minimum band C EPC rating.

The impact will be to significantly reduce the fuel bills of tenants in these properties while reducing the carbon emissions of these homes by more than 1.5 metric tonnes per year.

The work has been made possible thanks to government funding of £778m ending in March 2025, with delivery by September 2025, for social landlords to carry out whole house retrofitting of their lowest performing properties in terms of energy efficiency. Reducing heat loss is an important step prior to installation of other energy efficient measures such as low carbon heating.

Cllr Fiona Thomson, the council’s Executive Member for Housing, said: “Today’s announcement is fantastic news for the hundreds of tenants whose fuel bills will be reduced significantly at a time when costs have rocketed. We’ll be able to bring some of the least energy efficient homes in the borough up to a much better standard in terms of energy efficiency.”

Cllr Samuel Kasumu, Executive Member for Environment and Climate Change, added: “It’s good news for those struggling with the rising cost of living, and good news for the whole of Welwyn Hatfield as we continue to cut carbon emissions on our way to being a net zero borough.”

Lord Callanan, Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance said: “This investment will help thousands of households to heat their homes for less, keep them warm for longer, and could save hundreds on their annual energy bill. The green energy sector is growing, and this funding will support green jobs and provide the training needed to deliver these vital upgrades to homes.”

Published: 22nd March 2023