Colchester City Council (CCC) is one of 107 Grant Recipients to be awarded a share of £778m to retrofit social homes, as part of Wave 2.1 of the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF). The SHDF is a pot of money being made available by the Government to improve the energy performance of social housing.
The council’s successful bid, which was submitted to the SHDF in November 2022 and is worth more than £1.024m, will upgrade the energy efficiency of 105 selected properties that have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating below C.
The council will now work with Colchester Borough Homes (CBH), to improve the energy efficiency of each eligible property, with match-funding allocated in the council’s budget bringing the overall cost of the programme to £2.6m.
Taking a ‘fabric first’ approach, CBH will ensure that the properties are well insulated, providing tenants with a home that can retain heat during the colder months and keep the property cooler during the summer months.
Tenants will use less CO2 to keep their homes at a suitable temperature, helping them to manage their utility bills and live in a more environmentally friendly way. CBH will prioritise properties in its housing stock with the lowest performing EPCs, with retrofitting work expected to begin in 2024.
Last October, CBH undertook a retrofit engagement survey with tenants, to understand their views on the climate emergency and ways to reduce emissions.
Cllr Julie Young, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Communities said: “I’m delighted that our bid for SHDF funding has been successful.
“Our mission is to improve the energy efficiency of all our properties, ensuring our tenants have secure, economical and environmentally-friendly homes and are able to reduce their living costs too.
“Many residents live in fuel poverty and these improvements will help tackle this. Improving the energy efficiency of our homes will help to reduce the amount of energy used at a time of rocketing energy bills, reducing the impact on the environment and helping our efforts to tackle the Climate Emergency as well as boosting the local economy.”
Colchester Borough Homes’ Chief Executive, Philip Sullivan, said: “This is a fantastic boost to our commitment to provide decent affordable homes and improve the comfort, health and wellbeing of our tenants.
“A huge thank you to all our tenants who took part in our Retrofit Engagement Survey last autumn. The results were really helpful and will help us enormously in delivering this project.”
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.”