Council secures £14.5m to improve housing energy efficiency

Reeth. Photo: North Yorkshire County Council.

A multi-million-pound package of funding has been secured to deliver energy efficiency improvements to homes in a bid to step up the fight against climate change.

The Government’s Home Upgrade Grant Phase 2 (HUG2) has seen £14.5 million awarded to North Yorkshire Council, and the funding is available to 700 homes across North Yorkshire to help properties worst affected by problems such as poor-quality insulation and inefficient heating systems.

The money will finance the introduction of a wide range of improvements from insulation and solar panels to air source heat pumps and smart heating controls. These measures can save residents money on their energy bills whilst also reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The scheme aims to help households reduce energy use and counter the cost-of-living crisis by providing the opportunity to save money on their energy bills

North Yorkshire Council’s executive member for climate change, Cllr Greg White, said: “We face significant challenges in the fight against climate change and meeting the Government’s plan for the UK to have net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

“This much-needed funding stream offers a range of fully-funded energy-saving home improvements to eligible homeowners which will be delivered to March 2025.”

Greenhouse gas emissions from homes in North Yorkshire make up 19 per cent of the total released, and a concerted drive has been launched to bring in a raft of improvements in the county’s housing stock.

In July last year, the council was also awarded £8 million from the Government’s North Yorkshire Home Efficiency Fund. Officers worked alongside colleagues in the district and borough authorities to secure the funding.

The vast geographical spread of England’s largest county means that to co-ordinate a programme of energy efficiency upgrades to homes through sparsely populated countryside communities is both costly and difficult.

North Yorkshire Council’s executive member for housing, Cllr Simon Myers, said: “The funding will improve the energy performance and heating systems of off gas grid private sector homes, predominantly for rural dwellings. Upgrades are tailored to individual homes so that the most appropriate measures are installed.

“It provides an opportunity for hard-pressed householders to get the necessary work done for free and for private landlords to access major discounts.”

Private rented properties are eligible to apply, although landlords must contribute at least a third of the total cost of the upgrade.

To qualify for the new scheme, residents must have a household income of £31,000 or less, or via other eligibility checks.

Properties must also be technically suitable for the measures available in the scheme and have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of D or below.

Residents who are interested in applying to the Home Upgrade Grant can do so on North Yorkshire Council’s website at www.northyorks.gov.uk/hug2

A climate change strategy was adopted by North Yorkshire Council and can be found online at www.northyorks.gov.uk/environment-and-neighbourhoods/climate-change/climate-change-strategy-2023-2030

The strategy outlines how North Yorkshire can capture and store carbon, as well as placing a renewed emphasis on biodiversity and taking advantage of the huge natural resources across England’s largest county.

It is aimed at helping to achieve an ambition of the York and North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership that the region can become the first “carbon negative” area, helping the nation’s ultimate aim of achieving a net zero target for carbon emissions by 2050.

2 Comments

  1. The story’s photo reminds me…
    “I always stop at that spot, because it is the place from which Reeth should be seen. The cluster of houses in their encircling hills is something that stays in the mind like a pleasant dream.”
    – James Herriot

  2. I had an air source heat pump fitted as I was told it would be so much cheaper than the modern night storage heaters I already had replaced a year prior and I felt backed into a corner to get them installed by the landlord . I live in a one bedroom property and I’ll tell anyone now it certainly isn’t cheaper and the size of the water tank has resulted in me losing even more room in what is already such a small property as the new tank is so much bigger than the last one it wouldn’t fit in the airing cupboard so another cupboard had to be made to accommodate it taking away more floor space. The only positive is that it’s more controllable but that’s about it. If I could turn back the clock I would have stuck to what I already had.

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