£8.45 million grant for project to make Council homes more energy efficient and reduce tenants’ bills
St Albans City and District Council has been awarded an £8.45 million Government grant to make homes more energy efficient and reduce bills.
The money will be used to improve more than 900 of the Councils social housing properties, about a fifth of the total.
The grant comes from the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund run by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero.
Enhancements to the homes will include loft, cavity wall and external wall insulation, solar panels and low-energy lighting.
These measures will both reduce harmful carbon emissions and help householders with the cost of living crisis by cutting energy bills.
The works will also improve the Energy Performance Rating of the homes, making them at least Band C.
Work is due to start next month and is scheduled for completion in June 2025.
The overall cost of the project is £18.15 million with the Council contributing £9.7m from its own housing budget. This is a ringfenced budget, separate from Council Tax and funded by the rent paid by tenants.
Christine Traill, the Council’s Strategic Director for Community and Place Delivery, said:
We are delighted to have made a successful bid for funding for this ambitious project.
As a Council, we are committed to tackling the climate emergency and becoming a carbon neutral District by 2030.
One of the major actions we are taking to achieve that goal is a rolling programme to decarbonise our social housing properties.
We have completed one substantial project, almost finished another and this grant will support our next project, all of which demonstrates our commitment to this important task.
The improvements will not only cut harmful emissions but will also help our tenants by reducing their energy bills at a time when these have been soaring.
The Council has already carried out a £750,000 project to make energy efficient improvements at 45 homes with £250,000 coming from the Government’s Green Homes Deal.
A £2.25 million project to improve a further 136 homes is due for completion shortly. This was supported by a £1.5 million grant, also from the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund.
We have taken a fabric first approach to making our homes carbon neutral, focusing on the structure of the buildings to improve insulation and energy performance.
We plan to add carbon neutral heating such as air source heat pumps in the years ahead as technology improves and costs decrease.
Picture: solar panels fitted to a Council property at Batchwood Drive, St Albans.
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