Fenland District Council and Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council have successfully secured £4.5million of funding as part of a pilot £50million Government project to improve the energy efficiency of social housing.
The £4.5million grant is being match funded with a further £4.5million investment from Clarion Housing Group. Clarion is the largest social landlord in the country, managing thousands of homes across the two local authorities.
The funds will be used to significantly upgrade 160 of the most energy inefficient Clarion homes in Fenland and Tonbridge and Malling, which currently have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of D or below. Clarion and its partner contractors will deliver the work, using innovative methods to improve energy efficiency in their homes.
Fenland District Council led the bid and is one of the successful schemes chosen to receive a share of the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF) demonstrator, run by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
The £9million total investment will see £4.5million invested into Clarion homes in each local authority area, and work is already underway.
Once complete, it is expected that those living in upgraded properties will save between £300 and £500 on their energy bills each year. Clarion estimates that the project will also generate 68 jobs and apprenticeships in the green energy sector, by employing local sub-contractors and installers.
Cllr Samantha Hoy, Fenland District Council's Cabinet member for Housing, said: "This funding is absolutely fantastic news for those residents living in the poorest-performing homes. Improving their properties will not only lower their carbon emissions, but they will also have warmer, healthier homes to live in and more disposable income through cheaper energy bills which will be timely as part of the Covid recovery for our communities."
"But it will also have much wider and far-reaching benefits. As a pilot demonstrator project, lessons learned will drive even more investment and innovation in retrofitting social housing at scale. It will hopefully create a sustainable, energy efficient industry that will benefit even more residents and generate more jobs in years to come."
Rob Lane, Group Director of Commercial Services at Clarion Housing Group, said:"We are delighted to be working with our close partners on a project that will benefit hundreds of Clarion residents in the short-term and thousands more in the future. Clarion is committed to improving the energy efficiency of social homes across the country and the Social Housing Decarbonisation project will allow us to pilot new ways of working and accelerate our plans."
Cllr Piers Montague, Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council's Cabinet Member for Housing, said:"We are delighted that people living in the poorest-performing homes in respect of energy efficiency will benefit from the successful bid for this funding, in terms of cheaper energy bills and warmer homes that will lead to healthier and more comfortable lives.
"This large funding investment into energy efficiency, lower carbon emissions and sustainable energy will help us to overcome the challenges of climate change and progress our aspirations for Tonbridge and Malling long into the future."