An extra £3m for warmer, greener Suffolk homes

More Suffolk residents are set to benefit from Government Green Homes Grants thanks to a further successful bid for £3m funding by a Suffolk consortium of local authorities, adding to a previous award of £1m secured last year.

The funding, provided by the Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, will provide energy efficiency measures for owner occupiers of properties with poor energy performance ratings. Partner local authorities are already working on delivering five projects by March 2021, and have a completion deadline of September for the five new schemes. These are external wall insulation of 100 park homes in West Suffolk, 150 park homes in East Suffolk, and 70 Flagship Group properties, insulation and air source heat pumps on 100 homes in Babergh and Mid Suffolk, and internal wall insulation for 10 properties through Leiston Net Zero/EDF.

The Greener Homes scheme, which is designed to help make homes more energy efficient, is also available direct to homeowners, as well as to councils, offering vouchers up to £5000 to households to get energy saving work done. The scheme is open until March 2022:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-the-green-homes-grant-scheme

Cllr John Griffiths, Leader of West Suffolk Council, which led the consortium bid, said,

“I am delighted to see how our track record on working together across Suffolk on the climate emergency is helping to reduce fuel bills for more of our residents. West Suffolk alone has some 550 park homes, a type of housing with generally poor insulation and which occupiers can sometimes struggle to heat. The window for making these bids, and for delivering the projects is extremely tight, but by close collaboration and by partners having schemes ready, we were able to secure this very welcome funding. This opportunity is also available direct to householders, and information on how to go about benefitting is on our website and www.greensuffolk.org By making your homes more energy efficient, you could be warmer, save on fuel bills and, of course, do your part in working towards a carbon neutral Suffolk by 2030.”

Project 1: West Suffolk Council – Park Home Insulation

West Suffolk Council (WSC) has secured funding to insulate 100 owner occupied park homes. In the first instance it will target

  • Shepherds Grove Park, Stanton, includes 250 homes that have a mix of heating fuels including mains gas, oil and electric. WSC has a good existing relationship with this park - a successful 24 property EWI scheme was delivered at this site in 2015/16 with many outstanding expressions of interest.

WSC proposes to install external wall insulation on these park homes, as well as loft and underfloor insulation where viable (estimated at 10% of properties), to improve the energy efficiency of the units and the comfort and wellbeing of the residents. Pre-Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) will verify property eligibility, while council officers will complete checks to ensure the income threshold is met.

Contact: sally.easton@westsuffolk.gov.uk

Project 2: East Suffolk Council – Park Homes Insulation

East Suffolk Council (ESC) also proposes to deliver a park home insulation scheme for 150 units. East Suffolk has more than 600 park homes, none of which have benefitted from a coordinated insulation scheme to date. East Suffolk will look to target the following two large parks in the first instance:

  • Falcon Park, Martlesham Heath– 210 homes, all off gas.
  • Heathlands Park - 110 homes, also off gas.

Cllr James Mallinder, East Suffolk Council’s cabinet member for the Environment said,

“I am delighted that we have been able to secure this funding to improve energy efficiency in homes across Suffolk. East Suffolk Council is committed to developing and delivering a strong environment vision and following our climate emergency declaration in 2019, this is an important step in reducing our carbon footprint in homes. Not only does better insulated homes reduce energy costs for residents, it also reduces the resources needed to heat and care for our homes, and by making small changes now, we can make a big difference over time.”

Contact: Camilla.Hopkins@eastsuffolk.gov.uk

Project 3: Babergh and Mid Suffolk Councils – Social Housing Insulation & Renewable Heating

Babergh and Mid Suffolk Councils (BMS) are seeking funding to retrofit 100 socially rented properties, which will increase the remit of a planned retrofit scheme. Measures will comprise external wall insulation, loft insulation top ups and air source heat pumps. BMS expects an average cost per property of £11,000, of which BMS will contribute £6,000.

Property eligibility will be determined by identifying properties with eligible EPC ratings via BMS’s asset database and verifying these against Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) records. Household eligibility will be determined using means tested benefits from tenancy details, which will be verified by BMS’s Tenancy Support Team.

Cllr John Ward, Babergh District Council Leader, said:

“Thanks to this grant we can now make even more of our homes across the district energy efficient. All while reducing our carbon emissions and impact on the environment.

“This will not only work towards the aims of our Carbon Reduction Management Plan but will also improve quality of life for some of our lower income households, helping to reduce fuel poverty.”

Cllr Suzie Morley, Mid Suffolk District Council Leader, said:

“This funding is great news for our tenants and will play an important role in helping to achieve our carbon neutral ambitions.

“Ensuring our housing stock is of a high standard and provides safe, warm and secure places to live remains our priority. We are committed to investigating further funding to improve our homes, in order to reduce our carbon emissions and support the wellbeing of our community in the place we’re proud to call home.”

Contact: Jessica.Metcalfe@baberghmidsuffolk.gov.uk

Project 4: Net Zero Leiston – Owner Occupier Solid Wall Insulation

Leiston-cum-Sizewell Town Council proposes to install solid wall insulation on ten owner occupied properties as part of the innovative ‘Net Zero Leiston’ project. Led by local authorities and international engineering experts, the project aims to end fuel poverty and achieve net zero carbon emissions across the parish by 2030, and provide a blueprint for other communities in the UK.

Since early 2020, Net Zero Leiston partners, including EDF, East Suffolk Council, Suffolk County Council, Atkins, Opergy, Energy Systems Catapult, Ikigai and Carbone4, have worked together on a ‘route map’ which will outline the timescales and milestones which would need to be undertaken to meet this aim. Initial activities include pilot schemes for properties in the town to be retro-fitted with various technologies and materials to help improve their energy performance, such as roof and solid wall insulation, replacement heating and solar panels. It is intended that the project will provide a better understanding of how to practically and affordably improve lives and reduce carbon emissions, and eventually become wholly community-owned and self-sustaining.

By conducting a desktop analysis of available data, Net Zero Leiston has already identified owner occupied solid wall properties with an EPC rating of E-G in the town – typically those with old and inefficient electric heating. East Suffolk Council and EDF will provide close support and oversight of the project, and conduct the household income eligibility checks.

This funding will allow Net Zero Leiston to install the innovative Matilda’s Blanket IWI product on ten properties; ECO funding contributed by EDF will allow other insulation measures (such as loft insulation) and heating upgrades to be installed alongside the IWI, enabling the properties to achieve a minimum EPC Band C.

Contact: John Rayner townclerk@leistontowncouncil.gov.uk

Project 5 – Flagship Group – Social Housing Retrofit

Flagship Group is working in partnership with the Suffolk authorities to use funding for the retrofit of 70 properties, all of which have EPC ratings of D-E and households with annual incomes below £30,000.

The funding requested will support the installation of much needed external wall insulation that is outside the scope of existing budgets, which we anticipate will improve the EPC rating of the majority of properties to Band C. FHG will contribute around £5,000 - £6,000 per property.

Megan Gonsalves, Energy and Sustainability Manager said,

“This is one more important step on our journey to improve the future of our customers and our planet. It’s an especially challenging time for people right now, so we want to do our bit to make our homes more affordable and tackle the real issue of fuel poverty. We hope that by working with local contractors, we can reduce our annual carbon footprint by 81 tons and our customers will benefit from warmer homes and cheaper energy bills”.

Contact: Molly.Boreham@flagship-group.co.uk

 

February 10th, 2021