Wednesday 28 February 2024
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Nottingham

Significantly more funding needed to make Nottingham council homes more energy efficient

Nottingham councillors say the Government must do “much more” than it is currently to help fund improvements to council homes to make them more energy efficient.

Around 370 council homes across the city will soon benefit from millions of pounds of investment to make them more energy efficient, however, Nottingham City Council says improvements are required on thousands more.

The Labour-run authority successfully bid for £2.9m in funding from the Government to pay for improvements on even more homes in the city.

During an Executive Board meeting on June 20, councillors approved plans to use the money for better cavity wall insulation, external wall insulation, loft insulation, draught-proofing and heating controls in 370 homes.

The council is yet to decide which areas of the city will benefit from the money.

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Angie Lillistone, head of service for carbon reduction projects and policy, said: “It is city-wide at the moment. We are rolling it out to properties that need it the most.

“We are not necessarily specifying the exact areas at the moment because all the properties are subject to a detailed survey before we can then engage with the tenants.

“But what we can say is about 370 additional properties will benefit from this on top of the 2,500 or so that have already benefited from the funding.”

By 2021 the council had already fit out more than 1,000 homes with better insulation, heat pumps and solar panels over a six-year period, using a process known as ‘retrofitting’.

A further £6m was secured to do the same to 700 additional homes starting the same year.

In June 2022, the Government then launched its Social Housing De-carbonisation Fund (SHDF), which the council has so far received £2.8m, to fund improvements on 298 homes as part of phase one.

The latest batch of funding to fund improvements on even more homes comes as part of the SHDF second phase.

While the funding was welcomed, councillors called on the Government to provide funding for improvements to thousands of homes, rather than hundreds.

Cllr David Mellen (Lab), the leader of the council, said: “Obviously this is really beneficial, this is not only about the environment but also the cost of living.

“Most people’s budgets are heavily dominated by their fuel bills and in Sneinton there have been a number of social houses already that have been retrofitted and people are saying their bills have gone down.

“The thing I would complain about is that this is just another little bit. Alright, 300 houses, but we need to do thousands of houses, not hundreds.

“This is something that really needs to happen at scale, not just little bits and pieces here and there.”

Similarly, deputy leader of the council, Cllr Audra Wynter (Lab), said: “We have got a way to go.”

Cllr Pavlos Kotsonis (Lab) said: “The Government needs to do much more than it does currently, for us to really have a green transformation.”

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has been contacted for comment.

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