22 March 2023: The UK government has pledged a massive £1.8 billion to enhance the energy efficiency of over 115,000 homes in England. The funding will be allocated through the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund and Home Upgrade Grant, with a combined value of £1.4 billion. These resources will support a range of energy-saving upgrades, including new windows and loft insulations, aimed at reducing household bills.
Charities, social housing providers, and local authorities will contribute an additional £1.1 billion in match funding, bringing the total investment to £2.5 billion. The funds will be used to upgrade both social and private homes throughout England. The allocated funds will be directed towards enhancing the energy efficiency of households that are particularly susceptible, as well as off-gas grid homes with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of D or below. The upgrades could save tenants an annual energy bill of £220 to £400.
In addition, the UK government has granted £409 million under the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme to assist in reducing carbon emissions in public sector buildings, such as hospitals and schools. The funds will be used to install improved heating systems which will be powered by cleaner and cheaper renewable energy, thereby reducing the reliance on fossil fuels and their exposure to unpredictable global energy prices. This initiative will support numerous jobs and save taxpayers hundreds of millions of pounds.
In an official statement published on GOV.UK, Secretary of State, Grant Shapps said, “We know this is a difficult time for families, which is why the government is covering around half a typical household’s energy bill this winter. This is a huge investment that will help households save hundreds on energy bills and see them heat their homes for less, and stay warm for longer. Not only this but the funding is also a huge boost for job creation and economic growth, opening up new and exciting opportunities across the UK’s ever-expanding green sector.”
The funding will be made available from April 2023, to upgrade homes over the next two years. The schemes will support the UK government’s objective of reducing the energy demand by 15% before 2030 and its goal of achieving greater energy independence.
The UK government’s announcement of a £1.8 billion investment to improve energy efficiency in homes and public buildings is a great step towards reducing carbon emissions and achieving the country’s climate goals. Overall, this investment is a positive step towards a more energy efficient future for England.