Low-income households to save up to £700 a year
The 130,000 social housing and low-income properties in England could be upgraded with external wall and loft insulation, energy efficient doors and window, heat pumps and solar panels.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) said households will be able to have multiple measures installed in a single home “to considerably improve the energy performance”.
Overall, the upgrades could help households save around £400 to £700 a year on energy bills.
As part of the £1.5bn Help to Heat funding, social housing providers and local authorities will need to submit bids for a share of the cash, with upgrades scheduled to take place from early next year until March 2025.
To be eligible social housing must currently have an energy performance certificate (EPC) of D or lower while funding will also be made available to people who are most vulnerable to fuel poverty living in privately-owned (rented and owner-occupied) off gas-grid homes and on low incomes. You can visit the government website to check eligbility for Help to Heat here.
Up to £1.5 billion is being made available through the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund and Home Upgrade Grant schemes, allowing social housing providers and local authorities to submit bids for funding to upgrade the properties of around 130,000 households.
The news comes after the government energy price guarantee which will freeze unit rate and standing charges for the next two years, meaning the average household will pay £2,500 a year on bills.
Businesses will also be helped with soaring energy prices as the government announced the energy bill relief scheme costing the taxpayer £25bn as it slashes their bills by half to stop firms going bust this winter.
‘Homes warmer and cheaper to live in’
Business and energy secretary, Jacob Rees-Mogg, said: “Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine would have had dire consequences on the energy bills of both households and businesses this winter, without the government’s decisive action. Today, I am cutting costs even further for the most vulnerable households for years to come.
“By making homes warmer and cheaper to live in, we are not only transforming the lives of households across England, we are creating huge growth in the economy, backing the green energy sector and supporting thousands of high-skilled jobs.”
Figures from the government reveal in 2010, just 14% of properties had an EPC of C or above, however it is now at 46% and rising. The social housing sector is up from 18% in 2008 to around 66%.
The government added that “energy efficiency improvements are one of the most effective ways to save money on energy bills at a time of rising global gas prices”.