As the UK’s net zero targets close in, we must focus on energy efficiency. And this is particularly true of the social housing sector. With buildings and homes making up around 40% of the UK’s carbon emissions, an urgent retrofit strategy is surely needed. This is where the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund comes in.
The UK government-backed scheme provides grants to social landlords and social housing managers with social housing properties that fall within the worst energy-performing category. These properties have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of ‘D’ or below. Around 1.6 million social houses fall into this category.
We take a look at the scheme and the impact it will have on the country.
What is the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund?
Launched in 2019, the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund will be worth more than £3.8 billion in ten years’ time. The UK government has just opened up the first stage of the scheme with a substantial investment. Social landlords can now bid for a share of the £160 million fund.
This investment is intended to improve the energy efficiency of social housing across the country. The scheme will cover several upgrades including:
- New heating systems
- Energy efficient doors and windows
- Upgraded insulation
Earlier this year, the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) invested £62 million into the fund. This investment was used to test out innovative approaches to retrofitting 2,300 social housing properties across the UK.
Social housing managers and councils must complete bid applications by 15th October 2021. Applicants will hear back in early 2022.
What is the impact of the fund?
The Climate Change Committee (CCC) has repeatedly warned the government that it must get a grip on the spiralling housing and climate crises. Social housing accounts for around 20% of the UK’s emissions, and the sector must be addressed.
BEIS has described the fund as a ‘triple win’, in terms of warmer houses, reduced emissions, and lower energy bills. In the first wave of funding, the scheme will help retrofit up to 38,000 of the UK’s worst energy performing social housing properties. Households benefitting from the new funds could see annual savings of £170 on their energy bills.
The scheme has arrived at the perfect time. Not only will the reduction of emissions make a huge impact as the UK nears its net zero targets, it will also save many low-income households from fuel poverty. Sustainable installations will also generate work for plumbers, builders, and electricians, giving a much-needed boost to the UK’s economy.
The fund will also push forward the prime minister’s 10-point plan for the green industrial revolution. As part of the plan, the government has announced that they aim to install 600,000 heat pumps a year until 2028.
How can Monarch help?
At Monarch, we know that the climate crisis won’t change unless we do. And we are dedicated to helping businesses across the country achieve energy efficiency.
Cutting out energy waste benefits businesses from both a financial and environmental perspective. Our broad range of services and our expert team decide which would be best suited for you, and tailor our service to your specific needs.
Get in touch today to find out more about how we can help you become more sustainable.