Real Estate Blog: Latest government funding to cut energy bills for 20,000 social housing households

Last week, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy made a welcome announcement confirming that social housing tenants across England will have their energy bills reduced and their homes made more energy efficient as part of the first wave of funding being provided via the government's £3.8 billion Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund.

The funding has been allocated to local authorities to deliver alongside social housing providers and it forms the latest in a series of packages of support being provided by the government to help households cope with rising energy bills. According to the release, the £179 million of funding will aim to:

  • Reduce rising energy bills, tackle fuel poverty and increase energy efficiency in the sector;
  • See 20,000 houses with an EPC rating of D or lower receive upgrades (including insulation, heat pumps and solar panels) to improve their energy efficiency;
  • Support 69 projects to help slash energy bills for social housing tenants;
  • Support around 9,000 green energy jobs;
  • Deliver emissions savings equivalent to taking 6,000 cars off the road for a year.

Whilst the fund will surely help in our aim of achieving our “net zero” targets and should help the social housing sector build on the steps it has already made to increasing the energy efficiency of its stock, with upgrades expected to be complete by the end of March 2023, it remains to be seen whether the fund will result in an immediate reduction in the estimated 13.4% of households in England (around 3.18 million) classed in 2019 as being in “fuel poverty”. That said, the news will hopefully come as a welcome relief to those families who are already feeling the additional strain on their resources and, more importantly, will hopefully help thousands of social housing tenants reduce their energy spend and help social housing providers improve the carbon footprint of their stock. With a second wave of funding launching in the next financial year, it will be interesting to see the impact that this fund has on energy efficiency in the sector and how those increased efficiencies protect low income and vulnerable households.

If you would like to discuss anything covered in this Real Estate Blog, please contact Holly Chadwick.


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