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270,000 North homes require green upgrades each year to meet targets

Housing leaders are calling on the Chancellor to deliver on spending pledges, as a new report shows that more than a quarter of a million Northern homes each year will need green upgrades to meet the government’s own energy efficiency targets.

The new Northern Housing Monitor, a ‘state of the region’ report for housing in the North of England, finds that 62% of the region’s homes, over four million properties, are below the key ‘EPC C’ energy efficiency standard that all homes must meet by 2035.

The report states that 270,000 Northern homes must be upgraded every year between now and 2035 in order to meet government targets and to contribute towards the country’s net zero ambition.

These green home upgrades have the potential to push levelling up according to the report, with experts identifying the potential for 77,000 more green jobs across the North by the 2030s.

To meet the challenging targets, housing leaders are calling on Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, to use his planned Autumn Spending Review to confirm manifesto commitments on home energy efficiency investment.

The Northern Housing Consortium (NHC), which speaks for 140 councils and housing associations across the North, has recommended government ‘frontload’ a promised investment of £3.8bn in the country’s social rented homes.

They say that the Chancellor must also confirm a further £2.5bn of ‘Home Upgrade Grants’ for low-income private renters and owner-occupiers.

Commenting, Chief Executive of the NHC, Tracy Harrison said:

“These figures show the scale of the challenge we face to begin to ready the North’s homes for net zero, but together we can do this.

“Councils and housing associations across the North stand ready to upgrade homes and create thousands of jobs in the process.

“With the Glasgow Climate Change Summit just around the corner, Rishi Sunak must show he is serious about net zero and levelling up by confirming the long-term energy efficiency funding pledged at the last election.

“And in doing so, start to build the necessary confidence and capacity in the supply chain to allow us to deliver.”

Chair of the NHC, Paul Fiddaman added:

“As a sector, the challenge ahead of us is huge. As this ‘state of the region’ report shows, significant investment is needed to decarbonise 62% of homes in the North.

“However, it also shows the scale of the opportunity we have to improve homes and create thousands of jobs in the process, delivering on net zero and levelling up.

“With the right levels of support from the government, the journey to net zero homes is one the sector is excited to embark upon, not only for the environmental benefits it will bring, but also for the benefit of our residents, who we’re working closely with along the way.”

PSE will be hosting a Public Sector Decarbonisation event on 9 September. Join us for the full day event by registering here.

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