The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero has announced that it has awarded significant funding to support the upgrading of social homes and public buildings, making them more energy efficient.
Investment worth £1.8 billion has been allocated to social housing providers and charities to help upgrade more than 115,000 homes across England. These upgrades will help households to become more energy efficient, reducing the emissions being produced from them whilst also decreasing the cost of energy bills.
The Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme is also funding £409 million wort of projects to cut carbon emissions in public sector buildings such as schools and hospitals. This will be done in a number of ways, including upgraded heating systems that use cleaner, cheaper, renewable energy. Other than the environmental benefits of renewable energy sources, it also reduces the amount of fossil fuels being used, reducing exposure to the volatile global energy prices and saving taxpayers hundreds of millions of pounds.
The funding comes from the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund and the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, with these being collectively worth around £1.4 billion. Local authorities are also contributing £1.1 billion to help with the decarbonisation of social housing and public buildings.
Grant Shapps, Secretary of State, said:
“We know this is a difficult time for families, which is why the government is [sic] covered around half a typical household’s energy bill this winter.
“This is a huge investment that will help households have 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.”
Alongside helping with decarbonisation and energy efficiency, the scheme is also set to benefit the construction sector with around 20,000 jobs being supported through the upgrade projects. Not only will this help to grow the economy and create better paid jobs, but will also further support families across England.
Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance, Lord Callanan, said:
“The UK is truly a world leader when it comes to reducing carbon emissions and the progress we’ve made over the last decade has been remarkable. But we can’t rest on our laurels and must continue to drive forward progress, setting a standard for other countries to follow.
“Reaching net zero means considerable action from the public sector as well as private sector. Through the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme funding allocation announced today, we are empowering public bodies to save the taxpayer hundreds of millions while packing a punch on our ambitious and necessary climate goals.”
The Riverside Group received more than £12 million worth of investment, and Chief Executive Carol Matthews CBE expressed her feelings on the awarding. She said:
"We are delighted that we have secured just short of £12.7 million from the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund from the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero. This funding will enable us to improve the energy efficiency of our homes and protect our residents from rising fuel bills and cost of living crisis. Riverside will be match funding and investing £15m as part of our retrofitting and net zero commitments. We are looking forward to working with the Government to improve over 1,100 homes and the lives of our residents living in them"