Leeds City Council is to invest £100 million on measures to help tenants save money and cut carbon by improving energy efficiency over the next five years.
Thousands of council tenants will benefit from cheaper energy bills and warmer homes as a result of the investment, which will be funded primarily through housing revenues.
New technologies will include ground and air source heat pumps, district heating networks, external wall insulation and solar panels.
By improving the energy efficiency of homes, the measures are expected to help residents facing fuel poverty and prevent the most vulnerable from suffering cold related illnesses.
The investment will support the council’s commitment to reduce the city’s direct emissions to net zero by 2030 and help make Leeds a greener, fairer and healthier city and will also support local ‘green’ jobs in industries carrying out the improvements.
At the moment, around a quarter of the city’s carbon emissions come from the energy used to heat homes and Leeds City Council has been working in partnership with the University of Leeds to identify the best way to target these improvements to maximise the benefits for residents and the environment.
New external wall insulation was recently fitted to three high-rise blocks in the Burmantofts area of the city, helping to regenerate the buildings and reduce the energy bills of the 300 flats.
They have also been connected to the city’s Leeds PIPES district heating network, which supplies low carbon waste powered heat and hot water to residents.
Previous investment means that the average council home is already warmer and more efficient than the average privately owned home in Leeds.
Commenting, Leeds City Council’s Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Communities, Councillor Debra Coupar said: “Everyone deserves to live in a warm home that can be heated affordably, so I am delighted that we are ramping up efforts to help even more residents over the next five years.
“Living in a warm and energy efficient home is better for our health, better for our finances and better for the planet too.”
Executive Member for Climate Change, Transport and Sustainable Development at Leeds City Council, Councillor Helen Hayden added: “This is an ambitious investment that reaffirms this council’s commitment to tackling the climate emergency. We’re doing everything we can to make the properties we own fit for the future.
“However, we now need a long-term, national plan that enables private homeowners to invest in their properties and gives reassurance to local businesses to hire and train workers with the skills needed to meet the demand for sustainable housing.”