Published on 21st December 2021

air source heat pumps

300 of the region’s least efficient properties are set to receive funding towards energy efficiency upgrades, renewables and low-carbon technologies from two Government grant schemes

Cheltenham Borough Council is part of a consortium that has been awarded over £5million to improve hundreds of inefficient homes across Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire. The consortium, led by Stroud District Council successfully bid for part of the £430million Sustainable Warmth Competition being invested by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy across England from 2022. The funding will be used to install improvements to insulation and heating, as well as solar and heat pump technologies on suitable homes.

The £5.25m will be targeted towards the region’s least efficient properties – those with Energy Performance Certificates rated D, E, F or G – and will aim to benefit households most at risk of fuel poverty. £1m will be used to improve 100 properties on the gas network, and the rest will increase the efficiency of 200 properties off the gas grid, mainly in rural areas.

The seven local authorities already work together to provide the highly successful Warm and Well programme, which is delivered by local charity Severn Wye Energy Agency to support the nearly 40,000 households in the region who suffer from fuel poverty. This figure is expected to rise as the cost of energy increases this winter and into next year. The funding will be distributed to households that meet certain eligibility criteria so that it helps them out of fuel poverty.

Cllr Mike Collins, cabinet member for housing said: “This is great news and a most welcome investment.  Usually our biggest carbon footprint comes from our homes and reducing that footprint becomes more difficult and more expensive when trying to improve the efficiency of our least energy efficient buildings.  I’d encourage all investment in energy efficiency works given the challenges we face. In addition, these works will help enable vulnerable people to keep warm and well in their homes.’’

Cllr Max Wilkinson, cabinet member for climate emergency at Cheltenham Borough Council, welcomed the news: ‘’We all have a huge amount of work to do if we are going to achieve carbon neutrality and much of this will include changes in people’s homes.  Upgrading energy efficiency and moving away from gas is a big part of that challenge.  This funding, spread across seven council areas, will certainly help.  It goes alongside the increasing amount of work we are doing to retrofit Cheltenham’s council homes and reduce the carbon footprint of the council’s buildings.  There is a very long way to go, but everything we can do will make a difference.”

From January, eligible households will be invited to apply to take part in the programme and will receive the most appropriate measures to improve the efficiency of their property. Funding for work on properties on the gas network is delivered through the Government’s Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery (LAD) scheme; while off-gas properties will receive funding through the new Home Upgrade Grant (HUG) scheme.

Work is expected to be completed by March 2023, by which point 300 Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire homes will be warmer, healthier and more energy efficient. Households can register their interest in receiving funding towards efficiency improvements by calling the Warm and Well advice line on freephone 0800 500 3076.

Find out more about the council’s work on climate and sustainability at www.cheltenham.gov.uk/climate.


For media enquiries email communications@cheltenham.gov.uk or 01242 264231

Notes:

Funding was awarded by BEIS to a consortium of local authorities led by Stroud District Council, including Cheltenham Borough, Cotswold District, Forest of Dean District, Gloucester City, South Gloucestershire and Tewkesbury Borough Councils as part of the Sustainable Warmth Competition: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sustainable-warmth-competition-successful-local-authorities/sustainable-warmth-competition-successful-local-authorities

The Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire home energy advice programme, Warm and Well, is delivered by Severn Wye Energy Agency on behalf of the seven local authorities and will be responsible for supporting householders to access this funding.

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact: James Clarke, Director of Marketing at Severn Wye: 01452 835076, jamesc@severnwye.org.uk or Owen Callender, Head of Affordable Warmth at Severn Wye: owenc@severnwye.org.uk

Imagery

High-resolution images of energy efficiency improvements for use with this press release can be found for a limited time at this link: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/zyzsov830tpbgaa/AACiWk4qg6UNQ-Zu-gS6DDEja?dl=0