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Improving housing energy standards moves forward

Published Wednesday, 6 July 2022

Work is continuing to improve homes across the city by investing in more energy efficiency measures.

A report to the Decision Session of the Executive Member for Housing and Safer Neighbourhoods on 14 July will provide an update on progress in delivering energy efficiency retrofit measures for council homes and on the developing Energy Efficiency Action Plan for the city.

The council’s Retrofit Action Plan will align with its Climate Change Strategy. The plan is for the decarbonisation of homes in York and tackling fuel poverty across all tenures, while helping build the local green economy and retrofit supply chains.

The plan includes sourcing grant funding to substantially increase the pace of making energy efficiencies in council housing, with a further application to the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund proposed.

The planned home improvements will help residents save on energy bills following the recent energy price rises and in anticipation of more when the Ofgem price cap rises again in October 2022.

Planned improvements to 28 council homes are underway. This includes detailed design work to ensure the measures are effective and will improve the long-term thermal performance of the homes, reduce heating demand, save residents money on fuel costs and improve the comfort of the homes.

The council has invested in a detailed analysis of its housing stock from an energy efficiency point of view. This will help guide future investment decisions to reduce carbon emissions to zero carbon by 2030 and save  residents money on their energy bills.

Additional work is also underway to identify quick improvements that could be made before next winter to help residents keep energy costs down. These measures could involve bespoke household energy use advice, draught proofing, energy efficient LED lightbulbs, or thermal curtains and carpet underlays.

Councillor Denise Craghill, Executive Member for Housing and Safer Communities, said:

I’m pleased to see work progressing to improve energy efficiency in council homes across the city. It is crucial that we continue to draw in as much Government funding as possible, whilst also planning for the long-term and using HRA investment to respond to the growing concerns about the impact of rising energy prices this coming winter.

“Our Retrofit Action Plan will set out the challenges and potential solutions for decarbonising homes in York, reducing energy demand and tackling fuel poverty across all tenures. It will be in line with our Climate Change Strategy and will be considered by Executive in the autumn.”

Councillor Paula Widdowson, Executive Member for Environment, said:

York’s Climate Change Strategy is rightly placed at the heart of this exacting and innovative work. It will define our strategic approach to retrofit over the coming years and respond to changes in technology, costs and funding opportunities.

“Our homes generate one third of our carbon footprint, so improving their thermal performance reduces heating demand as well as the amount of gas and electricity needed to heat them.”

The report at will be discussed at the Decision Session of the Executive Member for Housing and Safer Neighbourhoods on Thursday 14 July at 10.00am.