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More than £5m secured to help 'off-gas' households

Published March 22, 2023 11.11am

People in County Durham whose homes are not connected to a mains gas supply are set to benefit following the success of a funding bid.

James Rowlandson

Cllr James Rowlandson

A total of 250 properties will be eligible for work to make them more energy efficient after we were successful in a bid for £5.185 million from the government.

The money comes on the back of figures which showed we are leading the way nationally in our use of a further £10m of funding we obtained for work to improve the energy efficiency of homes.

Cllr James Rowlandson, our Cabinet member for investments, resources and assets, said: "We are delighted to have secured more than £5m funding which will help 250 households across County Durham reduce their energy bills.

"Following this competitive process I would like to thank all teams involved in ensuring this success for our county at a time where the cost of living crisis and energy security are such key issues.

"The work that this funding will enable will also allow properties to become more energy efficient, contributing to our aim of reducing County Durham carbon emissions.

"We were really pleased that recent figures showed we are leading the way nationally in our use of funding to reduce emissions from homes and this new money will allow us to do more work to build on that."

The latest funding is from the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero's Home Upgrade Hub Phase Two. Through this the government is making £700 million available to local authorities to upgrade the thermal efficiency of privately owned properties, specifically 'off-gas' low-income households. Both owner occupied properties and private rented properties are eligible and social housing can be included.

What the funding will enable

Works to properties the funding could pay for include cavity wall insulation; external wall insulation; smart heating controls; low carbon heating; solar photovoltaic panels, and draught proofing. Measures will be expected to assist in reducing home energy bills and transition to clean heat sources.

Lord Callanan, Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance, said: "This investment will help thousands of households to heat their homes for less, keep them warm for longer and could save hundreds on their annual energy bill.

"The green energy sector is growing, and this funding will support green jobs and provide the training needed to deliver these vital upgrades to homes."

The funding follows £10m we secured from the government's Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund in March of last year, to help housing associations make major energy efficiency improvements to their properties.

Figures announced last month showed that of the almost 1,000 properties that have benefitted from the funding so far, more than half are in County Durham.

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