Hundreds of Leeds homeowners, renters, and landlords of properties without gas central heating can now get energy saving green measures installed free of charge or at a significant discount, thanks to a new Leeds City Council scheme.
The council’s Home Energy Help team is working in partnership with energy services provider Everwarm Ltd to help as many households as possible benefit from £15.5 million of government funding secured for Leeds homes from the Home Upgrade Grant, before it expires in March 2025.
Upgrades available include different types of insulation, heat pumps, solar panels, and electric radiators.
Tackling heat loss by installing energy-saving measures and low carbon heating can improve existing buildings by making them easier and cheaper to keep at a comfortable temperature.
Homeowners that qualify for the new scheme will be able to get upgrades fitted completely free of charge. Eligible landlords will abe able to install the same improvements with a two-thirds discount.
Everwarm will work with applicants to agree a combination of upgrades that will be installed to improve the energy efficiency (EPC) rating of their property.
Applications for the scheme will be dealt with on a first-come, first-served basis.
British homes are some of the least energy-efficient in Europe. Fewer than half of Leeds’ privately rented or privately owned homes achieved a ‘C’ grade (or better) for their energy-efficiency rating in 2021.
One-in-six (17.6%) Leeds households were classed as living in fuel poverty in 2020, officially defined as living in a relatively inefficient home and having an income below the poverty line once energy bills are paid for.
Improving the energy efficiency and quality of Leeds’ homes has been identified as a key aim of the council’s Best City Ambition because of its benefits for health, poverty alleviation, and role in cutting the city’s carbon footprint.
Residents can learn about the key benefits of energy upgrades, find out where to get impartial energy-efficiency advice, and learn more about the financial support available at: www.leeds.gov.uk/homeenergy.
Councillor Mohammed Rafique, Leeds City Council executive member for climate, energy, environment and green space along with Councillor Jessica Lennox, executive member for housing, said: “Tackling heat waste from our homes is a win-win-win. it helps household finances, improves our health, and is good for the planet too.
“While some homeowners can afford to invest in energy-saving measures with the right financial and technical advice, we know that many others will need additional support to access the benefits of green home upgrades.
“As a council, we’re determined to make it easier for Leeds homeowners and landlords to access the Home Energy Help they need to save money and cut carbon.
“I am therefore delighted to be able to launch this latest scheme which could see off-gas households benefit from up to £15.5 million of improvements. I would strongly encourage residents to check their eligibility online or phone while funding is available.”
Scott Paton, operations director for Everwarm, said: “With the ongoing cost of living pressures facing many this winter, there has never been a more important time to make people aware of the support that is available to them.
“The measures we can install through the scheme can make residents’ homes more energy efficient and importantly, can help residents make savings on their energy bills.
“We look forward to supporting local people to make the most of the funding on offer as the scheme commences.”
Residents are being encouraged to check if they are eligible to benefit from the new funding (or any existing schemes) in a matter of minutes online at: www.leeds.gov.uk/homeenergy. Alternatively, those interested can call the council’s contractor about the new scheme on 0800 1977755.