Mayor Steve Rotheram is urging people on low incomes across the Liverpool City Region to apply to have free energy-saving measures fitted to their homes, thanks to a £28.5m scheme aimed at reducing energy bills and carbon emissions.
Around 2500 households are set to benefit from measures including loft, under floor, cavity wall, internal wall and external wall insulation and low carbon heating and energy systems such as heat pumps and solar panels.
The Sustainable Warmth Fund, secured from central government, is available to households with annual incomes below £30,000 in low Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rated homes (those with E, F or G ratings, although some band D properties may be eligible).
Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram said:
“With the country in the throes of a cost-of-living crisis, I want to do everything I can to help ease the impact on people’s household bills. Due to their age, many of the homes in our region are energy inefficient, which is contributing to soaring bills.
“I want to ensure that local families can affordably heat their homes without heating the planet too. We are already making a start on turning that vision into a reality.
“To date, we’re investing around £60m to ‘retrofit’ over 5,500 homes with energy efficient updates, that is already helping to save struggling families money on their bills. We’re initially targeting our work at the most vulnerable to make sure that we have the biggest impact. If you are eligible, please make sure you apply – you might even save a few quid!
“But I know that this funding is just a drop in the ocean. There are 700,000 homes across the Liverpool City Region and, while £60m is a massive investment, we are only scratching the surface of what we need – and want – to do.
“We need the government to get serious about its net zero targets and do their bit for the region by matching our ambitions and working with us to secure the funding we need to deliver on our retrofit ambitions.”
Councillor Graham Morgan, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Portfolio Holder for Housing and Spatial Framework, said:
“We are working really hard with our local authorities to retrofit energy saving measures to as many houses as possible, to save people money on their bills, tackle fuel poverty and help the environment, but there is a limit to how much we can do on our own. There are 720,000 homes in the city region and more than 60% of them are at EPC band D and below, which means they are wasteful and expensive to keep warm. I’d encourage people to take advantage of this funding but we need government to pick up the pace so we can roll these programmes out even more quickly.”
Councillor David Baines, Portfolio Holder for Climate Emergency and Renewable Energy, said:
“We know that if we are to successfully reach our target of becoming net zero carbon by 2040, we need to half our energy use in the city region. The situation in our homes is even more challenging, as we will have to cut energy use by 60%. That’s why retrofitting our homes with energy efficient measures is so important. This will be a challenge but with support from government we already have the technology to do this, while creating good quality jobs in the process.”
Funding is available for owner-occupied and private rented homes. Eligible owner-occupiers do not need to contribute anything to the financial cost of the works. For private rented properties, landlords must contribute at least 1/3 of the total cost of the works to the home. All work will be completed by March 2023.
The Sustainable Warmth Fund is being delivered in Halton, Knowsley, St Helens and Wirral by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (LCRCA) in partnership with those local authorities, and contractors Everwarm and Next Energy. Liverpool City Council and Sefton Council are delivering the scheme themselves.
Residents in Halton, Knowsley, St Helens, and Wirral, can apply for the scheme through Everwarm’s website https://everwarmgroup.com/lcrproject. Liverpool and Sefton residents apply through their respective council websites.
The Sustainable Warmth Fund is the only city region-wide scheme to which residents can currently apply directly and is part of the Combined Authority’s total £60m investment in measures to tackle fuel poverty and reduce emissions, which will mean energy efficiency measures can be fitted to the properties of almost 5,500 low-income households. Almost 1000 homes have been retrofitted to date.