UK govt announces £1.5 bn to improve energy efficiency

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The announcement comes ahead of unprecedented government support which kicks in this weekend, helping to protect households, businesses and public sector organisations from rising energy costs following Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine…reports Asian Lite News

Around 130,000 low-income households across England could see bills slashed by around £400 to £700 a year as their homes receive energy efficiency upgrades through the government’s latest Help to Heat funding.

Up to £1.5 billion is being made available through the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund and Home Upgrade Grant schemes, allowing social housing providers and local authorities to submit bids for funding to upgrade the properties of around 130,000 low-income and social households.

The funding will see the installation of measures such as external wall and loft insulation, energy efficient doors and windows, heat pumps and solar panels, with multiple measures often being installed in a single home to considerably improve the energy performance.

Local authorities and social housing providers will be able to submit bids for funding and will deliver upgrades from early next year until March 2025, building on more than 30,000 homes already being upgraded under the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund and Home Upgrade Grant schemes.

The announcement comes ahead of unprecedented government support which kicks in this weekend, helping to protect households, businesses and public sector organisations from rising energy costs following Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine.

Thanks to the government’s Energy Price Guarantee, for the next two years, the typical annual household bill will be £2,500, a saving of at least £1,000 a year based on current prices and energy usage. This is on top of existing government plans to give all households £400 off bills this winter. This direct and decisive action means households will receive significant protection from an 80% rise in the Energy Price Cap and won’t see average household bills increase to over £3,500 annually, with some reports predicting bills could have risen as high as £6,500 next year.

There was also no price cap in place for businesses, meaning British companies were also experiencing significant increases in energy costs – in some cases of more than 500% – but thanks to government intervention through the Energy Bill Relief Scheme, businesses, public and third sector organisations will pay wholesale energy costs well below half of expected prices for this winter.

Business and Energy Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg said, “Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine, would have had dire consequences on the energy bills of both households and businesses this winter, without the government’s decisive action. Today I am cutting costs even further for the most vulnerable households for years to come. By making homes warmer and cheaper to live in, we are not only transforming the lives of households across England, we are creating huge growth in the economy, backing the green energy sector and supporting thousands of high-skilled jobs.”

Social housing with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of D or lower will be eligible to receive Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF) upgrades, while the Home Upgrade Grant (HUG) funding will help people who are most vulnerable to fuel poverty, living in privately-owned – both rented and owner-occupied – off gas-grid homes and on low incomes.

The cash boost forms part of £12 billion combined funding under the government’s ‘Help to Heat’ schemes, which also include the Local Authority Delivery and Energy Company Obligation schemes, targeting support to lower income and more vulnerable households.

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