Tens of thousands of people living in social housing will see their homes made warmer, greener and cheaper to heat with new funding, the Government said.
Local authorities and housing associations in England will be able to bid for a share of £160 million to install insulation, energy efficient doors and windows and low-carbon heating systems such as heat pumps in socially rented homes.
The funding will help up to 38,000 homes with energy performance certificates of D or below with upgrades that will save tenants £170 a year on energy bills on average, the Business Department (Beis) said. It will not fund the replacement or repairs of gas boilers, which will have to be replaced in the coming years with heating alternatives that do not cause carbon emissions.
The funding is the first tranche of a pledged £3.8 billion social housing decarbonisation fund over the next 10 years, which aims to tackle fuel poverty by making homes more energy efficient, while cutting greenhouse gases.
Homes account for around 15% of the UK’s carbon emissions, so tackling this pollution is a key part of the country’s efforts to curb climate change.
Minister for Business, Energy & Corporate Responsibility, Lord Callanan, said: “Today’s announcement is a vital step forward in eradicating UK fuel poverty and improving the lives and homes of low-income households, all while creating new work for local plumbers, builders and tradespeople who will be building homes fit for our greener future.
“With a real appetite among councils and housing associations to make their homes cheaper to heat and warmer to live in, this investment is putting the power in the hands of the people who know their communities best, allowing the right decisions to be made for each home they manage while ensuring the very best for their tenants and the environment.”