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Leeds to lead in energy retrofit

The Government recently announced £88million funding to be shared between 24 councils under the Green Deal Communities scheme, which aims to fuel a street-by-street approach to energy efficiency across the country, from Peterborough to Plymouth, London to Leeds.

It’s great news for all the local authorities whose bids were successful, but we were especially pleased to see the Leeds City Region’s bid prevail. Leeds and Yorkshire more generally is a part of the country where we have been active in the last few years, through retrofit work both with councils and housing associations.

Back in 2011 we worked with Leeds Federated Housing Association to identify homes that would benefit from energy efficiency measures and the fuel bill savings to be made. The next year, we completed an Economic Impact Assessment on the proposed energy efficiency measures which could be installed under the Green Deal in the Leeds City Region, which was used as part of an approved business case for financing the Green Deal delivery mechanism.

Last year, we also worked with 8 councils in North Yorkshire to identify 1,100 homes most in need of energy efficiency improvements across the 10 poorest areas - which resulted in 204 boiler replacements. Separately, we conducted a fuel poverty study in Wakefield working for the Council and Housing Association to provide insight into fuel poverty trends in the city and made recommendations for future actions to improve homes energy efficiency and address fuel poverty up to 2020.

Targeting is absolutely crucial whether you’re running a national or regional programme of energy efficiency works, and it’s on a targeted basis that the new funds for the Leeds City Region, worth almost £5million, will be allocated in the first phase of the programme. Subsidised wall insulation and other measures such as glazing and heating systems will be offered, with the focus being homes that will benefit the most from these measures, but are currently not able to benefit from existing schemes to support their installation.

The second phase operates on a more traditional demand-led basis, offering a £750 voucher off the cost of Green Deal assessments and works to the first 1,000 people who apply. This offer is expected to be available later in the year.  

Gary Hartley is Energy Saving Trust's expert blogger. He has extensive experience researching and writing on a number of topics, with particular expertise in sustainable energy, policy, literature and sport. As well as providing regular blog content, Gary has also been published in numerous magazines and journals.

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