Social housing residents were last week invited on a tour of an energy efficient estate in Leeds, where retrofit measures worth £9.8 million were showcased.
Nearly 200 homes on the Holtdale estate in north-west Leeds have benefitted from eco-friendly upgrades, making the houses warmer and healthier as well as cutting fuel bills by up to 70%.
The seven-figure retrofit scheme, which was led by Leeds City Council, saw the estate of low-rise flats in Holt Park upgraded thanks to £5.62 million in funding from the council, and a further £4.18 million from the former Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Of the 190 properties on the estate, the council owns 150.
Leeds City Council’s executive member for climate, energy, environment and green space, Councillor Mohammed Rafique, also commented: “The Holtdale scheme is a great example of the work we are doing in communities across Leeds to cut the city’s carbon footprint and reduce fuel poverty.
“It’s a real source of pride that the project is now being used to highlight the transformational difference that energy efficiency measures can make to people’s homes and lives.”
The upgrades improve energy efficiency as well as living conditions
Some of the features to be included within the retrofit project were air source heat pumps, solar panels, which have a better environmental impact as well as resulting in cheaper energy bills.
New ventilation systems, and insulation have also had a huge impact on residents by reducing condensation and improving air circulation.
Some of the flats on the estate, which were built in the 1970s and had been considered as fuel-poor, now produce more energy than they use as well as boasting the UKs highest energy efficiency ratings.
The Holtdale scheme is part of a wider £100m programme of council-led work across Leeds, with large numbers of buildings having already received or due to receive energy-saving upgrades in an effort to reduce the city’s carbon footprint and tackle fuel poverty.
The region’s climate goals will include further housing measures
Leeds City Council have set a target to be carbon neutral by 2030 which forms the third pillar of their Best City Ambition to improve the quality of life for everyone living in the city.
The West Yorkshire Combined Authority has set a target to reach net zero by 2038. To achieve this, they are working with local partners to develop the Better Homes Hub, which will offer advice and support to people across the region to make green upgrades to their homes.
Leeds City Council is one of 16 members of the West Yorkshire Housing Partnership, who collectively own or manage 180,000 homes across West Yorkshire. As a group of social landlords and local authorities committed to tackling the climate emergency, members are spending around £3bn over the next 15 years on energy efficiency and decarbonisation projects.
The West Yorkshire Housing Partnership is also working on other energy efficiency projects including fitting solar energy and battery storage to over 1,000 homes which will enable residents to save up to 20 per cent from their energy bills.
Nick Atkin, vice chair of the West Yorkshire Housing Partnership, commended the example set by the Holtdale estate.
As a partnership we have big ambitions which is reflected in the £3bn investment our members are making in improving the energy efficiency of our homes over the next 15 years.
“This will also boost the green economy of West Yorkshire as the scale of the work required has the potential to create thousands of new, highly skilled jobs in manufacturing and in the installation of energy efficiency measures.”
The estate showcased its retrofit measures to visiting social housing residents
Social housing residents from other areas of Leeds and West Yorkshire recently got the opportunity to take a tour of the estate and see the benefits of its retrofit measures first hand.
The event was organised by the council, alongside the West Yorkshire Housing Partnership and energy and regeneration expert Equans, the delivery partner for the retrofit scheme.
Through the tour, visitors were able explore the estate and speak to residents about the difference the upgrades have made.
Councillor Jess Lennox, Leeds City Council’s executive member for housing, said: “It was a pleasure to be part of the visit to the Holtdale estate and to help showcase the impressive improvements that have been made to properties there.
As a council, we are determined to give the people of Leeds the kind of high-quality, energy efficient homes they deserve, with the results of this retrofitting project underlining our commitment to achieving that aim.
All the social housing residents invited on the tour live in properties owned or managed by West Yorkshire Housing Partnership members.
Following the tour and the conversations they participated in, it is hoped that these residents will go back and spread the word in their own communities about the benefits of retrofitted energy efficiency measures, including the effects these can have on both living conditions and energy bills.