Multi-million Package To Fund Eco-housing Measures In Yorkshire
A multi-million-pound package of funding has been secured to see environmentally friendly improvements to homes in North Yorkshire. Housing Industry Leaders looks at how the improvements will help to tackle the effect housing has on the environment.

To boost energy efficiency in properties in some of the districts which are worst affected by problems, such as poor-quality insulation, the UK Government has provided North Yorkshire County Council with £8 million.

Being more environmentally friendly is essential for North Yorkshire, as carbon emissions from the homes in the county rank as the second highest after transport.

In 2019, emissions from domestic properties in North Yorkshire were 1,058 kilotonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents (ktCO2e), which equated to 23 per cent of total emissions.

Working together, officers and colleagues in the district and borough authorities have secured the funding, which will be used to target homes in the Scarborough district, Hambleton, and Ryedale.

Residents Will Be Provided With The Opportunity To Save Money

The funding will introduce improvements such as insulation, solar panels, heat pumps and high-heat retention electric storage heaters.

In addition to this, a scheme is being introduced to help counter the cost of living crisis by ensuring that residents are provided with the opportunity to save money from their energy bills, which are currently at an all-time high, with warnings that they will increase again in the winter.

Cllr Greg White, who is the executive member for both stronger communities and climate change, said: “If we are to reduce both fuel poverty and carbon dioxide emissions, we need to both radically improve home insulation and switch households to cleaner, sustainable and more energy efficient heating.”

This is a great opportunity for hard-pressed householders to get the necessary work done for free and for private landlords to access major discounts.

Fully Funded Energy-Saving Home Improvements Will Be Offered

Rural parts of North Yorkshire are facing issues because homes can often date back several centuries and remain energy inefficient.

North Yorkshire County Council said that coordinating a programme of energy efficiency upgrades to homes through sparsely populated countryside communities, is costly and difficult to achieve.

A new scheme, which is called the North Yorkshire Homes Efficiency Fund, is offering a range of fully funded energy-saving home improvements to eligible homeowners. The amount of funding that is available is up to £25,000 for each home.

However, it is said that most properties will receive upgrades up to the value of £10,000. As many as 500 homes are expected to benefit from the scheme.

Cllr Michael Harrison, who is the executive member for health and adult services, said: “This funding will not only provide a vital new stream of revenue for much-needed improvements to homes to help tackle carbon emissions and make the properties more energy efficient, but it will also help improve the health of residents.

“The improvements will mean homes are heated more efficiently allowing residents to be able to keep warm and ensuring energy bills do not escalate even further, freeing up household finances so that money is available, for instance, to provide decent meals.”

It has been a big team effort with our colleagues in the district and borough councils to secure the funding, and I would like to pay tribute to the collaborations.

Almost 3,000 Homes Become More Energy Efficient Last Year

Working with energy experts from YES Energy Solutions, North Yorkshire County Council is aiming to help residents qualify for the scheme.

During the last financial year, YES Energy Solutions transformed the energy efficiency of more than 2,900 homes and cut customer fuel bills by £36 million over the lifetime of the improvements installed.

To qualify for this new scheme, residents must have a household income of £30,000 or less or receive means-tested benefits.

Properties must also be technically suitable for the measures available in the scheme and have a low energy efficiency rating.

Tenants in privately rented homes can apply but their landlords must contribute a third of the total costs of the improvements.

North Yorkshire Aims To Be First Carbon Negative Area

Helping to reduce North Yorkshire’s carbon emissions, a new climate change strategy is being prepared by the council and is set to be introduced after a new authority is launched to cover the whole of the district on 1 April 2023.

Setting out how the new council will develop work that is currently underway to reduce harmful carbon emissions.

The new strategy aims to help achieve an ambition of the York and North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership that the region can become the first “carbon negative” area and helps the UK in achieving its net zero 2050 target.