Over 400 Leeds City Region households are set to benefit from new funding to tackle fuel poverty and keep household bills low.
Better Homes Yorkshire has secured a further £1.7 million of funding through the LEP to help local people living in homes not connected to the gas grid to have central heating installed. Central heating can help households save up to £1,000 a year as well as ensuring their homes are more energy efficient.
Launched in March this year, Better Homes Yorkshire is already providing supporting for residents to carry out energy improvement work to their homes. The new funding will ensure over 400 households across the City Region’s local authorities and Housing Associations will benefit from fully funded gas connections and central heating systems.
Managed by West Yorkshire Combined Authority, Better Homes Yorkshire utilises funding from the Government’s Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation (ECO) schemes. Under the eight-year scheme, Keepmoat and Willmott Dixon Energy Services will be carrying out energy improvement work to homes over the next eight years, in partnership with nine local authorities - Leeds, Bradford, Kirklees, Calderdale, Barnsley, York, Craven, Harrogate and Selby, and the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
Health & wellbeing
Councillor David Green, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Investment Panel and Leader of Bradford Council said: “By reducing fuel poverty, Better Homes Yorkshire is achieving West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s aim of improving local people’s health and wellbeing.
“This additional funding means that hundreds more families across the City Region, will be keeping their homes warm thanks to gas connections and central heating systems installed as a result of this innovative public and private sector partnership.
“I would urge any households contacted about Better Homes Yorkshire to take advantage of the scheme.”
Paul Hamer, Chair of the LEP’s Green Economy Panel said: “Supporting people to become more energy efficient is central to achieving our ambition of living in a lean, resource smart city region.
“This funding will support the activity already being delivered across the region and will allow us to forge new partnerships with organisations such as National Grid and Northern Gas Networks to deliver free gas connections to people living in fuel poverty.
“This, coupled with new renewable energy systems available to households and support to help people better understand how to use their heating systems effectively, will enable us to save money and energy in the future.”
Steve Batty, Framework Director at Better Homes Yorkshire, said: “This funding is welcome financial support which will help us reduce fuel poverty across the Leeds City Region through the Better Homes Yorkshire scheme.
"Given the recent announcements from the Government to end Green Deal and the relative uncertainty around the ECO funding market, it is important that we capitalise on other available funding streams in order to continue our aim of improving homes in our region and reducing fuel bills.”
Energy Minister Lord Bourne said: “We recognise that households not connected to the gas grid can pay over the odds for their heating.
“So we are taking action by backing these innovative projects that will help the people who need it most by focusing on central heating for the first time – cutting bills and keeping homes warmer. Projects like this show how much the Government and local councils can achieve working together to secure a better future for local communities.”
From this autumn, the Leeds City Region local authorities in partnership with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and the LEP, will begin to install central heating systems in local fuel-poor households. In some cases where a gas connection is not viable, some households will be offered a renewable energy system to help bring their fuel bill down.
Eligible households will be contacted directly about the offer by their Local Authority or the Better Homes Yorkshire team.
Find out more about Better Homes Yorkshire (opens in new window).