Funding received to create warm and sustainable homes across Cumbria

A CONSORTIUM of district councils across Cumbria is to receive £19.95 million in Government funding to address fuel poverty and improve energy efficiency to create warm and sustainable homes.

The application for the Sustainable Warmth Competition was submitted on the consortium’s behalf by Carlisle City Council earlier this year.

The funding aims to boost the local economy to retrofit a target of 1,310, mainly private sector homes, with energy efficiency measures including low-carbon heating across Cumbria.

The bid included £5,850,000 for a target of 600 homes with mains gas heating and £14,105,000 for 710 homes with non-gas heating in the county.

Councillor Ann Thomson, the leader of Barrow Borough Council - which was part of the consortium - welcomed the news.

“This really is excellent and something that will make a huge difference to hundreds of householders here in Barrow and all across the county.

“We know fuel poverty is a real issue for many people - and one that this fund can help to tackle head on by making homes more energy efficient. The knock on effects of these measures - to people’s health, wellbeing and also the environment - will be far reaching.

“The consortium also shows partnership working at its best so that the benefits of this fund will be felt right across the area.”

The primary purpose of the Sustainable Warmth competition is to raise the energy efficiency rating of low income and low Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rated households - those with E, F or G, and a limited percentage of homes with an EPC rating as D. 

This is expected to result in the following outcomes: 

  • Tackling fuel poverty by increasing low-income households’ energy efficiency rating while reducing their energy bills.  
  • Delivering cost effective carbon savings to carbon budgets and progress towards the UK’s target for net zero by 2050.
  • Supporting clean growth and ensuring homes are thermally comfortable, efficient, and well-adapted to climate change.   
  • Supporting economic resilience and a green recovery in response to the economic impacts of Covid-19 and creating jobs.
  • Learning from the delivery experience to inform the development and design of further energy efficiency and heat schemes.

 Owner occupied homes can receive up to £10,000 or £25,000 per household depending on the current efficiency of their homes.

It is expected that work to owner occupier homes will be fully funded at no cost to the homeowner. Privately rented properties are eligible for funding of up to £5,000 or up to two thirds of the cost of the measures. To be eligible a household must have an annual income of less than £30,000, with larger thresholds for households with three or more members.

Now that funding has been confirmed, work will get underway in readiness for the scheme going live for applications in early 2022. It will be managed by Homelife Carlisle, a Home Improvement Agency, provided by Carlisle City Council.

The scheme includes FREE energy efficient measures, such as:

·                     External wall insulation.

·                     Internal wall and room in roof insulation.

·                     Air source heat pumps (Low Carbon Heating).

·                     Ground source heat pumps.

·                     Solar PV.

·                     Cavity wall, underfloor and loft insulation.

·                     Smarter heating controls.

·                     Single to double glazing. 


Notes to editors

For immediate release.

The Sustainable Warmth competition encompasses two schemes:

  • Local Authority Delivery Phase 3 (LAD3): LAD3 has a refined scope to support low-income households heated by mains gas. The maximum grant per owner occupied home is £10K.
  • Home Upgrade Grant Phase 1 (HUG1): Scheme for low-income households with homes off-gas grid. The amount per home can be up to a maximum of £25K depending on the EPC rating and fuel type. Targeted funding will support the installation of multiple measures in these homes, which can face higher upgrade costs, to substantially improve their energy performance.