Hastings Borough Council leads successful bid for county wide green homes project worth nearly £1m
Hastings Borough Council has led a successful bid, on behalf of councils across East Sussex, to the government's Green Homes Grant fund to help households living in fuel poverty with home energy efficiency improvements.
At Monday's meeting of the council's cabinet, it was agreed that the council lead the delivery of the project and enter into a partnership agreement with East Sussex County Council and Optivo.
£912,714 has been awarded towards a £1.3 million project to retrofit 125 homes across East Sussex. There will be two phases to the scheme, the first will focus on improving Optivo properties in Hastings and Rother. The next phase will focus on improving private properties throughout the county through the Winter Homes Check service.
The national grant scheme pays up to two-thirds of the cost of home improvements up to £5,000 the local scheme will be paying 100% for homeowners on low incomes and up to 50% for landlords. Grants are available to cover green home improvements ranging from insulation of walls, floors and roofs, to the installation of double or triple glazing when replacing single glazing, and low-carbon heating like heat pumps or solar thermal - measures that could help households save up to £600 a year on their energy bills.
The project is a partnership between East Sussex authorities, Optivo Homes, Citizens Advice and RetrofitWorks who provide the East Sussex Warm Homes Check Service.
Cllr Andy Batsford, lead councillor for housing and homelessness, said
"I am delighted to hear about the success of this bid which will benefit Hastings and the rest of East Sussex. I am grateful to officers for turning around this bid quickly in the very tight timescale, and their continued efforts and successes in bidding for funding to tackle key issues in the town.
"It is great that we got all the money we bid for, but although nearly £1m sounds a lot, it isn't enough to solve this problem. Hastings has high levels of fuel poverty, the highest in the south east, which is a real issue and great concern heading into the winter months. Many of us are lucky enough to live in warm homes and not have to make tough decisions about whether to be warm or hungry. Unfortunately, not everyone in our town is so lucky. Through this scheme homes in the town will benefit from improved energy efficiency which in turn will save these households money every year on their energy bills.
"The council has a commitment, through its climate change motion, for Hastings to be carbon neutral by 2030. One of the biggest contributors to carbon emissions in the town are poorly insulated properties. Improving the energy efficiency of these properties is really important, so this project is a great opportunity for us to make a positive start on this essential work with partners. This funding will go some way to addressing fuel poverty and carbon emissions in the town, it is a start but more needs to be done."