A picture of two workers helping to insulate a house

Councillors are set to approve a £2.8m Homes Upgrade Grant to help improve energy efficiency in 150 homes in Coventry.

A report will be considered by Coventry City Council’s Cabinet on Tuesday 29 August seeking approval from councillors to accept £2.8 million to retrofit energy efficiency measures for low-income households and those with low Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) ratings and no gas central heating within Coventry.

This grant will build on work already underway to improve the energy efficiency of over 2,500 homes in the city covering properties across the city in areas including St Michael’s, Binley, Willenhall, Foleshill, Longford and Henley.

Fuel poverty is a significant problem for some Coventry households, with many low income and vulnerable people affected. The latest statistic (2021) indicates that 20.8% of all households are fuel poor, and consequently are unable to afford to stay warm in their homes.

Cllr Jim O’Boyle, Cabinet Member for Jobs, Regeneration and Climate Change, said: ”This is an important project which will support our most vulnerable residents – including many who live in flats without mains gas.

“This grant will help us to boost the energy efficiency of homes by changing the windows, improving insulation and upgrading heating systems. This will help to cut carbon emissions, tackle climate change and crucially to help reduce fuel poverty. It’s really important work and I wish we could do more of it.  So we will be applying pressure to government to help support this work along with a number of other measures.

“We are also procuring a Strategic Energy Partner to help deliver projects which will cut carbon across the city. The partner will bring investment, resource and expertise to work with the Council to deliver at scale and pace. Retrofit will be key to reducing the city's carbon footprint, as well as cutting energy bills.” 

Cllr David Welsh, Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, said: “Addressing housing need and ensuring homes are energy efficient is absolutely crucial. As a country we need to more, much more, to ensure that people can afford to heat their homes while ensuring homes are energy efficient. This is always important – but never more so than now, as people are struggling with the cost of living crisis.

“In our city the figures are stark - around one in five homes are fuel poor and many people can’t afford to stay warm in their home, leaving them trapped in fuel poverty. That’s why we will continue to work hard to secure funding like this so we can do more but government needs to prioritise this too.”

In the properties benefiting from the £2.8m funding it will lead to:

1) reduction in Coventry’s domestic carbon emissions.

2) reduction in health-related morbidity and mortality associated with living in cold homes.

3) reduced demand placed on health and care services.

4) improved energy efficiency, reduced energy bills and increased thermal comfort.

Improvement of the insulation of homes is also important to make properties more resilient to cope with climate change, with the world facing warmer summers.

Published: Friday, 25th August 2023