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Funding to help cut people’s energy bills reaches £6m

Almost 1,200 households across the Leeds City Region are being supported out of fuel poverty thanks to a £6m investment into energy efficiency measures from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

A total of £5m had already been committed to improve hard-to-insulate homes in Leeds, Bradford, Selby, Harrogate, York, Craven, Barnsley and Wakefield. A further £1m will now be spent on works in Kirklees and Calderdale following approval at the Combined Authority’s Annual General Meeting (Thursday 29 June). Funding is coming from the City Region’s Local Growth Deal.

More than 400 properties in the Kirklees and Calderdale districts will now benefit from improved energy efficiency measures – which include insulation for attics and hard-to-treat cavity walls – making them cheaper to heat as well as healthier to live in and better for the environment.

The Tackling Fuel Poverty Programme and related projects are delivered through Better Homes Yorkshire, the only Council backed energy efficiency and heating provider in the Leeds City Region. Over the next 42 years, it is estimated that households under the scheme will save almost £10m combined in heating bills or almost £195 per household, per year, on average.

In addition to money and carbon savings – calculated to be 31,500 tonnes over the lifetime of the insulation – 215 local jobs will also be supported by using local contractors.

Cllr Peter Box, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Leader of Wakefield Council, said:

“It is imperative that our Local Growth Deal benefits everyone in our City Region and the Tackling Fuel Poverty programme is a wonderful example of how we are providing inclusive growth for all.

“Fuel poverty can lead to colder homes, increased damp and poorer health for residents, making it less likely they will participate actively in the improvements being made to jobs, skills and the economy across the City Region. I’m delighted that even more people will now get the help they need to make their homes more fuel efficient and healthier places to live. In addition, by working with Yorkshire-based contractors, we’re committing to keeping our spending within the county to provide a further boost to local people and businesses.”

Keepmoat Regeneration (part of ENGIE Group), based in Doncaster, and Fortem, from Rotherham, are private sector partners, which are delivering the Better Homes Yorkshire scheme.

Steve Batty, Head of Sustainability at Keepmoat Regeneration, said:

“Through the Better Homes Yorkshire Framework, we have been given the opportunity to carry out improvement work to the homes of those who need it most.

“We hope this will have a real positive impact on the lives of residents by creating warmer and healthier homes, as well as reducing their fuel costs.”

Eligible homes in Kirklees and Calderdale will be contacted by the Better Homes Yorkshire team in due course.

Better Homes Yorkshire was launched by the Combined Authority in March 2015 with the first homes approved for support within the Tackling Fuel Poverty programme in June 2016.

The team also provides high quality and affordable gas boilers and central heating systems for residents across the Leeds City Region. Market-leading boilers come with up to 10-year warranties and could save households up to £350 a year.

To make an appointment to have your home assessed for a new gas boiler or heating system, call Better Homes Yorkshire on 0800 597 1500.  Alternatively, visit www.betterhomesyorkshire.co.uk

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