Proposals to make 300,000 homes more energy efficient go before Green Economy Panel

Proposals to scale up the Better Homes Yorkshire programme for the next decade will be discussed by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Green Economy Panel next week. These ambitious plans will contribute to the Combined Authority’s zero-carbon targets.

Since 2015 the Combined Authority and local authority partners have overseen the delivery of energy efficiency measures in over 5000 homes across the Leeds City Region through the Better Homes Yorkshire Partnership. 

The current partnership ends in 2023, but the Combined Authority’s aim is to build on its success and create an ambitious 10-year programme to retrofit up to 300,000 homes in West Yorkshire by 2030, mobilising up to £2.4 billion per year, and saving around 1.8 million tonnes of carbon each year while lowering energy bills. 

These new proposals support the Combined Authority’s plans to achieve a net-zero carbon economy by 2038, which helped it win the ‘Leadership in Responding to the Climate Emergency’ award at the annual MJ Local Government Achievement Awards earlier this year. 

The panel will discuss the following recommendations (among others):  

Offering lending to ensure that the transition to a low carbon economy will reduce inequality in West Yorkshire. Currently, poor energy efficiency has entrenched fuel poverty, with some of the worst performing homes occupied by low income households.  

Funding to support training people with the skills needed to improve energy efficiency and the retrofitting of homes in the region. Tackling energy efficiency can help West Yorkshire’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and long-term prosperity by creating new jobs, skills and retraining opportunities, new markets, and business opportunities.  

These proposals have been developed by the Combined Authority and Better Homes Yorkshire partners, following a study led by Red Cooperative in April 2020 and discussions with experts and community groups.  

Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, said: “By supporting improved energy efficiency in homes, we can help people keep warm, reduce their energy bills and in doing so make a significant contribution to tackling the climate emergency. 

“We are already leading the way by committing to a net zero carbon economy by 2038 and ensuring carbon reduction informs our plans for economic prosperity across all our investments and programmes. 

“Reducing fuel poverty and delivering significant savings for people through warmer and greener homes across West Yorkshire is vital to ensuring we build a successful and prosperous region, where everyone can enjoy a good quality of life.”