As the government begins distributing a £400 householders rebate this winter to lessen the impact on rising energy bills, https://www.gov.uk/government/news/400-energy-bills-discount-to-support-households-this-winter new research by the Northern Housing Consortium (NHC), which represents housing organisations in the region, found that 3.8 million homes are failing to reach an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of C.
Our region is home to a third of England’s fuel-poor households. Living in these poorly insulated homes costs residents at least £680 a year, the NHC’s annual Northern Housing Monitor report reveals.
It found that one in six Northern households were already in fuel poverty before the latest energy price rises and cost of living crisis. Yorkshire and the Humber have some of the highest rates of fuel poverty in the country with 17.5% of household affected. It also found the percentage of households in the North experiencing fuel poverty in each local authority ranges between 10% and 20%, higher than most local authorities in Southern England.
The report also highlighted how it had the lowest share of overall homes reaching fuel energy efficiency bands A to C, supporting the suggestion that fuel poverty may have increased across the region.
The government has set a target for all UK homes to be upgraded to good energy efficiency levels by 2035, but the energy crisis has increased the urgency. The NHC is calling on the Government to create a long-term programme of investment for homes across our region.
Tracy Harrison, chief executive at NHC, said: “It’s very clear that energy efficiency is now as much a social challenge as a climate challenge. While the introduction of the Energy Price Guarantee offers some relief and short-term support, it is also expensive for government and will now be reduced in April.
“A long-term solution is required, not a temporary sticking plaster. Ramping up existing programmes will build on the North’s emerging retrofit success stories, cutting energy use and waste for good.”
According to the NHC, bringing homes in the North up to have an EPC rating of C would require retrofitting at least 270,000 homes annually to 2035. This is over 700 homes a day or one home every two minutes. They added that achieving the target of decarbonising the North’s homes by 2035 could generate 77,000 direct jobs in the region and 111,000 indirect jobs across the UK.
You can read the report at: https://www.northern-consortium.org.uk/category/news/
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