This report is due to be pre-scrutinised at the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Board scheduled to take place on Tuesday 15th February 2022. Any recommendations on this subject arising from this meeting will be reported for Cabinet’s consideration in a supplementary pack.
The Background Papers for this item have been published in a separate Background Papers Pack for this meeting.
The Head of Community and Housing Services presented a report on the subject of Sustainable Warmth Funding. Cabinet was informed that the Council was due to receive £429,000 for a sustainable heating grant, which was designed to help fund actions that could be taken to improve the energy efficiency of properties in the district with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating D – G.
The Head of Community and Housing Services drew Members’ attention to the 2 components to this funding, as detailed on page 24 of the main agenda report:-
· Home Upgrade Grant (HUG) Phase 1 – these grants were intended for properties that were not connected to the mains gas system.
· Local Authority Delivery (LAD) Phase 3 – these grants were intended for properties that were connected to the mains gas system.
Cabinet was advised that there had been a typographical error (on page 25 of the main agenda report), the maximum average grant per property was £10,000 for LAD3 and £25,000 (not £15,000 as shown) for HUG.
There were a range of measures that could be funded, including cavity wall insulation, roof insulation and air source heat pumps.
The Council was working with Worcestershire County Council and Act On Energy in respect of the administration of the funds and promotion of the funding to eligible residents.
After the report had been presented Members discussed the following points in detail:
· The deadlines for expenditure of the grant funding and the extent to which the Council was likely to be able to ensure that all funding was spent by those deadlines. Officers clarified that the HUG Phase 1 and LAD Phase 3 funding needed to be spent by 31st March 2023 whilst the deadline for expenditure of the previous LAD Phase 2 had been extended to 31st July 2022. Members were advised that Officers were anticipating that these deadlines would be met.
· The potential for park home owners to apply for the HUG Phase 1 and LAD Phase 3 funding, following a change in regulations which meant that they could not apply for LAD Phase 2 funding. Members were informed that park homes were not eligible for HUG Phase 1 or LAD Phase 3 funding, but officers were monitoring any future funding opportunities that might become available for park home owners.
Cabinet was further advised that action would be taken to promote the funding to eligible members of the public, and that the Council was aiming to target low income households. A targeted approach to communications was considered preferable in order to ensure that the Council was not inundated with requests and that the funding was provided to those most in need. Support would be made available locally to help eligible households apply for the funding. Officers explained that Act On energy would be providing this type of support to eligible households and would also be able to help householders identify the most appropriate funding for them and if required would also support householders in obtaining an ... view the full minutes text for item 55