This report is due to be pre-scrutinised at a meeting of of the Overview and Scrutiny Board scheduled to take place on Monday, 29th March 2021. Any recommendations on this subject arising from that meeting will be reported for Cabinet’s consideration in a supplementary pack.
The Portfolio Holder for Strategic Housing, Health and Wellbeing presented a report detailing the Green Homes Funding that was available to Bromsgrove District Council.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) had allocated £60 million to a green homes grant scheme. The allocations that had been made to local authorities as part of this process had been calculated based on the proportion of properties in each authority area that were listed as having energy efficiency ratings at bands E, F or G. In total, £474,000 green homes funding had been allocated to Bromsgrove District Council for this purpose.
The funding would need to be spent on improving the energy efficiency of eligible properties with energy efficiency ratings of bands E, F and G or for static mobile homes. In order to be eligible to receive funding for a property the occupants needed to be at above average risk of fuel poverty. The deadline for completion of all works funded by the grant was 31st December 2021.
During consideration of this item Cabinet was advised that the report had been pre-scrutinised at a meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Board held on Monday, 29th March 2021. At this meeting, Members had requested further information about the number of properties in Bromsgrove District that had energy efficiency ratings in bands E, F and G. Officers explained that data for the period encompassing the fourth quarter of 2008 to the second quarter of 2020 revealed that 20% of properties were in band E, 5% of properties were in band F and 1.4% of properties were in band G. This compared to 45% of properties that were in band D, which was the highest rating. However, Members were asked to note that not all properties had received an EPC rating and therefore the data could only be based on the information that was available but was inevitably incomplete.
The Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Board, Councillor Hotham, was invited to speak in respect of the Board’s discussion of the Green Homes Funding report. Councillor Hotham explained that the Board had broadly welcomed the proposals detailed in the report. In particular, Members had been pleased to learn that the first part of the scheme had already begun and that as part of this process residents in 40 (out of 120 eligible properties) had indicated that they were willing to take part. More residents would have an opportunity to take part in the scheme as it was rolled out across the District.
Cabinet was advised that during the Overview and Scrutiny Board meeting Members had discussed the potential for the subject of green homes funding to be referred to the Climate Change Working Group for consideration. This proposal had not been agreed as a recommendation and Cabinet noted that there were tight timescales in which the decision on this matter needed to be taken as well as strict criteria for the distribution of the funding, which would make it difficult for Members to alter the arrangements through further discussion.
Reference was briefly made to the potential for properties that did not have an EPC rating to obtain one and then apply for support under the scheme. Officers confirmed that this would be possible and any residents in this position were urged to contact Officers for further information.
1) the Capital and Revenue Budgets are increased to receive Bromsgrove District Council’s Green Homes Grant scheme Local Authority Delivery Part 2 allocation of £476, 900.
2) delegated authority is granted to the Head of Community and Housing Services following consultation with Portfolio Holders for Housing and Climate Change to administer the funding received in line with the grant conditions.