Sustainable Warmth Funding
The Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Cultural Services and Climate Change presented a report on the subject of Sustainable Warmth funding. Members were informed that the Council had received £429,000 funding from the Government to help local property owners improve the energy efficiency of their buildings. The funding was designed to assist households on combined incomes below £30,000 per year and with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating D – G.
There were two main forms of funding that could be made available at this stage:
· Home Upgrade Grants (HUGs) Phase 1 – for properties that were not connected to the mains gas.
· Local Authority Delivery (LAD) Phase 3 – for properties connected to the mains gas.
The amount of action required to improve the energy efficiency of properties and the costs entailed would vary between properties. However, it was anticipated that on average £10,000 would need to be spent from this funding per property.
The report had been pre-scrutinised at a meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Board and a number of questions had been raised. In response to the queries raised by the Board, the Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Culture and Climate Change commented that the Council was aware of the EPC ratings for 63 per cent of properties in Bromsgrove District. The Council would work with Act On Energy to target eligible properties for funding and a communications strategy had been developed to accompany this approach. In total, as discussed at the Overview and Scrutiny Board meeting, the Council was anticipating that approximately 40 properties would benefit from the funding.
After the report had been presented Members discussed the following points in detail:
· The positive impact that the funding would have on the energy efficiency of properties occupied by eligible homeowners.
· The need for further action to be taken to support residents living in the District in properties with low EPC ratings.
· The potential for the Government to provide the Council with more funding to help support additional property owners in the District.
· The difficulties experienced by park homeowners, who would not be eligible to apply for this funding, and the delays to funding in terms of previous schemes that had impacted on mobile homeowners.
· The need for the Council to lobby the Government to provide more funding to enable park homeowners to improve the energy efficiency of their properties.
· The impact of a fall in the availability of HGV drivers on the speed with which action could be taken locally to improve the energy efficiency of properties in the District.
· The typographical error in the report which referred to a Borough rather than District for Bromsgrove.
The recommendations were proposed by Councillor M. Thompson and seconded by Councillor A. Kriss.
1) the Capital and Revenue Budgets are increased to receive Bromsgrove District Council’s Sustainable Warmth scheme allocation of £429,000; and
2) delegated authority is granted to the Head of Community and Housing Services following consultation with the Portfolio Holders for Housing and Climate Change to administer the funding received in line with the grant conditions.