North East home warmth upgrades plummet

Data shows a significant reduction in government-funded home warmth upgrade projects in North East England, potentially leaving households without substantial energy savings as winter approaches

New data reveals a significant decline in government-supported initiatives aimed at improving the heating and insulation of homes in North East England, just as the winter season approaches.

During the 2022/23 fiscal year, projects in the region funded by the government’s Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme, which funds the enhancement of drafty homes and the installation of modern heating systems, only reached 18% of the previous year’s total.

This shortfall potentially means that households in the North East could lose out on energy savings amounting to more than £50 million.

Additionally, the rate of home upgrades per month under the government’s Sustainable Warmth Scheme dropped to just 15% of its predecessor.

Despite the North East’s leading position in the UK in terms of homes upgraded through the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund, only a fraction of the region’s fuel-poor homes, fewer than 2,000, have benefited from this initiative.

This stagnation is raising concerns about the persistence of fuel poverty in the region and missed job opportunities.

Ashden, a climate charity, is sounding the alarm, urging North East politicians to prioritise this issue and call for increased investment and support from the national government.

Cara Jenkinson, Cities Manager at Ashden, stressed the importance of addressing this issue as energy prices remain high and home insulation rates decline.

Ms Jenkinson called on the government and opposition parties to drive ambitious changes that could benefit energy bills, reduce carbon emissions and create local employment opportunities.

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