The Climate Change and Energy Support Officer presented a report which detailed the Council’s application for funding that could be used to improve the energy efficiency of homes located in the Borough.
The distribution of the grant funding that was available was managed by Local Energy Hubs. Redditch was located in the West Midlands and the Midland Energy Hub (MEH) was managing the distribution of funding locally. There was additional funding available to support Councils and partner organisations with the administration of the scheme.
The intention was for the grant funding to be used to improve the energy efficiency of the worst performing properties, which had received energy efficiency ratings of E, F G. Many of these properties were managed as social housing, including Council houses managed by Redditch Borough Council, and therefore the Housing Department would be actively involved in the project. Residents in these properties were often impacted by fuel poverty and therefore the work would have a beneficial impact on their finances. The deadline for the completion of funded projects would be 31st December 2021 and the funds would need to be spent in accordance with the grant guidance.
There were risks attached to the project, particularly in respect of the relatively tight timescales available to complete the works. In addition, there were risks associated with Coronavirus, though Covid secure practices would be adopted.
Following the presentation of the report, Members discussed a number of points in detail:
· The average expenditure of £10,000 per property and the works that could be funded at this level.
· The works that would be undertaken on Council house properties. Officers explained that measures such as the installation of loft, wall and garage insulation would feature in these works.
· The match funding required from the Council in respect of Council properties that were supported through this process. Members were advised that this funding would be provided as part of the capital programme for the Housing Revenue Account (HRA).
· The availability of some of the funding for other social housing providers.
· The number of houses that would benefit from the programme. Officers explained that it was difficult to quantify the number of houses that would benefit at this stage.
· The extent to which a plan had been developed to ensure that the funding could be spent and works completed by the deadline of 31st December 2021. Officers advised that there was an aim to get on site quickly and to complete the works as efficiently as possible within the time available.
· The Council’s energy efficiency programme. Members were informed that this project formed part of that programme.
· The extent to which the funding was available to support improvements to the energy efficiency of properties in the private sector. Officers advised that many privately owned homes were already performing well but there were some exceptions and applications could be submitted in relation to these properties.
· The criteria for applications for the funding and the potential for some applicants to be turned down. ... view the full minutes text for item 94