Retrofitting energy efficiency in buildings


To raise living standards across the city through improving energy efficiency and reducing fuel poverty and the health inequalities linked to this, whilst cutting carbon and helping tackle the climate emergency. Secured £37million funding to transform 4,500 properties with a further £25m to upgrade schools, leisure centres and civic buildings.


In 2018 around one in ten households in Leeds were living in fuel poverty (10%), the same as the average for England (10%). There are a number of reasons for this including high numbers of: difficult to insulate housing stock; economically deprived areas; and large number of private-rented homes, which traditionally have a lower levels of energy efficiency.

Ensuring that everyone can afford to stay warm is important because living in a cold, damp home can have a detrimental effect on the health and wellbeing of residents of all ages, particularly on those who are vulnerable because of older age, sickness or disability.

Increasing the energy efficiency of properties will also help reduce overall energy consumption, which will support Leeds’ commitment to reducing carbon emissions.

What has been delivered?
Leeds has secured £37m from ERDF and government grants to transform nearly 4,500 properties including both social and private, from low income homes that are currently the most inefficient and expensive to heat. Improvements include external and cavity wall insulation, fitting of smart technology and new heating via an air source heat pump or connection to district heating.

We are committed to spending another £100m to improve energy efficiency of council properties by 2025 with key projects including use of innovative external wall insulation on 750 back to backs in priority neighbourhoods; a whole house insulation and solar panel approach to 250 homes, along with bringing low carbon district heating to flats in 10 blocks.

The council continues to work to reduce carbon emissions across its estate and has secured £25m from BEIS to retrofit low-carbon heating and energy upgrades across 43 sites including schools, leisure centres and civic buildings this year. Improvements will include air source heat pumps, solar panels, energy management systems, and LED lighting.

We also have a £300m programme to build low-carbon homes, funded by Housing Revenue Account and a grant from Homes England.

What was the impact/next steps?

  • Once completed, the work to improve the energy efficiency of homes will reduce the city’s carbon footprint by 5,000 tonnes and support more than 1,800 jobs.
  • Work planned to improve the energy efficiency of existing housing will support the employment of 338 jobs and save nearly 4,000 tonnes of carbon. This doesn’t include new build properties or work to retrofit non-residential buildings.
  • 1,500 new low-carbon homes are to be built.
  • LCC has also won an award for housing decarbonisation and shortlisted for a further award by prominent trade publication Inside Housing.