26 Jul 2023
Council’s £9.8m housing scheme blazes a trail for energy efficiency
Press release published on behalf of the West Yorkshire Housing Partnership
A group of social housing residents have been getting a taste for an energy efficient future with a tour of homes at the Holtdale estate in north-west Leeds.
Nearly 200 homes on the estate have benefited from a Leeds City Council-led £9.8m eco-friendly retrofit project, with new features such as air source heat pumps and solar panels cutting fuel bills by up to 70 per cent and making the properties warmer, healthier and more comfortable places to live.
And, earlier this week, social housing customers from other parts of Leeds and West Yorkshire got the chance to see for themselves the difference the upgrades have made.
They toured the estate and spoke to residents as part of an event organised by the council alongside the West Yorkshire Housing Partnership and energy and regeneration expert Equans, the delivery partner for the retrofit scheme.
The visitors all live in properties owned or managed by West Yorkshire Housing Partnership members and it is hoped that – following the fact-finding mission and conversations – they will now go back and spread the word in their own communities about the ways in which retrofitted energy efficiency features can transform people’s homes and lives.
Customers were joined on the tour by West Yorkshire mayor Tracy Brabin, Councillor Jess Lennox (Leeds City Council’s executive member for housing), Councillor Mohammed Rafique (Leeds City Council’s executive member for climate, energy, environment and green space) and Nick Atkin, vice chair of the West Yorkshire Housing Partnership.
A total of 190 low-rise flats on the estate, in the Holt Park area of the city, have been revamped thanks to funding from the council (£5.62m) and the former Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (£4.18m). The council owns 150 of the properties where the work was done.
Improvements such as new ventilation systems and insulation have led to reduced condensation and better air circulation. Some of the flats – which date back to the 1970s and were previously fuel-poor – now generate more energy than they use, with many having the UK’s top energy efficiency rating.
The Holtdale scheme is part of a wider £100m programme of council-led work across Leeds, with large numbers of buildings having already received or due to receive energy-saving upgrades to reduce the city’s carbon footprint and tackle fuel poverty.
The West Yorkshire Combined Authority has ambitions to reach net zero by 2038. They are working with local partners to develop the Better Homes Hub which will provide support to people across the region to make green upgrades to their homes. Once established, people will be able to get advice and support on how to make their homes warmer, energy efficient and low carbon.
Leeds City Council is one of 16 members of the West Yorkshire Housing Partnership, who collectively own or manage 180,000 homes across West Yorkshire. As a group of social landlords and local authorities committed to tackling the climate emergency, members are spending around £3bn over the next 15 years on energy efficiency and decarbonisation projects.
The West Yorkshire Housing Partnership is also working on other energy efficiency projects including fitting solar energy and battery storage to over 1,000 homes which will enable residents to save up to 20 per cent from their energy bills.
Nick Atkin, vice chair of the West Yorkshire Housing Partnership, said:
“As a partnership we have big ambitions which is reflected in the £3bn investment our members are making in improving the energy efficiency of our homes over the next 15 years.
"This will also boost the green economy of West Yorkshire as the scale of the work required has the potential to create thousands of new, highly skilled jobs in manufacturing and in the installation of energy efficiency measures.
“The Holtdale estate is a cracking example of what can be achieved through retrofit for our customers who will benefit from homes that are more sustainable, warmer and healthier to live in through our investment.”
Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said:
“This project is an excellent example of working together to help households reduce their carbon footprints and energy bills during a cost of living crisis.
“In West Yorkshire, we have ambitious plans to reach net zero by 2038 and it’s schemes like this we can learn from and expand on across our region.
“We are committed to working with partners in Leeds and beyond to help create a greener West Yorkshire full of warmer, healthier, happier homes.”
Councillor Jess Lennox, Leeds City Council’s executive member for housing, said:
“It was a pleasure to be part of the visit to the Holtdale estate and to help showcase the impressive improvements that have been made to properties there.
“As a council, we are determined to give the people of Leeds the kind of high-quality, energy efficient homes they deserve, with the results of this retrofitting project underlining our commitment to achieving that aim.”
Councillor Mohammed Rafique, Leeds City Council’s executive member for climate, energy, environment and green space, said:
“The Holtdale scheme is a great example of the work we are doing in communities across Leeds to cut the city’s carbon footprint and reduce fuel poverty.
“It’s a real source of pride that the project is now being used to highlight the transformational difference that energy efficiency measures can make to people’s homes and lives.”
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Leeds City Council Communications team