24 May 2021
Low-income homeowners in Leeds can now apply for free solar panels and insulation, thanks to a new scheme to help residents save money and tackle climate change.
Eligible residents will be able to install energy saving technology—including solar panels, cavity wall insulation and, in some areas, external wall insulation—completely free of charge.
Leeds City Council has secured £5.6m from the Government’s Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery Scheme, to make nearly 685 of the city’s coldest homes healthier, warmer, and cheaper with energy saving measures. The work supports the council’s efforts both to reduce fuel poverty and tackle climate change and will be carried out in partnership with Better Homes Yorkshire.
Once installed, solar panels produce green electricity that can be used to power homes and reduce overall energy costs. A typical Leeds homeowner could save up to £156* per year this way.
Additionally, insulating a property reduces the amount of energy needed to keep it warm, cutting the cost of energy bills and helping to protect the environment.
To qualify for the scheme, households must have an income of less than £30,000 per year (or receive certain benefits) and own or have mortgaged a home with an EPC rating of D, E, F or G. However, homeowners don’t need to know their property’s EPC rating to sign up as this will be confirmed with a quick survey on the property.
Private tenants living in qualifying properties can also apply for the scheme if they have an income of less than £30,000 per year and have the permission of their landlord. Landlords of rental properties will be expected to contribute a third of the total costs of the work but will benefit from a grant of up to £5,000 to cover the remaining costs.
Councillor Debra Coupar, Deputy Leader at Leeds City Council said:
“We know that unfortunately too many people suffer from fuel poverty in Leeds and its work like this that will help cut those costs and make real positive impact to people lives. By upgrading hundreds of the city’s coldest and least efficient homes, we can transform the lives of hundreds of families by giving them a warmer, healthier and cheaper home and reduce the city’s carbon footprint at the same time.
“I am delighted to see our existing work being recognised nationally at this year’s Northern Housing Awards and this scheme demonstrates the council’s ongoing commitment to delivering a just transition in becoming a net zero city.
“I would strongly encourage homeowners to check whether they qualify for this fantastic scheme and apply if they might be eligible.”
Stephen Batty, Head of Sustainability at Better Homes Yorkshire, said:
“Existing housing in the UK currently contributes around 27% of total carbon emissions and, with 80% of the houses that will still be around in 2050 already built, it’s vital we look at innovative and practical solutions if we are to achieve the Government’s zero carbon ambitions. This offer is a great opportunity for people in Leeds to make their homes warmer and cheaper to heat, and I’d urge anyone who is eligible to take advantage.”
To find out more about the scheme and how to apply, residents should go to www.betterhomesyorkshire.co.uk/leeds or call Better Homes Yorkshire on 0800 597 1500.
*Based on the Energy Saving Trust’s solar calculator
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Graduate Communications Officer
Leeds City Council