£20m secured by Manchester City Council for energy efficiency retrofits

  • Thursday 23 March 2023

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Councillors touring a retrofitted property in Higher Blackley

Manchester City Council has secured more than £21m in funding to retrofit existing houses to improve energy efficiency. 

This funding opportunity was the result of a combined application in 2022 by GMCA to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) - now named Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) - for the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF) for £11m towards retrofitting Manchester City Council’s housing stock. 

In addition, Manchester City Council successfully bid to DESNZ for the Home Upgrade Grant 2 (HUG2) for a further £10m in funding.

The SHDF funding will allow the Council to improve approximately 1,600 Council-owned homes with additional insulation and ventilation and install renewable energy systems. 

The HUG2 funding will support improvements to approximately 500 privately-owned homes. 

The result will be warmer, more comfortable homes and lower energy bills for Manchester residents, contribution to the Council’s Zero Carbon targets and the creation of significant employment, training and wider social value opportunities in the city. 

The Council is developing the details and will set out in the coming months the locations and properties which will be targeted and included. This will be in line with the specific eligibility criteria which relate to the properties and households which can be included.* 

In line with the Council’s long-term goal of making Manchester a zero-carbon City by 2038 or earlier, strong emphasis is being placed on upgrading the Council’s existing housing stock. The Council has set a target of retrofitting at least a third of the city’s 67,300 social rented properties by 2032 in order to help meet this target, working alongside registered providers to ensure the properties they manage are also upgraded. Significant action to retrofit the city’s privately owned housing stock will also be needed. 

To date, significant progress and investment has been made towards city-wide retrofitting projects. 

£83m has been spent on energy efficiency improvements to Council properties in north Manchester since 2005 leading to a 49% reduction in CO2 emissions (from 55,000 to 28,000 tonnes of CO2) in the homes that have received investment. 

2,100 Residents received energy advice since 2013, saving them an estimated £370k and 500 tonnes of CO2. 

Investment in the Council’s own stock to date includes:

  • External insulation to 1,600 solid wall properties and 14 high rise blocks of flats 
  • Cavity wall insulation to 5,100 homes and top-up loft insulation to 7,000 homes 
  • Installation of 580 heat pumps and 2,350 solar photovoltaic (PV) systems 
  • This investment has been supported by £12m contribution in the form of external grants to since 2010. 

Councillor Gavin White, Executive Member for Housing and Development said: “Our ongoing efforts to retrofit properties across Manchester plays a hugely significant role in our aim to become a zero-carbon city. 

“We are under no illusion that this will be an easy target to achieve but through initiatives like this the Council is proving its desire to lead from the front, working with partners including registered social housing providers, and make the changes necessary if we are to tackle climate change. 

“Through this programme of retrofitting we will also be supporting our residents by making it cheaper to heat their home – given the ongoing energy crisis which has engulfed the UK this funding could not have come sooner. 

“In the coming months we will be setting out in greater detail on how this latest round of funding will benefit our communities and contribute to the wider decarbonisation process in Manchester.” 

Councillor Tracey Rawlins, Executive Member for Environment and Transport said: “We know that carbon emissions from building are one of the more significant elements of the city’s overall carbon footprint. By working to improve efficiencies we will go a long way to reaching the city’s long-term environmental aims. 

“This allocation of funding is a welcome step forward and will galvanise the Council and its partners into getting the most of it, as well as pushing us to explore more opportunities to secure money for additional retrofitting in the future.” 

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