A North East council has secured £10 million in funding to help housing associations make major energy efficiency improvements to their properties.

Durham County Council has been given money from the government’s Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF) to award to County Durham housing associations to carry out energy efficiency retrofit works.

Works will include loft, wall and underfloor insulation, energy efficient lighting and new heating controls to ensure energy usage in homes is more efficient, reducing the amount of carbon emissions produced and the cost of tenants’ heating bills.

The council-led bid was among 69 projects nationally to secure funds from the £179 million made available in the first wave of the SHDF. Overall, the government has allocated £800 million to a three-year investment in the decarbonisation of buildings.

The launch of Durham Housing Decarbonisation Scheme at Salvin Street in Croxdale. Michael Farr of Bernicia, Nik Turner of Believe, Adrian Jones, Chris Harris of North Star, Ruth Dent of Believe and Paul Thompson of Livin. Photo by: Emily Carey 

The first wave of funding will see the council share £10 million between providers believe housing, Karbon Homes, Livin Housing, Bernicia Homes and North Star Housing, with believe housing to receive the largest amount of £3.4 million.

Cllr James Rowlandson, Cabinet member for resources, investments and assets, said: “The works that will be carried out through the SHDF will make a significant difference to households across the county, helping to make homes more energy efficient at a time when many of us are concerned about rising fuel costs.

“We have ambitious targets to reduce our carbon footprint and to support the county as a whole to become more sustainable. Initiatives such as the SHDF will help us to achieve this aim, and we will continue to work with our partners to secure more investment and help build a greener future for our communities.”

Bill Fullen, chief executive of believe housing, said: “This funding, one of the largest received in the first wave of the SHDF, is a real achievement for our team and the partners in the consortium.

“It could not have come at a better time for believe housing, as we work on our ambitious environmental pledge to reduce our carbon footprint and explore how to decarbonise all 18,000 of our homes.

“And, as we all deal with rising energy costs, it will enable believe housing to upgrade at least 900 homes, helping to cut fuel bills for our customers and make their homes feel warmer.”

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