A partnership led by EN:Able Communities has been awarded more than £250,000 of funding from the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero to help retrofit Right To Buy (RTB) properties to make them more sustainable.
Sheffield Local Energy Advice Demonstration (LEAD) – a consortium made up of Efficiency North, led through its charity EN:Able Communities Sheffield City Council and Groundwork (Yorkshire) – will use the funding to provide retrofit assessments for 184 RTB properties across eight estates in Sheffield, as well as advice on energy efficiency measures as required.
The £257,000 funding will enable Sheffield LEAD to take the innovative approach of offering whole estate regeneration, with the aim of engendering greater community cohesion by providing the same level of assistance to RTB residents across each of the estates.
This approach will mean that a significant percentage of residents who would ordinarily have missed out on energy efficiency measures undertaken on the council owned properties will now be able to receive detailed energy advice and signposting to a variety of energy efficiency measures for their homes.
Simeon Perry, head of EN:Able Communities said: “This is a significant scheme that is truly innovative in its approach, ensuring that every RTB resident on the eight estates covered by it, gets the same access to advice on energy efficiency measures that will make their homes warmer and more comfortable while also reducing carbon emissions.
“Furthermore, Sheffield LEAD will place the property owner at the centre of the decision-making process, which sets it apart from the retrofit assessment action plans that have typically been presented to them rather than co-produced.
“We want to ensure that every visit and contact point counts, thereby maximising the guidance provided at each visit and reducing the disruption and inconvenience for each customer.”
Councillor Douglas Johnson, chair of the Housing Policy Committee at Sheffield City Council, said: “To help protect household budgets and the planet, it’s crucial we do what we can to make improvements to existing housing stock to ensure they’re as sustainable as possible.
“This funding will allow 184 households to benefit from an energy efficiency assessment from an expert. It will include advice on simple measures and about the grants available for further improvements.
“By focusing on former right-to-buy properties, the scheme will benefit housing estates where some homes miss out on energy efficiency improvements carried out for current tenants of the council.”
As part of the project, all 184 homes covered by the scheme will receive a comprehensive retrofit assessment with detailed feedback from retrofit specialists, including advice on access to grants and support schemes, as well as advice on energy efficiency measures within the home.
Emily Thompson, fuel and poverty climate change director at Groundwork, said: “Groundwork has been delivering Retrofit assessments for the last 2 years and has witnessed the growth in this sector, but also how it is leaving behind homeowners who need to invest in their own properties. This project will provide an opportunity to engage homeowners in this process and identify any barriers to raising awareness of retrofitting.”