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Government grant boost for SDC tenants

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Stroud District Council has been awarded a Government grant of £1.7million to improve the energy efficiency of 250 council homes.

The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund Wave 2.1 funding means the council can help cut tenants’ energy bills and carbon emissions, boost the green economy and improve the health and wellbeing of tenants.

SDC led a consortium bid with Cheltenham Borough Homes, Two Rivers Housing and Gloucester City Homes which will cover external wall insulation, cavity wall insulation, loft insulation, ventilation upgrades and window replacements.

This meets part of the council’s decarbonisation strategy and follows retrofit work which has now been completed at Hamfallow Court under the SHDF Demonstrator grant, alongside the current programme, SHDF Wave 1. SDC’s award value is £1.7million from the SHDF towards total SDC project costs of £4.3m, of which SDC will contribute £2.6m.

This Gloucestershire-wide energy performance improvement project will mean warm, energy-efficient homes for tenants and reduce carbon emissions through improvements to 532 properties across which currently have the lowest energy performance in our social housing stock. The total award value for the whole consortium is £6.1m towards total project costs of £17.4m.

The funding is provided through the Government’s Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF) which is administered by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ). SHDF is a £3.8billion Government commitment over a 10-year period to improve energy performance of socially rented homes.

To date Stroud District Council has been successful in all three of its bids under SHDF, totalling £3.9million of funding from Government. In March 2023, Stroud District Council was one of the shortlisted seven Housing Providers, in the category of Best Local Authority or Social Housing Retrofit Programme, at the Retrofit Academy annual awards.

The work was for the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund Demonstrator project undertaken at Hamfallow Court. SDC was specifically mentioned and highly commended for its work in delivering outstanding value for money, clear scalability and high-quality client leadership. This achievement is also a recognition not just for the work delivering the demonstrator but for the focus and professionalism across the whole area, including applying for and delivering the subsequent phases of the SHDF programmes.

“This project aligns closely with all three of SDC’s Council Plan priorities – environment and climate change, community resilience and wellbeing; and economy, recovery and regeneration. It goes to the heart of what we do for our residents, our environment and our economy,” said SDC Housing Committee Chair, Mattie Ross.

Deputy Housing Committee Chair Lucas Schoemaker added: “The council is committed to energy efficiency and carbon reduction and this award also shows our commitment to the residents of the 5,000 council homes which we own and manage.”

Lord Callanan, Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance, said:

“This investment will help thousands of households to heat their homes for less, keep them warm for longer and could save hundreds on their annual energy bill.

“The green energy sector is growing, and this funding will support green jobs and provide the training needed to deliver these vital upgrades to homes.”

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