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SWT secures funding to deliver social housing upgrades

17 February 2022 : Council news, Housing news

Somerset West and Taunton Council has secured a share of Government funding to improve the energy efficiency of its social housing, lowering bills and making homes warmer.

SWT has been allocated £385,000 of the £4.8 million awarded to the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) through the Government’s Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF).

The South West Energy Hub, hosted by WECA, will work with SWT to deliver the improvements which include extensive works to a number of SWT homes in Oake and Taunton.

The investments will follow a ‘fabric first’ approach which creates a well-insulated property. Insulation works will include wall, roof and floor insulation and triple glazing.

These measures will reduce the power used in the homes by around 40% and the overall energy performance will improve from an Energy Performance Certificate level ‘D’ or ’E’ to EPC of ‘C’ or higher.

Cllr Fran Smith, Executive Member for Housing, said: “We are proud to be to be one of only a few councils in the South West building its own low and zero carbon social housing, as well as maintaining and upgrading its existing social housing.

“As a social housing landlord, the Council is continually working to improve its housing stock, upgrading and making it energy efficient and fit for the future.

“This commitment is more important than ever as energy bills soar with the cost of living crisis, so we are delighted to be working with our partners to deliver greener, warmer homes that people can afford.”

The funding will provide energy efficiency home improvements to 467 social housing properties across the wider South West region and SWT has already started preparing a much larger grant bid to be submitted in the Spring.

Jon Rattenbury, Programme Director for the South West Energy Hub said: “The confirmed SHDF funding is fantastic news for the South West region.

“Our successful bid will ensure we can continue support the delivery of green energy and energy efficiency measures as we look forward to tackling the climate emergency and reducing fuel poverty in the coming years.”