Low-income homeowners in Leeds can now apply for free solar panels and insulation, thanks to a new scheme to help residents save money and help in the fight against climate change.
Leeds City Council aims to make up to 685 of the city’s coldest homes healthier, warmer, and cheaper with energy saving measures through funding provided by the Government's Green Homes Grant scheme, and working with Better Homes Yorkshire.
Once installed, solar panels produce green electricity that can be used to power homes and reduce overall energy costs.
A typical Leeds homeowner could save up to £156 per year this way, according to Leeds City Council.
Insulating a property reduces the amount of energy needed to keep it warm, cutting the cost of energy bills and helping to protect the environment.
Coun Debra Coupar, Deputy Leader at Leeds City Council said: "We know that unfortunately too many people suffer from fuel poverty in Leeds and it's work like this that will help cut those costs and make a real positive impact to people's lives.
"By upgrading hundreds of the city’s coldest and least efficient homes, we can transform the lives of hundreds of families by giving them a warmer, healthier and cheaper home and reduce the city’s carbon footprint at the same time.
“I am delighted to see our existing work being recognised nationally at this year’s Northern Housing Awards and this scheme demonstrates the council’s ongoing commitment to delivering a just transition in becoming a net zero city.
“I would strongly encourage homeowners to check whether they qualify for this fantastic scheme and apply if they might be eligible.”
The scheme is aimed at owner occupiers who have a a household income of less than £30,000 per year.
Their homes must also have a low Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of D, E, F or G. But homeowners don’t need to know their property’s EPC rating to sign up as this will be confirmed with a quick survey on the property.
Private tenants living in qualifying properties can also apply for the scheme if they have an income of less than £30,000 per year and have the permission of their landlord.
Landlords of rental properties will be expected to contribute a third of the total costs of the work but will benefit from a grant of up to £5,000 to cover the remaining costs.
Stephen Batty, Head of Sustainability at Better Homes Yorkshire, added: "Existing housing in the UK currently contributes around 27% of total carbon emissions and, with 80% of the houses that will still be around in 2050 already built, it’s vital we look at innovative and practical solutions if we are to achieve the Government’s zero carbon ambitions.
"This offer is a great opportunity for people in Leeds to make their homes warmer and cheaper to heat, and I’d urge anyone who is eligible to take advantage."
To find out more about the scheme and how to apply, residents can click here, or call Better Homes Yorkshire on 0800 597 1500.
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