New Homes

SIGOMA calls for home insulation for poorest households to relieve cost-of-living pressures

Posted on April 28, 2023

Over 12million homes need energy retrofitting in next five years

The Government must commit to investing £10bn over the next five years to help ensure one million of England’s most deprived homes become energy efficient, according to SIGOMA.

Analysis reveals that currently, 12.6 million properties in England have an EPC of D or below, with higher concentrations of these properties located in typically more deprived areas.

Currently, around 56 per cent of all dwellings in England have an EPC rating of D or below. Across Yorkshire and Humber, the figure stands at 63 per cent, with the West Midlands at 61 per cent and the North West at 59 per cent.

Further south, the figures drop considerably. In London the percentage of dwellings with EPC Band ‘D’ or below is 50%, while in the South East it stands at 54%.

Chair of SIGOMA, Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton, said an immediate investment of £10bn should be made available to provide retrofitting solutions that would help to improve the efficiency of 10 per cent of the most deprived households.

In 2019, the Conservative Manifesto promised £9.2 billion to improve the efficiency rating of homes. However, in 2021, the real estate company Savills estimated that the cost of decarbonising all homes in the UK could reach £300bn.

Improving the efficiency of homes is vital to reach the UK Government’s net-zero targe and relieving the cost-of-living crisis for the most deprived households and communities. Local authorities will be key to helping the Government achieve these targets, both in the enforcement of renting rules and assisting in the uplift of residential properties.

Today, as part of the manifesto scheduled to be launched next week, SIGOMA has laid out a series of policy priorities that the Government should adopt in order for all UK households to reach a minimum EPC rating of C by 2028:

  • Invest £10bn to help support the most deprived households in improving energy efficient homes;
  • Create a dedicated Net Zero goal funding pot to help councils fund net zero projects;
  • Provide block funding to Combined Authorities and other devolved bodies to avoid expensive and time-consuming bidding processes;
  • Commit the adequate funding to uplift all housing to EPC C by 2035, and 2028 for private rented accommodation, furthering net zero goals and alleviating fuel poverty.
  • Increase funding provided through the Air Quality Grant Scheme to assist local authorities in tackling air pollution;

Chair of SIGOMA, Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton said: “The Government needs to act quickly if we have any hope of reaching the EPC target, which is now just five years away. Our proposal today sets out a clear strategy that can give our members the tools and support to uplift housing in some of the most deprived areas of the UK and put us on a clear path to achieving our net-zero objectives, while also helping to east the cost-of-living crisis for the most deprived households and communities."

Read coverage of our announcements in the Evening Standard, Room 151, Mortgage Solutions, The Energyst, Energy Live News and Specification Online.