Energy firm clinches £8m contract to tackle fuel poverty across region
A Kirkby company has won an £8.1m contract to install energy-saving measures in more than 800 properties, helping tackle fuel poverty and reduce emissions.
The contract, awarded to Next Energy by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, is funded through the Government’s Green Homes Grant scheme, intended to reduce energy bills and make homes warmer, while reducing their environmental impact.
In total, £11.3m from the scheme will be split across the Liverpool City Region’s six local authorities (Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral) and will pay for work to be carried out on around 1,200 homes.
Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “At a time when more and more people are at risk of fuel poverty because of rising prices and widespread supply issues, it’s vital that we do everything we can to help people heat their homes as cheaply and efficiently as possible without heating the planet, too.
“We’re working with Next Energy to help those most at risk to access this for free.
“It’s brilliant to see a local company win this contract so we’re able to keep a lot of this funding in the local economy.
“Putting in energy-saving measures, like additional insulation or solar panels, will help reduce our carbon emissions but it can have a much bigger impact on people’s lives, too.
“Spiralling energy costs mean people have to choose between heating and eating. Proper retrofitting will help households across the region save money on their bills and avoid that impossible choice.”
He added: “To make the substantial impact that we really need to tackle climate change through retrofitting, we need the Government to match our ambitions with the funding to help us get this done.”
Cllr Graham Morgan, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority portfolio holder for housing and spatial framework, and leader of Knowsley Council, said: “I’m very pleased that we have appointed Next Energy, a Knowsley company, to get cracking on this next phase of work.
“By installing simple energy-efficient measures in people’s homes we can lift them out of fuel poverty and reduce carbon emissions from their properties. Emissions from domestic properties account for nearly a third of all the emissions we produce as a city region, so tackling that has to be a key part of our plan to reach net zero carbon by 2040.”
Established in 2016, Next Energy says it has become one of the leading companies within the industry, providing heating, insulation and renewable solutions such as air-source heat pumps and solar PV.
Next Energy director, Lee McNally, said: “We are delighted to have won this contract and to be working on such an important project.
“As a company, eradicating fuel poverty, reducing carbon emissions in the UK and helping customers keep their homes warm are key priorities for us. We have already begun assessing properties in order to identify and achieve these efficient home improvements across the Liverpool City Region.
“We have already delivered large energy-efficient projects alongside other local authorities and utility companies, and we look forward to doing our bit to help the city region achieve its goal of net zero carbon by 2040.”
The city region’s six local authorities are administering the process of selecting properties that will benefit from this funding.
The £8.1m is part of a total of £11.3m secured by the combined authority for the Liverpool City Region, from the Government’s Green Homes Grant scheme. All work will be completed by the end of March 2022.
The funding is targeted by the local authority at properties in the private sector – owner-occupiers and the private rented sector – and, in most cases, in certain geographical areas within the six local authorities.
To be eligible, household income must be less that £30,000 a year. The property must also have a low energy efficiency rating – that is an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of D, E, F or G – and where the property doesn’t have an EPC, an assessment may be carried out.
Potential improvements will vary depending on the individual property and within the types of works and maximum costs per property allowed.
Works might include, for example, loft and cavity wall insulation, external wall insulation, alternative heating systems such as air source heat pumps, and solar PV panels.