Funding of £4.51m will support energy efficiency improvements for Sefton homes

Steve Rotheram

More than 500 homes in Merseyside will receive energy efficiency retrofitting improvements after Liverpool City Region Combined Authority approved a £4.51m funding package.

Sefton Council’s Retrofit for the Future programme is expected to reduce the energy bills of the housing association properties.

Measures include external wall insulation, roof insulation, energy efficient doors and windows, heat pumps and solar panels which will be fitted to the 519 homes.

The money will take the combined authority’s total investment in measures to tackle fuel poverty and reduce emissions to £58.65m, which will mean energy efficiency measures can be fitted to the properties of almost 5,500 low-income households. Almost 1,000 homes have been retrofitted to date.

Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “Everyone in our city region should be able to live in a safe, warm home that doesn’t break the bank to heat. I want to help ease the burden on as many families as possible – especially those being hit hardest by the cost of living crisis.

“We’ve invested almost £60m to help put money in the pockets of thousands of our most disadvantaged households, making their homes more energy efficient and cutting their fuel bills. It’s already making a real difference, and hopefully we can continue to help even more people.”

He added: “This is the difference that devolution makes – we take important decisions locally that ensure every penny spent helps to make a tangible difference to people’s lives.”

Sefton Council has been running the highly successful Retrofit for the Future programme, funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and in partnership with registered providers from across the city region.

As ERDF funding for the project runs out, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities is reallocating unspent funding from a number of other ERDF projects towards the programme, which will be delivered by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.

The combined authority is already investing £11.1m to work with nine housing associations to improve the energy performance of nearly 1,250 social housing properties, tackling fuel poverty and reducing carbon emissions.

Consultation work has been carried out with housing associations across the Liverpool City Region to encourage expressions of interest, which has generated a list of eight potential projects. Those projects are currently going through a due diligence process.

Any projects not successful in this initiative will be developed for wave 2 of the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund, which is anticipated to open for bids in autumn 2022.