Energy firm embarks on £9m contract to retrofit 500 homes

Air source heat pumps

Liverpool-based energy retrofitting specialist, Next Energy, has signed a £9m contract with Manchester City Council that will see energy-efficiency measures installed in 500 homes across Manchester.

The contract is a part of the Government’s Home Upgrade Grant Phase 2 (HUG2), a scheme designed to improve the energy performance of eligible homes across the UK to meet the national net zero target by 2050.

Manchester City Council has a more ambitious target to be net zero by 2038, further emphasising the importance of this project for the city.

To qualify, residents must live in Manchester, homes must be privately owned or privately rented, have an energy performance certificate (EPC) of D, E, F or G and residents must earn a combined income of less than £31,000 per year. This figure will increase to £36,000 from April 2, 2024.

Next Energy, which specialises in transforming the energy efficiency of homes across the UK, will be installing a wide variety of measures including various insulation measures, air source heat pumps (ASHPs) and solar PV panels amongst other items.

The Prescot firm was established in 2016 in response to the Government’s net zero ambitions. Since its inception, the company has provided energy solutions for more than 18,000 domestic and commercial customers.

The company has worked with major social landlords across the UK, as well as leading providers including British Gas, E.ON, NPower and OVO Energy to help meet targets set under the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) Scheme.

The contract with Manchester City Council will further tackle the fuel poverty crisis for households in off-gas areas.

Lee McNally, director at Next Energy, said: “The Home Upgrade Grant is a huge step towards decarbonising the UK’s housing stock, and our partnership with Manchester City Council gives low income families the chance to properly insulate their homes and save over £500 a year on bills.

“We want to tackle fuel poverty head on, and these grants will help us deliver much needed energy improvements to hundreds of households across Manchester.”

Cllr Gavin White, Manchester City Council Executive Member for Housing and Development, said: “Our ongoing efforts to retrofit properties across Manchester plays a hugely significant role in our aim to become a zero-carbon city, and the roll-out of the HUG2 programme is a key part in this ambition. This scheme will help residents reduce their energy bills, benefit our communities by reducing carbon emissions, and contribute to the wider decarbonisation process in Manchester.”

Cllr Tracey Rawlins, Manchester City Council Executive Member for Environment and Transport, said: “Carbon emissions from heating our homes are one of the largest elements of our city’s overall carbon footprint. By making our homes more energy efficient we will help residents save money on ever-rising bills whilst also supporting Manchester’s long term environmental aims.”

HUG2 funding will be available until March 2025.