Date Published: 01 December 2022
Hundreds of Council homes in North Kesteven are planned to be retrofitted with carbon-cutting features in another step towards the aim for a net zero District by 2030.
North Kesteven District Council’s Executive Board has recommended a plan which paves the way for in excess of 600 Council homes to be retrofitted with energy-saving measures between now and 2030.
The report featured among a number of items highlighting the Council’s continued focus on quality housing, at the Executive Board meeting on Thursday 1 December, including an annual report to tenants.
The Board also heard important updates on investment, secure financial planning and good treasury management, and action on climate among other items.
This initial retrofitting programme is expected to involve around £20 million of investment to be set out for detailed consideration and approval from 2024/25 to 2030/31 within the authority’s capital programme on housing, and focus on upgrading homes among Council stock with low EPC performance.
The homes would receive improvements selected through careful costing and consideration, for the best possible carbon and energy-saving benefits.
It would be based also on a trial carried out this year with a number of Council homes, to help identify which retrofit measures available are best to be used.
The plan builds on the Council’s drive to provide the quality homes people deserve, and the authority’s Climate Action Plan which includes an action to develop a plan for the worst performing Council homes. It’s also ahead of potential new rules for social landlords to improve homes by 2030.
The retrofitting work would be funded using Council investment initially while other options are sought and explored, and would include amending timescales for some non-essential or time critical works.
The Council has a range of ongoing and wider efforts to improve homes for climate and energy-saving.
79 Council homes were fitted with solar panels this year to help to ensure they’re comfortable and cheaper to run, while cutting carbon. It was done under the Green Homes Grant available for local authority delivery. A bid to improve the efficiency of a further 200 Council properties has been submitted through the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund, if successful the funding runs from April 2023 to March 2025.
The Council is also working with YES Energy Solutions to identify residents across the District who qualify for the Home Energy Upgrade Scheme, which helps those in homes with poor energy ratings (EPC rating E or below) and on low income to upgrade for better energy efficiency. You can find out if you’re eligible here: https://www.n-kesteven.gov.uk/residents/sustainability-what-can-you-do/
Over a number of years, the Council has also been successful in improving the efficiency of the housing stock through a major programme of heating upgrades, and by taking advantage of grant funding available to social landlords to undertake insulation improvements. Works completed to date have contributed to reducing CO2 emissions and supported tackling fuel poverty.
A draft Annual Report to Tenants was also presented to Executive Board at the meeting on 1 December, highlighting key indicators on the services provided as landlord.
The Annual Report to Tenants is circulated each year as an honest and transparent view on how the Council is performing as a landlord. The Council works closely with a Tenant Liaison Panel which is made up of Council tenants and which helped develop the report.
The draft report highlights a number of key indicators for 2021-22, including:
100% of emergency repairs carried out within target time
85.7% of tenants satisfied with work carried out to meet the NK standard
96.8% of tenants satisfied with repairs, just off the 98.5% target
13 days average time to complete a responsive repair, with 11 days being the target
Some of those figures were impacted by Covid affecting routine repairs, as emergency repairs were prioritised.
Executive Board also noted recent success in relation to its new build programme of Council homes which act on climate. The Council’s eight Passivhaus homes in Potterhanworth, completed this March June and built by Lindum Group, are now shortlisted for Residential Project of the Year and Sustainable Project of the Year in the 2023 Greater Lincolnshire Construction and Property Awards. More will be shared via the Council’s social media channels @northkestevendc
You can tune in to meetings including the Council’s Executive Board on its website.