Retrofit plan for North Kesteven council housing saves energy

Hundreds of council homes in North Kesteven are planned to be retrofitted with carbon-cutting features in another step towards the aim of a net zero district by 2030.
Council homes retrofitted with solar panels, heat pumps and new boilersCouncil homes retrofitted with solar panels, heat pumps and new boilers
Council homes retrofitted with solar panels, heat pumps and new boilers

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.

This initial retrofitting programme is expected to involve around £20 million of council capital investment to be approved in detail between 2024/25 and 2030/31, and focuses on upgrading homes with low energy saving performance. The plan was rubber stamped by Full Council on Thursday.

Careful costing and consideration would see home fitted with the best possible carbon and energy-saving benefits.

A trial has been carried out this year with a number of council homes, to identify which retrofit measures available are best suited.

The scheme is in line with the authority’s Climate Action Plan and ahead of potential new rules for social landlords to improve homes by 2030.

The retrofitting work would be funded by the council initially while other options are explored.

Council Leader Councillor Richard Wright was proud that the council was at the forefront of efforts to make homes in the district more energy-efficient and climate-friendly.

“Our teams have worked incredibly hard to develop a proposal that enables this work to take place while maintaining the sound financial management our council is known for,” he said.

“The trials we’ve already undertaken have made a positive impact, with older properties going from EPC ratings as low as F right up to B – a substantial and tangible improvement. We’re excited to see that level of impact spreading throughout our council homes.

“It is also hoped that these positive changes can help inspire others to consider the energy-efficiency of their own properties and access programmes like our Home Energy Upgrade Scheme, which offers free energy saving measures to homeowners. We also continue to focus on upholding and creating quality council homes and reducing their energy use through other means.”

Seventy-nine council homes were fitted with solar panels this year to help to ensure they are comfortable and cheaper to run, while cutting carbon, using a Green Homes Grant. A bid to improve the efficiency of a further 200 council properties has been submitted through the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund.

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 of E or below and on low income to upgrade for better energy efficiency.

The council’s eight, highly energy-efficient Passivhaus homes in Potterhanworth, completed this year 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.