Social Housing Decarbonisation
Greater Manchester has a vision for safe, decent, and affordable housing – homes to fit the needs and aspirations of current and future citizens.
To achieve this vision, ‘retrofitting’ homes with energy efficiency measures is essential. These retrofits will result in lower carbon emissions and therefore support the city-region’s decarbonisation strategy, which is a critical challenge facing the city-region. Decarbonisation will reset how we build and look after our homes, ensuring they are future-proof and less impactful on the environment. However, to meet carbon-neutral targets and deliver lasting change will require significant collaboration with other organisations.
There are many important reasons why making energy efficiency improvements in social homes is a priority for Greater Manchester:
- Home energy efficiency improvements should reduce the demand for energy, which consequently reduces carbon emissions and benefits the environment.
- Residents directly benefit from the savings associated with reducing their energy use, with their homes also feeling warmer and more comfortable.
- Improvements will reduce the health risks posed from cold, poorly insulated homes, leading to a reduced likelihood of people needing health and social care.
- Programmes of retrofit also contribute to long-term economic growth and the creation of green jobs, by providing suppliers and installers with the confidence to invest in the green skills necessary to build resilient local and national supply chains.
How we are funding improvements in our social housing
Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund Wave One
In November 2021, the region was awarded Government funding to deliver a £19.6 million programme of energy efficiency measures across 1,000+ of social homes.
The funding is ensuring that all homes included in the programme are well-insulated in a ‘fabric first’ and low regrets approach – by focusing on reducing heat loss from a home through multiple, targeted measures, we can achieve a low carbon, sustainable home that is affordable to heat for residents in the long-term.
Without adequate insulation, indoor temperatures are difficult to maintain, and homes can lose up to 45% of their heat, according to the Energy Savings Trust. If the temperature drops very quickly once the heating goes off, the home is unlikely to be properly insulated and consequently more energy will be used to warm the home back up to a comfortable level. The programme is seeing different types of insulation being installed including loft insulation, cavity wall, and external wall insulation.
The project will also see new heating systems installed, including air source heat pumps (ASHP) and solar PV on roofs.
Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (Wave Two)
In March 2023 it was announced that over 5,400 additional social homes across Greater Manchester are to receive energy efficiency improvements, after the city-region was granted £37m from Wave Two of the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund.
The Government funding – granted by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero – will see 5,482 homes benefit from measures such as improved insulation, air source heat pumps, solar panels, draughtproofing, ventilation, and heating controls. It is estimated that tenants’ annual energy bills will reduce by an average of £277 per home following the retrofit works.
This funding will help to improve social homes managed by 18 social housing providers (Bolton at Home, First Choice Homes Oldham, Great Places Housing Group, Irwell Valley Housing Association, Jigsaw Homes, Johnnie Johnson Housing, Manchester City Council, MSV Housing, One Manchester, Onward Housing, Rochdale Boroughwide Housing, Salix Homes, Six Town Housing, Southway Housing, Stockport Homes Ltd, Wythenshawe Community Housing Group, Wigan Council, Your Housing Group) across all ten Greater Manchester districts. In addition to the £37m of government grant funding, partners are providing £60m of co-funding, with the project totalling a £97m+ investment in the region’s social homes.
Better Homes, Better Neighbourhoods, Better Health
Better Homes, Better Neighbourhoods, Better Health is a collaboration between Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Greater Manchester Housing Providers and Greater Manchester Integrated Care Partnership.
It is a unique partnership that will help many more people to live in good health – by providing good quality homes that meet their needs.
The approach builds on Greater Manchester’s pioneering work that has successfully supported hundreds of people who were sleeping rough, or were homeless, into their own stable and supported homes.
Read more about their work