South Yorkshire Climate Alliance Retrofit Campaign
Our petition - asking the Mayor of South Yorkshire to find the funds to retrofit South Yorkshire homes in fuel poverty now - has now closed.
The petition was handed to the Mayor and the Mayoral Combined Authority on 18th October 2022. Thank you to everyone who signed!
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What is retrofitting and why is it essential in the fight against climate change?
- Retrofitting relates to the insulation, draught proofing and decarbonisation of the energy sources used in domestic housing.
- Investment in retrofit measures would reduce energy use/carbon emissions, reduce energy bills, provide warmer and healthier homes, and create long-term local employment.
- The petition called for creative action by the Mayor of South Yorkshire to find the funding to deliver a comprehensive and well-planned retrofit programme to end fuel poverty.
- Various Government grants and schemes have been made available at different times to support retrofitting, for both councils and individuals. Some have since been withdrawn (eg the Green Homes Grant, and the feed-in tariff for solar panels on individuals’ homes).
- The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme is a mechanism that provides funding from certain energy companies to individual vulnerable householders to improve the energy efficiency of their home. ECO3 ended in March 2022, and ECO4 has yet to begin.
- The South Yorkshire Energy Centre (located at Heeley City Farm), which provided energy efficiency advice to homeowners, closed in June 2022.
- Sheffield Council has around 39,000 ‘social housing’ properties. The South Yorkshire Housing Association has around 6,000. As social landlords, it would be for these bodies to retrofit the properties they own. Current plans are woefully inadequate, however. The Sheffield Council housing investment plan for 2022/23 includes energy efficiency housing improvements for just 517 properties.
- Neither the South Yorkshire Region nor Sheffield City Council has the funding from Government to deliver a comprehensive and well-planned retrofit programme to end fuel poverty, and this petition is calling for creative action by the new Regional Mayor to find the necessary funding. For instance,the South Yorkshire Renewal Fund is a guaranteed £30m per year for 30 years (= £900m, or £0.9bn) from central Government. This fund can be used to borrow against, thereby generating additional investment capacity. It could also be the base for creating a Regional Investment Bank, and prompting significant growth in alternative forms of investment funding – such as the issue of green municipal investment bonds.
- Investment in retrofit measures would reduce energy use/carbon emissions, reduce energy bills, provide warmer and healthier homes, and create long-term local employment. It is needed for nearly all homes to some degree, but starting with those in fuel poverty makes most sense in current circumstances.