Liverpool City Region scoops top retrofit award

Liverpool City Region scoops top retrofit award

Following the successful completion of their retrofit programme, where over 4,000 residences received sustainable upgrades, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority has been named Best Local Authority-Led Retrofit Programme at The Retrofit Academy Awards 2024.

At this year’s awards, which took place at the UK’s first National Retrofit Conference, leaders came together to celebrate business, local authorities, and individuals who have completed industry-leading work to help decarbonise buildings and homes across the UK.

To be crowned at this year’s winner, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority had to demonstrate how their programme successfully engaged residents in the retrofit process, and how cost efficiency was prioritised without comprising quality.

Over the last three years, the Combined Authority has used available government funding to decarbonise over 4,000 social homes within the six boroughs it covers. This includes Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens, and Wirral.

Fuel poverty rates
According to the Fuel Poverty Research Library, fuel poverty rates were significantly higher than the national average among the population living in Liverpool. On average, 12.7% of a Liverpool household’s income is spent on energy with this rising to 17% among those with a low-income. By retrofitting social houses, homes will be able to contain heat more efficiently, allowing for less energy to be used and for more money to be saved.

Having applied for funding through the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority received £28.5m from the Sustainable Warmth Fund to decarbonise 2,355 homes. With an impressive delivery record and the region having high quantity of gas-fuelled homes, the region was allowed to change funding from Home Upgrade Grant 1 to Local Authority Delivery 3. As a result, a further 2,849 households could receive improvements.

To help make this work possible, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority worked closely with local businesses and contractors, also using funding directed towards skills enhancement in the region to help up skill workers. As a result, many employees have received formal retrofit training, lowering the skills gap in the area.

Best Local Authority-Led Retrofit Programme
Tracy Gordon, Lead Officer of Housing Partnerships at Liverpool City Region Combined Authority said: “Over the last three years, we have worked incredibly hard on the behalf of our six local authorities to retrofit as many homes as possible for residents, securing more than £100m in total funding to retrofit around 10,000 homes. By being recognised as having executed the Best Local Authority-Led Retrofit Programme at The Retrofit Academy Awards, we hope that other local authorities follow in our footsteps to decarbonise their region for their population.

“Our journey retrofitting homes hasn’t ended here. When the third wave of Social Housing Decarbonisation Funding is made available, we will apply for as much assistance as possible to continue retrofitting the Liverpool City Region Conference, we will have added even more homes to our current total.”

David Pierpoint, CEO at The Retrofit Academy, added: “Liverpool City Region Combined Authority are a shining example of what can be done when you utilise funding to ensure that houses within a region have the necessary sustainable upgrades to help achieve net zero. “The purpose of The Retrofit Academy Awards is to show the industry the fantastic work completed throughout the UK and lead the way for others to do the same. Retrofitting homes plays a crucial part in helping to achieve net zero and Liverpool City Region Combined Authority is leading the way on how local authorities can do this.”

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