Major government funding needed to meet Doncaster’s carbon neutral housing goal

The Mayor of Doncaster has stated that goals to meet Net Zero targets through housing retrofit will require a significant funding boost from central government.
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A report revealed last week that while 1,100 homes in Doncaster have received full retrofit uprgrades from the council, a much larger cash boost will be required to meet energy efficiency goals.

Now, Mayor Ros Jones has called upon the government to provide “long-term funding” to local authorities for a full-scale energy efficiency investment.

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In Doncaster Council’s Environment and Sustainability Strategy, it labelled housing as the borough’s second biggest producer of carbon emissions with aims to undergo a large-scale energy efficiency upgrade programme.

City of Doncaster.City of Doncaster.
City of Doncaster.

The council has set a target to achieve Net Zero carbon emissions by 2040.

For housing to meet this target, an estimated 115,000 homes will require retrofit upgrades in both the social and private sector.

Ms Jones said: “The government are providing relatively small grants towards housing retrofit.

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“It would be useful if government provided the long-term funding and incentives necessary for a wider retrofit for both social housing and private housing, because this is what’s required and it would be an investment in the future of our country, paying for thousands of skilled jobs and reducing energy usage and bills for residents and supporting our climate goals. So proper funding really could be a win-win.

“Small amounts feeding to the authority and having to be spent in certain amounts of time is not the proper way. Until we get the right funding it’s very difficult to push it any further than we are.”

So far, the council is on track with upgrades to social housing properties to Energy Performance Certificate level C.

Over 3,500 St Leger Homes properties across the city have received some of the upgrades, however all the private housing will also require investment.

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Some £13.6 million was secured in external funding and £12 million was used from the council’s housing revenue budget for upgrades to take place.

However, the council has stated that “hundreds of millions” of pounds in investment would be required to meet the Net Zero target.