Energy efficiency of thousands of homes to be improved thanks to £138m funding

The Midlands Net Zero Hub, which is accountable to Nottingham City Council, has been awarded £138.5m following a successful consortium bid for the Home Upgrade Grant (HUG) scheme. The second phase of the HUG scheme is grant funding provided by the UK Government’s Department for Energy Security and Net Zero.

The funds secured will be used to provide energy efficiency upgrades and low carbon heating sources to up to 6,665 domestic properties that are off the gas grid across 60 local authority areas within the Midlands region.

The scheme targets low income households that have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of D-G, making them difficult to keep warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The improvements made to homes through HUG will support the UK’s target to reach net zero by 2050, by making homes more efficient through better insulation and phasing out fossil fuel heating systems.

In addition to reducing instances of fuel poverty by helping residents save on their energy bills, the improvements made through HUG will make homes more comfortable and improve the household’s health and wellbeing.

In the Midlands, HUG will be managed by the Midlands Net Zero Hub. The Hub will offer additional support to the local authorities in the region through the Dynamic Purchasing System, which assists local authorities to procure installers and professional services. The Hub has also created Customer Journey Support mechanisms to help local authorities recruit residents to the schemes.

This second iteration of HUG funding builds on success in retrofitting homes in the Midlands. Through the second phase of Local Authority Delivery scheme, over 4,700 measures were delivered to more than 3,700 homes across the region.

Michael Gallagher, Head of Midlands Net Zero Hub, said: “I’m delighted that we’ve secured £138m of Government funding to retrofit homes in the Midlands. The second phase of HUG funding will allow us to build on the success we’ve seen across previous schemes.

“In a time where we’re seeing unprecedented energy bill costs for households across the country, this funding is vital for reducing the pressures on people’s finances by making long-term and fabric first improvements to their homes.

“By working together as a larger consortium led by the Hub, local authorities across the Midlands can share best practice and learn from other areas how best to deliver projects. This approach has allowed us to deliver retrofit projects at scale to support the net zero agenda and to reduce instances of fuel poverty.”

The HUG scheme will run from April 2023 to March 2025, and households can apply through their local council.