1. ITV Report

Yes to greener homes

Council homes in Leeds Photo: ITV Yorkshire

Leeds City Council is teaming up with YES Projects to make homes warmer and cheaper to run in the new year.

From early January, people will be able to apply for loans and grants for energy efficient home makeovers in a project known as Wrap Up Leeds+.

The support is being made available after the council’s executive board agreed to turn a £1.28million fund from the Department of Energy and Climate Change into interest free loans and grants earlier this year.

The council is working with YES Projects – a subsidiary of the award winning Yorkshire Energy Services who successfully delivered the council’s free home insulation scheme, Wrap Up Leeds – to help Leeds residents benefit from a range of green home improvements.

The project will allow the council and YES Projects to test how aspects of the Green Deal will work.

Although available to anyone, the loans and grants will be targeted at residents who haven’t been able to benefit from free standard insulation offers until now, as their homes don’t have normal cavity walls.

Residents will be able to use the funds to have insulation attached to the outside of their home or to walls on the inside.

These methods of insulation for ‘hard to treat’ homes are more expensive and can remain out of reach for those people that need it the most.

Our experience with Wrap Up Leeds shows that we can make a real difference to people’s lives by making their homes more energy efficient; homes are warmer, people are healthier, energy bills are reduced and carbon emissions are cut.

“With these loans and grants we can reach people we haven’t been able to help up until now and we’re looking forward to the project going live early in the new year.”

– Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for the environment

We are delighted to be working with Leeds City Council again and helping local residents take steps toward low carbon living. This scheme will certainly benefit properties that are unsuitable for more traditional insulation products, such as cavity wall and loft insulation. It will also help residents that fit the Government’s ‘Affordable Warmth’ criteria by offering economic home heating solutions.”

– Vincent McCabe, managing director of YES Projects

Anyone will be able to apply for an interest free loan or grant for a broad range of energy efficient services. However, the council will be particularly interested to hear from anyone who lives in or owns a home with narrow cavity walls or if their home is of a non-traditional build.

In some cases, the grants on offer allow some ‘hard to treat’ homes to be insulated or other improvement works to be carried out entirely for free.

Wrap Up Leeds+ will help the council and YES Project test aspects of the Green Deal. The scheme is a new way for residents to pay for energy efficiency improvements; loans will pay for insulation, boiler upgrades, new windows and renewable technology.

The money saved by using less energy will cover loan repayments.For Wrap Up Leeds+, Green Deal assessments will be carried out and the project will provide demand for Green Deal suppliers and installers.

The existing Wrap Up Leeds website and dedicated phone line will be updated early in the new year when details on how to apply will be announced.

However, anyone wishing to express interest in the grants or loans now, can do so by emailing their contact details toenquiries@wrapupleeds.co.uk. Please note, if you do email, you will be called back after 7 January.