Esh to carry out £2.1m retrofit scheme across Tees Valley

Esh Construction has been appointed to retrofit homes across the Tees Valley after local authorities in the region secured up to £2.1m of funding for energy efficiency measures.

The funding was secured through the government’s Department for Energy Security & Net Zero Home (DESNZ) Upgrade Grant Phase 2 (HUG2).

Darlington Borough Council in partnership with Hartlepool, Redcar and Cleveland, and Stockton-on-Tees Borough Councils, secured the funding for retrofit work to be delivered in eligible homes across the region, with up to 120 properties to benefit in the first wave of the Home Energy Efficiency Tees Valley (HEET) partnership.

Through the project, energy efficiency upgrades and low carbon heating can be installed in owner-occupied and private rented properties off the gas grid. Many postcodes within the area may qualify without needing further financial checks, however low income households may qualify under alternative criteria.

The project will include improved ventilation, loft insulation, cavity wall insulation, air source heat pumps, smart heating controls and photovoltaic panels, with each property receiving bespoke upgrades.

All properties will undergo a retrofit assessment to establish which measures will improve them to an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) C rating. Esh, alongside its specialist supply chain, will carry out a pre-design technical survey which will allow the retrofit designer to complete a final design.

Lisa Stafford, head of retrofit solutions at Esh Construction, said: “When we launched the division in December 2022, it was with a commitment to supporting housing providers and local authorities to decarbonise homes within their local communities and help residents lower their carbon emissions.

“This contract award marks a significant milestone for our specialist retrofit division and is the first scheme secured through the NEPO Retrofit and Decarbonisation Framework.”

The Home Upgrade Grant was introduced to deliver progress on statutory fuel poverty targets for England by 2030 and UK Net Zero targets by 2050, and focuses on upgrading inefficient off-gas grid heated homes to provide cleaner and more sustainable heating solutions.

The HUG 2 project prioritises homes with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of D, E, F, or G. Low-income households who own their home can get upgrades fully funded within the relevant cost caps and do not have to contribute.

Graham Hall, Darlington Borough Council’s head of community safety, said: “This funding will provide much needed improvement for a further 100 households across the Tees Valley. This scheme has the potential for both homeowners and tenants to save money at a time when living costs are rising.”

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