Lancaster City Council has been crowned Council of Year at the North West Energy Efficiency Awards. The awards recognise and reward organisations which have shown a commitment to promoting energy efficiency.
The council was nominated by Green Rose CIC, a social enterprise based in North Lancashire which offers households free advice and support with energy issues.
They nominated the council due to its commitment to making its properties more energy efficient for tenants and work advising residents across the district about energy efficiency.
The nomination also recognised the council’s commitment to bringing all of its homes up to at least EPC band C in the coming years and ensuring that tenants who are at risk of fuel poverty are supported in getting modern heating systems. A dedicated home energy advisor has also been employed to support tenants to save money and stay warm.
During 2020/21, 262 council homes have benefited from energy efficiency measures, with 220 having new boilers fitted and solar panels installed on a further 42.
Earlier this year, the council created a new officer post within the council’s Home Improvement Agency to enhance the range of services already provided. They are now a fully accredited retrofit assessor, undertaking detailed technical assessments and utilising a range of funding to help meet the cost of energy efficiency measures.
Councillor Cary Matthews, cabinet member with responsibility for housing, said: “With energy prices skyrocketing, more people than ever before are slipping into fuel poverty. This award is testament to the hard work being undertaken by the council to make homes across the district more energy efficient and support its residents in these difficult times.
“It’s also another great example of the work being undertaken to tackle the climate emergency as the council continues its journey to becoming net zero carbon by 2030.”
Georgina Sommerville, Director of Green Rose CIC, added: "We work closely with city council staff and elected members and are really impressed with their efforts to improve both the homes of their tenants and private households across the district. They have developed a number of innovative and effective programmes that are reducing fuel poverty and lowering domestic carbon emissions and they thoroughly deserve to receive this award.”
Green Rose CIC also celebrated a number of wins at the awards ceremony, with Georgina Sommerville being name Energy Efficiency Champion of the Year 2020/21.
Their 'Ask Rose' green home advice service was awarded Small Project of the Year and they were highly commended in the Vulnerability Support Campaigner of the Year category.