MORE than 3,000 homes in Bradford were retrofitted to make them more energy efficient last year, in a bid to tackle fuel poverty and climate change.

Under the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme, 3,739 homes in Bradford were fitted out to be more energy efficient in the 12 months to June, 1,196 more than in the previous year.

It means the total number of properties in Bradford fitted with ECO measures now stands at 47,718 since the sceme began in 2013, almost 25 per cent of the district’s total housing stock.

The ECO scheme aims to reduce carbon emissions and help people at risk of fuel poverty save money on their bills by making energy firms install heat-saving measures.

Cavity wall and loft insulation, as well as the installation of more efficient boilers, were the most popular fixes in Bradford, which can help people save up to £1,000 a year on their bills.

Bradford Council said having more energy efficient homes is central to its aim of being carbon neutral by 2038.

But climate campaigners have said the scheme and other Government programmes need to go further faster to meet the country’s net zero targets.

Peter Smith, from the charity National Energy Action, said: “For too many households, a low level of energy efficiency is still making a big impact on whether they can afford to live in a warm, safe home.

“By focusing early efforts on the ‘worst first’ these significant savings also accrue over a longer-time period, at the same time as taking early action to significantly reduce carbon emissions, generate jobs, and economic growth.”

Stew Horne, from The Energy Saving Trust, added: “It is great to see more home energy efficiency measures are being installed via the ECO scheme.

“However, the climate emergency is upon us and to meet the UK’s net zero carbon targets by 2050, we need to see an acceleration in the pace and scale of retrofitting our homes to make them more efficient.”

A Government spokesperson said “significant” progress was already being made, adding: “We want to go further and faster, ensuring nobody goes cold in their own home.

“That is why we are investing £1.3 billion into making homes more energy efficient, cheaper to heat and helping low-income families significantly reduce their energy bills.”

A Bradford Council spokesperson said: “Helping people to have more energy efficient homes is a vital part of our goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2038.

“Research has shown that 40 per cent of the UK’s carbon emissions come from people’s homes, so any work to reduce this is extremely welcome.

“ECO is a supplemental grant that is often used to reduce the costs of measures to make homes more energy efficient. But it can also make some measures free, depending on what is being installed.

"Any approved installer can claim ECO so many of these measures will not have any council involvement.”

People can apply for improvements to make their homes more energy efficient through the ECO scheme online.

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