Burnley Council has pledged to aim to improve the energy efficiency of properties that it acquires and refurbishes to bring back into use.
The aim is to improve the properties’ energy performance certificate (EPC) rating by carrying out energy efficiency measures such as installing a new boiler, adding cavity wall insulation, or putting solar panels on the roof.
The measures mean lower fuel bills for whoever lives in the homes, as well as cutting carbon emissions.
The council hopes that, wherever possible, any property acquired through its empty homes programme will be brought up to a B rating; the average rating for all properties across the borough, and nationally, is D. EPCs are rated from A-G, with A the most energy efficient in terms of fuel costs and CO2 emissions.
One of the first properties to achieve the target is a pre-1919 terraced house in the Daneshouse area of Burnley which has been brought up from an E rating to a B. By doing so the property’s annual CO2 output was cut from 4.9 tonnes to 1.2 tonnes.
Councillor John Harbour, the council’s executive member for housing and development control, said: “To see a terraced property more than 100 years old being brought up to the same standards of energy efficiency as a newly built house is incredible. Not only does it save on bills by cutting the use of electricity and gas by around a half, it also helps save the environment by reducing the property’s carbon footprint.
“We may not be able to achieve a B on every house we acquire and renovate but we will do our best to make them as efficient as possible. It applies all the time, but in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis it’s even more important; helping keep a home warm without sending the bills through the roof makes sense.”
The initiative is part of wider council measures to try and tackle the borough’s carbon footprint. In 2019 the council declared a climate emergency and sought to highlight the importance and urgency of this issue and ensure it is doing everything possible to limit the borough’s contribution to global climate change and adapt to its effects.
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