Spiralling energy costs are a major contributing factor to the cost-of-living crisis, and it is anticipated that this year fuel poverty rates and excess winter death figures will be significantly higher than in previous years.

A report from the Energy Saving Trust (EST), commissioned by North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA) helps build the evidence base for retrofit business case for a large-scale housing retrofit programme in the North of Tyne.

The challenge of understanding the current housing stock, the best pathways to achieve net zero and the impact net zero would have on local employment required impartial expertise from several partners.

Across the North of Tyne geography, over 40% of domestic properties do not meet the EPC C standard of energy efficiency. Over 52,000 (>14%) of households across NTCA lived in fuel poverty in 2020.

North of Tyne Mayor Jamie Driscoll said: “We’re in a climate emergency and a cost-of-living crisis.  “Why not help to tackle them both at the same time? Let’s fix up people’s cold, damp houses. Every pound spent on retrofitting saves the NHS 42p.

“We’ll help stop people getting ill and save them a bunch of cash on their bills, too.  People will have more money, which is better for the economy. Everyone wins – including our planet.”

The production of an evidence base, and study will not immediately result in our residents and businesses being able to afford spiralling energy costs.  This is not a ‘quick fix’ project though it is an approach that should enable us to do more in the future – which is why we are developing a business case for a major retrofit programme.

In January 2022 NTCA Cabinet allocated an indicative £200,000 to develop a business case for a major retrofit programme as part of our response to the North of Tyne Citizens’ Assembly held in March 2021.

NTCA commissioned the Energy Saving Trust, in partnership with Accelar and Frontier Economics, to develop a robust evidence-base to inform this business case.

Download a copy of the report here.  NCTA is pursuing net zero emissions and the creation of good green jobs. Regionally, this includes the ambition to retrofit 100,000 homes and achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030.

For more information about our Climate Change programme read our Zero Carbon Zero Poverty – 5 Point Plan or contact leanne.wilson@northoftyne-ca.gov.uk or elizabeth.lunn@northoftyne-ca.gov.uk