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West Yorkshire Combined Authority
Case study

West Yorkshire Combined Authority

Helping to address fuel poverty and become carbon neutral by 2038

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The challenge 

West Yorkshire Combined Authority declared a climate emergency in June 2019 and then pledged to be carbon neutral by 2038. 

To meet this target, it identified: 

  • The need for better housing stock data. 
  • Pathways for achieving net zero. 
  • Estimated costs and savings. 
  • Alternative funding models to finance decarbonisation.
  • A targeted list of projects that local councils could focus on in the next five years.   

The solution 

To support this work, West Yorkshire Combined Authority commissioned our experts to supply housing stock data, provide scenario modelling and deliver service analysis for three West Yorkshire councils: Bradford, Calderdale and Wakefield.  

Phases one and two of the project involved:  

  • Identifying energy efficiency characteristics of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority housing stock. 
  • Assessing the potential costs and savings of different building retrofit scenarios to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions. 
  • Modelling the best strategies to put energy efficiency improvements and low carbon heating in place from 2022 to 2038. 
  • Identifying opportunities and challenges for cost-effective home improvements in West Yorkshire Combined Authority. 
  • Supplying tailored recommendations to help inform climate change strategy and future decarbonisation within the district. 

Phase three of the project used the findings from phase one and two to create a pipeline of projects that West Yorkshire Combined Authority and its constituent councils could use to inform their retrofit approach between 2022 and 2026.  

For each intervention, we identified the most relevant public funding schemes. Accelar supported this work by developing a shortlist of private funding models that best suited the housing stock. It also provided recommendations for how green finance could help with each intervention. 

We then used the housing stock data collected in phase one to identify geographical hotspots of properties suitable for each type of intervention. These areas formed the basis of a retrofit pipeline that each council could use to plan their retrofit and decarbonisation activities over the next five years.  

The result 

Bradford, Wakefield and Calderdale now have access to a comprehensive housing stock database for their areas.  

These databases bring together each council’s energy efficiency, fuel poverty and decarbonisation strategies. This allows them to prioritise their investments and achieve their goals in a cost-effective way. 

These databases will be updated every year over the next five years to capture changes in the stock and to make sure that the councils are always working from the latest data.  

Each council received a decarbonisation report that compares the costs and savings of two key retrofit pathways:  

  1. Raising all homes to Energy Performance Certificates band C. 
  2. Pursuing net zero carbon emissions. 

The reports outline key challenges and opportunities tailored to each council’s stock. They also provided recommendations to guide local decarbonisation efforts.  

The councils also received a retrofit pipeline report that identified key project areas to focus on for each of the priority interventions in West Yorkshire. These will help the councils and West Yorkshire Combined Authority target their funding in areas that meet their strategic objectives.  

Decarbonising homes isn’t a ‘one-size-fits-all’ challenge. By looking at a range of interventions, councils have the flexibility to trial different approaches to retrofit and tailor their approach to the needs of the housing stock in each local area. 

Mark Hooton, senior strategic housing manager, Wakefield Council, said: 

“Energy Saving Trust supported Wakefield Council to produce our Domestic Energy Retrofit Pipeline Study. This high quality and comprehensive three-stage piece of research has provided us with a valuable suite of housing energy stock data and information to inform the development and delivery of our domestic energy retrofit schemes, policy and strategy for years to come. 

“They were a pleasure to work with, providing a high quality, knowledgeable and supportive service throughout.”

Last updated: 30 June 2023