New government statistics show that delivery of projects to strip out carbon from public housing under the government’s Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF) remains behind target.

The figures from the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero cover installations to the end of December 2023.

Of 20,000 homes targeted by ministers for improvement under SHDF Wave 1, measures have been delivered in 13,100 properties, or 66% of the planned total. With Wave 1 winding down and more projects being delivered under Wave 2.1, it is increasingly unlikely that the government’s target will be met.

The vast majority of homes were upgraded from EPC rating D to C.  Under SHDF Wave 1, 19% of measures were installed in the North West, 15% in the West Midlands and 14% in the North East.  The South East and South West regions registered just 5% and 3% of their respective target.

Industry experts Procure Plus have helped organisations navigate challenges in delivering projects.

While some organisations have faced challenges in delivering projects under the scheme, market-leading procurement business Procure Plus say that they have been able to assist with unlocking the ‘huge opportunities’ that SHDF offers.

The company, which helps to deliver value for money in the social housing sector has had particular success working with organisations in the North West and West Midlands to navigate the complexities of the scheme, as well as labour market and supply chain issues.

Regional variations

Government statistics report that, of the 25,000 measures installed under SHDF Wave 1, 4,800 measures (19%) were installed in the North West region, with 3,900 measures installed in the West Midlands (15%) and 3,500 measures in the North East (14%). The South West (3%) and South East (5%) had the lowest proportion of measures delivered.

The figures show that 77% of the properties upgraded under Wave 1 were previously EPC rating D, with 5% from C, 15% from EPC E, F and G. The EPC rating of the other 3% was previously unknown.

Of the properties that started in EPC D, 77% moved into EPC C, with 12% reaching EPC B and just 1% achieving EPC A.

This reflects the fact that the vast majority of measures installed under Wave 1 were ‘fabric first,’ comprising insulation (14,500 measures, 58%) and windows and doors (5,300 measures, 21%).

Despite low take up in its first wave, the SHDF programme continues.  The majority of measures installed so far under SHDF Wave 2.1 are following a similar fabric first approach to Wave 1.

Procure Plus managing director Gwen Beeken said: “The Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund brings significant opportunity to ensure our ageing housing stock is fit for the future, as well as being more comfortable and affordable for tenants.

“We often hear from the sector that there can be significant challenges in delivering SHDF projects, including issues with the labour market and supply chain.

“But that doesn’t need to be the case, appropriately considering the risks and opportunities, engaging with the supply chain and structuring the project correctly means we have many great examples across the UK of this investment being delivered successfully – on budget and on time. In all of them, the ability of landlords to work collaboratively with others to pull together, manage and continuously improve commercial arrangements has been key.

“We look forward to continuing to assisting even more fantastic organisations to rise to the challenge of SHDF.”


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