During this Net Zero Week (1-7 July), Calderdale Council is making significant progress on an innovative new initiative, thanks to funding from Innovate UK’s Net Zero Living Programme.

Out of 21 authorities, Calderdale Council has been selected to receive a portion of £6 million in funding to accelerate innovation and support the nation’s journey towards achieving net zero emissions.

The funding will be utilised for the Power Calderdale project, which aims to find solutions for retrofitting buildings in the borough to enhance their energy efficiency. Collaborating with Carbon Co-op and Todmorden Learning Centre and Community Hub, the project seeks to address the challenges posed by retrofitting older buildings, including the stone terrace styles prevalent in Calderdale, often deemed difficult to treat.

Calderdale’s Emission Reduction Pathway highlights that 51% of the borough’s emissions originate from its buildings. To achieve net zero, approximately 69,000 homes in the area require retrofitting.

The project will explore options for area-based retrofitting and identify solutions for local supply chain development. Additionally, it will raise awareness about the importance of retrofitting, educate individuals about the associated benefits, and provide tailored solutions. A pioneering initiative, the project will establish a panel group or ‘citizens’ jury,’ the first of its kind in the UK, involving local residents in identifying opportunities for new scheme development.

To deliver the Power Calderdale project and ensure ambitious and transformative climate action in the borough, two new Net Zero project officers will be recruited. For further information regarding these roles, please visit https://new.calderdale.gov.uk/jobs.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Action, Active Travel and Housing, Cllr Scott Patient, said; “We’re delighted to have been successful in our application for funding from Innovate UK to support our Power Calderdale project. The project has received £296k through the Fast Followers programme which supports projects which will accelerate progress towards net zero targets.

“The funding will help us develop our retrofit scheme, and we’re pleased to be working in partnership with Carbon Co-op and Todmorden Learning Centre and Community Hub. The project will reduce carbon emissions and support households by lowering energy bills and helping them become more resilient against future energy price rises.

“Climate action is a priority for the Council and projects like Power Calderdale will increase our resilience to events directly linked to climate change, like flooding, something we’re all too familiar with in Calderdale.”

Julie Thorpe, CEO and Centre Manager of Todmorden Learning Centre and Community Hub, said; “We are delighted to be a partner in this project. We know there are lots of reasons why people may be put off raising the energy efficiency levels of their homes and we want to find ways of making this process easier. It will benefit our pockets and our planet in the long run.”

Lorenza Casini, Carbon Co-op Project Manager, said; “Carbon Coop is looking forward to working on this project with Calderdale Council and Todmorden Learning Centre and Community Hub partners. The project will help further the understanding of user-centred solutions to overcoming non-technical barriers around the delivery of building retrofit at scale, through an area-based approach.

“Working together will support finding solutions and effective processes to unlock the potential of bringing about a just energy transition for the Calderdale borough which can also be replicated across the country and offer useful learning for other local authorities.”

With the support of Innovate UK funding, Calderdale Council is making substantial strides towards achieving a sustainable future, reducing carbon emissions, and enhancing the well-being of its residents.