Decision details

Sustainable Warmth Cumbria

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: For Determination

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: No


A report to seek approval to enter into an agreement with Carlilse City Council as part of a Cumbria consortium bid for Local Authority Delivery Phase 3 and Home Upgrade Grants.




The Housing Portfolio Holder presented the Sustainable Warmth Cumbria report. The report set out the Sustainable Warmth Cumbria consortium bid, which had been successful for funding to support low carbon energy efficient and heating for at least 1000 private sector homes across Cumbria. The Sustainable Warmth competition had encouraged Local Authorities to apply for approximately £24 million in funding to help install energy saving upgrades and low carbon heating in low-income households by raising the energy efficiency rating of low income and low Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rated households (those with E, F or G, although D ratings were also in scope).


The report highlighted the fabric first approach expected by the Government which aimed to reduce household energy bills which included but was not limited to energy efficiency measures (such as wall, loft and underfloor insulation) and low carbon heating technologies (such as heat pumps and solar) but excluded heating systems which are solely fuelled by fossil fuels such as gas and oil. Funding was to be targeted at low-income households likely to be in fuel poverty and landlords whose tenants were eligible for funding (private and social) would provide at least 33% contribution towards the cost of the upgrades.


The report set out the strong case for proceeding with this project which had a high degree of strategic alignment with the Council Plan (as well as the Council Plans for Barrow Borough Council and Eden District Council who were also participants) in terms of tackling climate change, energy efficiency and fuel poverty.


Members thanked officers for their hard work on the proposals and expressed their support for the proposals, noting that projects like the Sustainable Warmth Cumbria project demonstrated how the Council wanted to work to improve the quality of life of residents as well as assist in lowering energy costs.






(1)        South Lakeland District Council’s participation in the Sustainable Warmth Cumbrian consortium (via a consortium of Cumbria District Councils) be approved;


(2)        subject to a successful consortium bid by  Cumbria District Councils (including SLDC), acceptance by the Council of its allocation of the grant funding awarded by North West Energy Hub Sustainable Warmth grant scheme in the sum of £2.1 million be authorised, provided that if the actual sum of grant awarded to the Council was more or less than £2.1 million, the difference be reported as part of the Quarterly Finance Update Reporting; and


(3)        subject to the award of grant funding under the North West Energy Hub Sustainable Warmth grant scheme, the Director of Customer and Commercial Services, in consultation with the Operational Lead (People, Welfare and Income Maximisation) and the Legal, Governance and Democracy Lead Specialist (Monitoring Officer), be delegated authority to agree the terms of and enter into the appropriate legal agreements on behalf of the Council in relation to the project in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Housing.


Reasons for Decision


One of South Lakeland District Council’s (‘the council’) four priorities for 2021 – 2026 includes a Fairer South Lakeland and Addressing the Climate Emergency. In delivering a Fairer South Lakeland – the council has committed to providing energy advice and additional support to households in fuel poverty.


In February 2019 SLDC declared a climate emergency. The Council is working towards a target of being Carbon neutral by 2037 and ensuring that the existing housing stock is energy efficient is a significant element in achieving that goal. This project seeks to maximise the social, economic and environmental benefits which come from combating and developing resilience to climate change and developing sustainability.

One of the council’s targets is to reduce the percentage of homes in the lowest energy performance certificate bands E,‘F & G’. This project will go towards these commitments.


Alternative Options Considered and Rejected


Only consortium bids have been permitted, the Council’s only options were to participate or not to participate. It is recommended that the Council participates in the Sustainable Warmth Scheme joining our partner authorities to benefit low income households, addressing fuel poverty and low energy efficient homes.

Report author: Amanda Pharaoh

Publication date: 12/08/2022

Date of decision: 04/07/2022

Decided at meeting: 04/07/2022 - Cabinet

Accompanying Documents: