Kirklees Council is investigating how it can make gas bills for council tenants a thing of the past.

Work is underway on a pilot project to retrofit measures to cut carbon and make homes warmer and cheaper to heat.

Eight council houses in Abbey Road at Fartown will be the focus of the council’s commitment to a carbon neutral Kirklees.

Renewable technology will be introduced with a heat pump for heating and hot water replacing the gas boiler. Photovoltaic (solar PV) or solar thermal panels will also be installed to turn light into electricity.

The properties will undergo a programme insulation for the loft, cavities and external walls and will have new roofs, doors and windows.

Once the work is complete, energy use and the performance of the new greener technologies will be monitored to help measure gains in carbon reduction.

This will be used to help identify other homes across housing stock that could benefit from retrofitting.

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Clr Cathy Scott, Cabinet member for housing and democracy, and deputy leader of the council, said: “Through this pilot, Kirklees Council is looking at a project that could significantly contribute to our efforts in tackling the climate emergency and our aim to be carbon neutral by 2038.

“The eight properties will hopefully demonstrate that existing housing can be redesigned to use renewable energy instead of fossil fuels and with effective insulation, the carbon footprint of these properties can be diminished to net zero.

“Skills and regeneration are key priorities, this small-scale pilot has the potential to lead to larger projects in the future that will create opportunities for the people of Kirklees to learn a new skillset and get involved in innovative technologies.”

Clr Will Simpson

Clr Will Simpson, Cabinet member for culture and greener Kirklees, said: “This pilot project further demonstrates how Kirklees Council is committed to meeting its own carbon neutral targets for the district by 2038

“I’m keen to see the results of the survey and how successful retrofitting energy saving solutions are in reducing the domestic carbon footprint.

“I am hopeful that this pilot will provide a blueprint for the rest of the council’s housing stock but also a benchmark for privately owned and rented housing, to aim for, across the district and further afield.”

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Mayor of West Yorkshire Tracy Brabin, who visited the homes with the two councillors, said: “I’m proud to be supporting Kirklees’ housing retrofit pilot which will make a real difference to the quality of life of its residents.

“By making homes more energy efficient, we can help people keep warm and reduce their energy bills while contributing to our ambition to make West Yorkshire net-zero carbon by 2038.”

Kirklees Council are working in partnership with Michael Dyson Associates, who have designed the properties, and Groundwork who are co-ordinating the retrofit project.

Work started on August 2 and is due to end in December. Tenants are looking forward to no more gas bills and a greener home.