Analysis of this data highlighted three parliamentary constituencies in Birmingham – Perry Barr, Hall Green and Yardley – as having the most need, with the highest proportions of E, F and G EPC rated properties and fuel poor households. Specific neighbourhoods within these areas that had the highest proportion of fuel poor households were identified so they could be targeted first. CSE recommended that the council focused on areas where more than a quarter of households are in fuel poverty, totalling around 6,500 homes across the three constituencies.
This approach was later extended to cover the whole of the West Midlands, showing the total number of eligible homes and the maximum levels of funding that could be accessed in further rounds of LADS and HUGS (Home Upgrade Grant) funding (you can find the data here). Similar data crunching was applied to help BCC with some high level figures to support a funding application for the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund.
Net zero neighbourhoods
CSE used a different approach to identify suitable neighbourhoods for the Net Zero Neighbourhood Programme, an innovative funding programme from the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) which aims to reduce regional carbon emissions by 2041. The programme will develop a full retrofit programme for a demonstrator neighbourhood which could be scaled up in future.
CSE carried out data analysis and mapping for two wards identified by BCC partner organisations (Places in Common and the University of Birmingham) who were leading the funding application. CSE examined data on building typology, tenure mixes, socio-demographic makeup, solar PV potential, and heat demand for the neighbourhoods, feeding into the assessment of whether they’d be viable pilot neighbourhoods for the funding scheme.
Here's an image showing the estimated annual heat demand of Castle Vale homes.
Securing and targeting future funding
Analysis of multiple data sets across a city is valuable when identifying homes and neighbourhoods for particular schemes. Data such as energy efficiency ratings, recommended measures to improve EPC ratings, and socio-demographic information will help direct support and communication of important initiatives. Knowing who you need to target and at what scale, will ensure you’re applying for the maximum funding and support you need.
Access to this data helps councils and local authorities build an in-depth picture of the opportunities and limitations of a particular place so that meaningful changes and support can be planned for more effectively.
Interested in learning more? Contact us for more information.
This work was part of a project funded through the ICLEI Action Fund and managed by CSE. The 3D Project was developed to work alongside Birmingham City Council, local stakeholders and community partners to decarbonise Birmingham and reduce emissions through long-term solutions.
Allocating support for vulnerable households using home energy efficiency data across Birmingham
A large proportion of direct carbon emissions result from heating our homes. Improving energy efficiency of the UK’s housing stock to reduce the amount of fuel needed to keep warm is critical to reducing carbon, not to mention helping consumers manage their ever-rising energy bills. Data for EPC (Energy Performance Certificates), fuel poverty, and housing stock, together with socio-demograpic data, can identify homes suitable for energy efficiency upgrades, eligibility for different funding streams, and help with messaging to encourage take up.
Making energy efficiency home improvements can be very costly, and for all local authorities there is a huge financial barrier to setting up energy efficiency retrofit schemes across a large area. This has been addressed, to some extent, by several UK central government funding programmes intended to support retrofit programmes for the most vulnerable households. But what happens if you don’t know who the funding should go to? Without adequate housing data, local authorities can struggle to know how to fairly target energy efficiency support and delivery. It’s particularly important that people who are fuel poor (those who need to spend a significant proportion of their income to heat their homes) are prioritised when implementing energy efficiency schemes.
Energy efficiency schemes
By combining a number of different data sources on the city’s homes, the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) was able to help Birmingham City Council (BCC) roll out energy efficiency programmes and provide input into funding applications for new local initiatives. CSE carried out some data analysis to identify properties most likely to have low incomes and poor energy efficiency ratings, combining EPC and fuel poverty data. This helped the council to manage their resources to target communications and reach 1500 people who met the eligibility criteria for LADS (Local Authority Delivery Scheme) funding secured by BCC and West Midlands Energy Hub.
Below is an example of the first step of filtering data to identify areas with the highest % of low EPC-rated properties, with a rating of E, F or G.