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Levelling Up Insulation: Crawley Leads the Way

Insulating Flats in Crawley

Crawley Borough Council is improving energy efficiency in its housing stock, as part of funding from the Towns Fund, worth £4 million. Work is proposed to flats with cavity walls that have little to no insulation, to make them more energy efficient, and to keep households across Crawley warm in the winter. 

The Towns Fund is part of the government’s plan for Levelling Up the UK economy. Towns across England are working with the Government to address their growth constraints, deliver economic benefits and improve the lives of people within their communities. The overarching aims of the Towns Fund are to drive sustainable economic regeneration and productivity across the UK. 

The work being done in Crawley

Up to the end of July 2023, 58 blocks of flats have had cavity wall insulation installed. 352 flats are now more thermally efficient. 

However, not all flats will be able to get the new insulation. The method of insulation is not possible for timber-frame or solid wall blocks of flats. The council has said that they are looking at other options for flats of this construction. 

Councillor Bob Noyce, Cabinet Member for Environment, Sustainability and Climate Change, outlined the impacts the Towns Fund will make in Crawley, “The Towns Fund money is allowing us to upgrade our housing stock and improve the health and wellbeing of tenants.” 

“The fabric first approach creates the basis for any future work on retrofitting newer, sustainable energy sources.” 

The Towns Fund, from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, is supporting a number of projects in Crawley. The projects will help boost job creation, business growth and economic recovery; develop skills, innovation, and sustainability; and enhance art and culture amenities for businesses and residents. 

The benefits of upgraded insulation 

It is estimated that by the end of the programme in March 2026, a total of 1,511 flats will benefit from better insulation and lower bills and save a total of 902 tonnes of carbon dioxide. 

Uninsulated properties allow heat to leak out through the walls, which can result in up to 35% of all heat lost from a building. Therefore, adding insulation to a block of flats improves the EPC rating and allows residents to heat their homes with less energy. 

Improving the EPC rating will also make the properties easier for leaseholders to sell in the future. All private landlords renting their flats will need to achieve EPC C on new tenancies by 2025 and 2028 on all existing tenancies and measures such as cavity wall insulation help to achieve this. 

“This latest Towns Fund project is making a real difference to tenants’ lives and is another step towards us achieving net zero.” 

Councillor Atif Nawaz, Cabinet member for Planning and Economic development

Final Thoughts 

This new project in Crawley, is a fantastic example of Levelling Up funding, providing council housing in Crawley with much improved insulation. Not only protecting some of the most vulnerable in the town during winter, but further reducing costs, both to households and to the environment. 

To achieve the UK’s Net Zero goals, councils will be crucial institutions. In the latest edition of Chamber the leader of Edinburgh Council, Cammy Day, wrote about the important work that has allowed Edinburgh to top Climate Emergency’s Climate Scorecards for councils.

Further Levelling Up funding, would be well worth the investment, to bridge the divide across the UK, as shown in this example in Crawley. 

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