Leeds City Council (LCC) has won the best initiative to combat the fuel poverty crisis category at the 2023 ASCP Awards with its decarbonisation project for which it partners with water and energy efficiency company Cenergist.

The awards are the only ones celebrating safety and compliance in the social housing and facilities management sectors.

The best initiative to combat fuel poverty crisis award is aimed at initiatives which supports residents during the current cost of living crisis and mitigates fuel poverty through improved energy efficiency, support, education, advice or community projects.

LCC and Cenergist won the award for their joint work on the ‘Clustering for Warmth’ initiative. This aims to deliver low carbon heating and hot water upgrades to more than 1,700 council-owned homes between 2021-24.

The initiative involves replacing inefficient electric storage heating with ground source heat pumps, air source heat pumps and district heating solutions. On average, these provide residents annual utility bill savings of £360.

Commenting on the award win, Gerard Tinsdale, Chief Officer, Housing for Leeds City Council, said: “We’re delighted that this fantastic scheme has been recognised at the ASCP awards.

“Through our partnership with Cenergist we have delivered a sustainable, low carbon solution that not only improves the heating solution for our residents but crucially provides real-world savings on utility bills.”

Clustering for Warmth forms a part of LCC’s wider £100m investment to improve the energy efficiency of its council stock by 2025 and is one of the country’s largest green home and energy bill reduction schemes.

Since 2020, the project has saved social housing and low-income residents an average of 52 per cent on their utility bills. It has delivered the equivalent carbon savings of 400 fewer cars or providing the energy for 235 homes.

Dan Ludgate, Group Business Development Director, at Cenergist, added: “We are very happy to be part of this award winning partnership with Leeds City Council. The ‘Clustering for Warmth’ initiative is a brilliant, sustainable project and one we were proud to be a part of during these challenging times.

“While it is great to win this award, what really matters is that thanks to our solution, residents in hundreds of homes are now benefiting from a reduced carbon footprint and smaller utility bills.”

Cenergist supports water companies, local authorities, social housing providers and commercial clients to improve their energy and water efficiency and thereby cut their carbon emissions. As well as the UK, Cenergist also operates in Holland, Spain and India.