Nottingham City Council’s efforts to help over 10,000 households save money on their energy bills and carry out energy efficiency improvements to over 300 homes have been recognised after it was named Local Authority of the Year at the National Energy Efficiency Awards.

The council was also awarded second place in the Fuel Poverty & Vulnerable Campaign Support category at the awards ceremony which took place on Friday 18th February.

Nottingham City Council’s Carbon Reduction, Energy and Sustainability Division are at the forefront of tackling fuel poverty, generating renewable energy and leading sustainability policy both locally and nationally. The council’s fuel poverty strategy is firmly based on reducing energy bills, improving energy efficiency of homes, and ensuring that households across the city are comfortable for residents. With energy prices set to soar due to the Ofgem price cap rise in April, the team is committed to helping citizens keep their homes warm, while saving them money along the way.

During the last 12 months, energy efficiency improvements have been made to 341 properties across the city, including 217 homes and 124 businesses. In addition to fabric measures, such as insulation and new windows and doors, solar panels and air source heat pumps have also been installed to properties. These renewable energy technologies allow households to generate their own power, saving an estimated £240 on energy bills per year.

In addition to the energy efficiency measures installed on homes, the team have worked with vulnerable customers to support them during times of crisis. Through effective training, the council’s heat metering engineers and customer support advisers can identify the signs of fuel poverty and offer energy saving advice. Early intervention measures have allowed Nottingham City Council to support vulnerable households to get the help they need promptly.

By promoting energy efficiency guidance, financial support, and a priority services register, over 10,000 residents have been assisted through home visits, resident forums, the 24/7 customer contact centre, and more. As well as helping residents using the council’s initiatives, such as the Winter Grant Scheme which gave £49 vouchers to residents in receipt of Council Tax Support, the team signpost those in need to partner organisations, such as Nottingham Energy Partnership, who can assist further. The work in this area has resulted in a 900kg reduction of carbon dioxide from each household per year.

Alongside the awards received by the team, Ellen Cooper-Tydeman, Fuel Poverty Project Manager for the Midlands Energy Hub, was also recognised at the awards ceremony as Business Development Manager of the Year. Ellen has developed large-scale retrofit projects across the Midlands and has led bids that have seen local authorities in the region being awarded more than £150m to improve the energy efficiency of social and privately owned homes.

Councillor Sally Longford, Deputy Leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder for Energy, Environment and Waste, said: “I’m delighted that the fantastic work we’ve been doing in Nottingham has been recognised on a national scale. In the city, we are continuing to work hard to decrease fuel poverty and are committed to ensuring that everyone in the city has a warm and healthy home. Not only are these projects saving residents money and improving their health outcomes, but they are helping us progress towards our target to be carbon neutral by 2028.”

Wayne Bexton, Director of Carbon Reduction, Energy and Sustainability, said: “I’m thrilled that the team has been recognised as Local Authority of the Year at the National Energy Efficiency Awards. The leading local authorities on this agenda from across the country were also shortlisted, and to be declared the winners is recognition for the incredible services working on this agenda within the council, but equally due to the committed partners we have both within the city and regionally too. I’m extremely proud of the work we deliver on and delighted that our staff, who go above and beyond every day, are recognised in this way.

“I’m also really pleased that Ellen Cooper-Tydeman was declared Business Development Manager of the Year for her work on the collaborative regional retrofit projects, it’s thoroughly well-deserved recognition for her pioneering work.”

Find out if can have solar panels installed on your home for free by taking a look at the eligibility criteria.