Energy Savings Trust - Funding

20th May, 2014
Ready for Retrofit, the programme run by the Energy Saving Trust has today signed contacts worth over £660,000 to two Social Housing Associations in the South West.

The programme, which awards funding to social housing suppliers to retrofit their properties with energy efficiency or micro generation measures confirmed the awards to Alliance Homes and Westward Housing Group.

Jon Rattenbury, Ready for Retrofit Manager said: “These schemes are exactly the type of project Ready for Retrofit is here to support. We want to see tenants benefiting from cheaper energy bills, a reduction in the risk of fuel poverty, whilst also saving on CO2 emissions.”

Alliance Homes in Bristol have been given £503,056 to retrofit measures make its challenging properties in the Portishead area more energy efficient.  Including the funding, Alliance Homes will invest a total of £819,081 to improve 63 properties that currently suffer high wind exposure and fabric issues, resulting in high fuels costs.

Installations will include solid wall insulation, loft top up’s for top floor flats and bungalows, LED lighting as well as replacement of gas boilers and mechanical ventilation and heat recovery systems.

The Portishead scheme will positively effect the properties energy efficiency ratings which are currently as low as G to a C or B through retrofitting. Energy efficiency ratings range from G to A, the highest grade. The higher the grade the more efficient a property is and the lower the fuel bills will be.  

Anthony Bebbington, Investment and Major Works Manager at Alliance Homes said: “ This scheme represents a significant opportunity to upgrade our portfolio in Portishead. The funding from the Ready for Retrofit Project makes it realistic for us to complete this project targeting 63 homes. These measures will have significant impacts for our tenants in cost savings on fuel, increasing thermal comfort levels and maximising the asset value of our stock.  We will also be using local businesses to deliver the works.”

Also receiving funding today, the Westward Housing Group is about to launch a major improvement programme to replace heating systems in Croft House, Holsworthy, which provides designated social housing for the elderly, thanks to an award of £166,084 from Ready for Retrofit.

Westward’s landlord in the area, Tarka Housing, will also be contributing to the cost of the replacement heating system, bringing the total funds to be invested to £249,058. This will improve the energy efficiency of all 21 flats within four separate buildings.  It is expected that the new heating system could reduce CO2 emissions by up to 62% for each flat.

The existing storage and immersion heaters in Croft House are at the end of their life and as a result are inefficient and ineffective.  They will now be replaced with an innovative communal ground source heat pump system provided by South West based manufacturer Kensa Engineering Ltd.  

Joshua Jackson, Head of Asset Management at Westward said: “The critical thing for us is that this new heating system will give our customers fuel cost savings at a time when energy costs are rising all the time and in an area where income is relatively low. This funding will allow us to improve the energy efficiency of Croft House and benefits both Westward and our customers. We are committed to using local heating engineers for the installation as part of our commitment to the local economy and supporting local business.”   

Jon continued: “We are pleased to see that local businesses within the retrofit sector will be involved with both schemes as Ready for Retrofit has been created, in part, to help support these businesses. Not only will this create local market opportunities and jobs but will also increase the skill sets within the sector, helping to generate a strong energy efficiency and microgeneration sector within the South West.”

The £8 million Ready for Retrofit programme is a funding opportunity for social landlords to improve the energy efficiency of their homes through retrofitting renewable heat and electricity measures. Partly funded by the European Regional Development Fund the programme aims to support the supply chain for retrofit by stimulating demand.

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