Tenants Can Benefit From Cheaper Energy Bills With Energy Efficiency Scheme

24th September, 2013
Social housing providers across the South West need to get their Ready for Retrofit applications in by 5pm, Monday 30th September.

The £2.3 million Ready for Retrofit scheme, part funded by the European Regional Development Fund and administered by the Energy Saving Trust, enables social landlords to apply for funding to retrofit renewable heat and electricity measures as well as improve energy efficiency in their homes.

The housing associations benefit from the increased energy efficiency of their housing stock, while for tenants it can mean real changes to their energy bills at a time when they are most hard pressed.

During its lifetime (this is the third window for applications out of four) the fund is expected to help finance more than 750 separate projects worth more than £6 million in total.

Energy efficiency technologies can range from floor and external wall insulation, glazing, lighting and heating upgrades to air source heat pumps and mechanical heat recovery ventilation.

Jon Rattenbury, Ready for Retrofit Manager said: “As well as helping tenants and landlords in social housing, we also want to support local businesses. The South West has such a strong reputation for renewable energy development that we see efficiency, retrofit and microgeneration as a natural part of this burgeoning sector.

“We want to encourage innovation and provide business support which can help local companies develop their expertise. Ready for Retrofit has already helped housing associations like Magna and we would like to help many more.“

The Magna Housing Association has over 9,000 homes, mostly in Devon, Dorset and parts of Somerset. It has just completed work on one project benefitting 40 tenants. Magna applied for funding to replace existing night storage heating in properties that were mainly let to elderly tenants. The system did not meet their tenants’ needs or their budgets and were expensively inefficient in terms of energy usage and cost.

The old system was replaced with air source heat pump systems whereby heat is generated by an air source heat pump rather than a boiler.

Roy Price, Project Manager for Magna said: “These properties were off mains gas so heating options were limited. The existing night storage heating systems were costly and would often run out by the evening.”

Magna received 40% of the costs, which would have been a cost prohibitive £10,000 per property, from Ready for Retrofit.

Roy continued: “We couldn’t have justified these systems if we had to meet the full cost. This funding made it an affordable option, in line with the other forms of heating we could have selected.”

Ready for Retrofit is funded by the European Rural Development Fund (ERDF) and is open to social housing associations across the South West except for Cornwall, which is covered separately. It has been designed to provide help to make significant improvements to harder to treat properties that are inevitably more expensive to upgrade.

The next application deadline will be in May 2014. For more information please visit