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March 2021 issue

Major investment project to make council’s housing stock greener

A multi-million-pound investment programme to help make our council homes more energy efficient and help combat fuel poverty has been backed.

The package is not only designed to help improve the quality of life of our tenants, but also to meet our ambitious commitment through our climate emergency declaration to become carbon neutral by 2030.

The initial investment over the next two years will be used to improve our housing stock and make properties more energy efficient. This means it would be cheaper for tenants to heat their homes while producing less carbon – saving an estimated total of 560.7 tonnes of CO2 per year.

These enhancement works include replacing inefficient storage heaters with a modern efficient equivalent, which will help cut the heating bills of tenants.

External wall insulation will be installed, and inefficient cladding replaced. Approximately 400 old boilers will be replaced, and 105 properties with an energy performance certificate rating of below band D will have works carried out to improve their rating.

Our sheltered housing schemes will also undergo an extensive range of improvement works. These include replacing a gas boiler with an Air Source Heat Pump at Mary Frank House, and replacing the roof at The Cannons with a superior high level of insulation, helping to reduce running costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

Heat Meter devices will be installed across all sheltered housing schemes, so tenants can pay for their actual fuel usage rather than pay a pooled service charge.

A Ground Source Heat Pump, a central heating and/or cooling system that transfers heat to or from the ground, will also be installed at Harrison Court. This will benefit from the Renewable Heat Incentive - a Government scheme aiming to encourage the uptake of renewable heat technologies amongst householders, communities and businesses through financial incentives.

In 2019 we became one of the first local authorities in the country to declare a climate emergency. This set out an ambitious and challenging commitment to help play our part in protecting the planet, including through becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

To achieve this, significant changes are required, and we have been working with the Carbon Trust to identify existing areas where there are high carbon emissions. Housing is in the top three of our carbon producing activities.

Supporting the local construction industries and bringing forward more opportunities for employment is one of the key focuses of our work to help the borough bounce back quickly following the Covid pandemic and national lockdowns. This programme of investment has the potential to create more job opportunities for local people, which in turn will boost the local economy.

Page last reviewed: 26 February 2021


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