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Households to Benefit from Warmer Homes

Over 8,000 households in England are set to benefit from warmer homes and see improved living conditions through free efficiency upgrades, including insulation, heat pumps, and double glazing. This initiative, stemming from the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund, aims to make social homes more energy-efficient and cost-effective, saving tenants an average of £400 a year on energy bills.

Funding details

Announced by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero on 18 March 2024, this programme targets 8,800 homes for these upgrades. With a funding allocation of over £75 million towards councils and housing associations, the project is poised to significantly reduce energy costs for some of the country’s lowest-income households.

This initiative is part of a broader effort to address fuel poverty and enhance the comfort and well-being of social housing tenants. It’s a step towards individual savings and broader environmental sustainability, reflecting a move towards greener, more energy-efficient living spaces across the country.

As nearly half of all homes in England have achieved an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Band C or above, a marked improvement from 14% in 2010, the direction towards improving energy efficiency in residential spaces is evident. This progress indicates a growing awareness and implementation of measures contributing to a more sustainable and cost-effective living environment.

The investment in these upgrades is also expected to support around 1,300 jobs in the retrofit industry, signalling a positive impact on the economy beyond the immediate benefits for tenants. These jobs are vital to the UK’s transition towards more sustainable energy solutions.

Feedback from beneficiaries of previous funding rounds, such as Durham County Council and Manchester City Council, highlights the tangible improvements such upgrades can bring to tenants’ lives. Stories from individuals who have experienced these changes first-hand underscore the difference that warmer and more energy-efficient homes can make.

The bigger picture

This effort is part of a larger scheme to improve the energy efficiency and carbon footprint of homes and businesses across the UK. With significant investment planned for the coming years, the goal is to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and lower household energy bills.

Additionally, programmes like the Boiler Upgrade Scheme complement these efforts by facilitating the switch to cleaner, low-carbon heating solutions, with increased grants making these options more accessible to a wider range of households.

The Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund represents an essential step towards addressing energy efficiency and fuel poverty, aiming to create more sustainable living conditions for social housing tenants. Through continued investment and focus on energy efficiency, the initiative contributes to a more sustainable and economically viable future for households across England.

EWI Pro and the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund

Watford Community Housing (WCH) is a housing association that manages around 5,700 homes in South-West Hertfordshire, focusing on providing housing for lower-income households. They work alongside tenants to improve homes and offer high-quality services. WCH operates as a Community Gateway organisation, engaging tenants in decision-making processes to better the community. They also have subsidiaries and partnerships with local councils to deliver additional affordable housing. Any profits made are reinvested into better services and new homes.

The homes being retrofitted in the Watford area constitute all sorts of substrates. Altogether, 285 will be retrofitted with external wall insulation, with two waves of construction. The first wave of 101 properties is complete as of January ‘24, with the rest completed by the project timeline’s end. The project’s second phase has 12 to 14 months to be completed.

The main contractor is South Coast Insulation Services Ltd, and Kooka Developments Ltd is delivering the project. Both of them have a long-standing relationship with EWI Pro. This social housing project is a testament to their exceptional work and our continued partnership.

The major issue that the project encountered was the various substrates. However, our EWI Pro systems combat this by being suitable for all manners of substrates, including:

  • Mixed masonry
  • Pebbledash
  • Existing render
  • Brick
  • Painted brick
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