More ultra-low energy homes on the way
The next phase of a pioneering scheme to turn hard-to-heat council houses in Nottingham into ultra-low energy homes is underway.
Nottingham is the first place in the UK to pilot the ground-breaking whole-house renovation approach known as Energiesprong, with ten homes successfully completed and a further 17 now underway.
As part of the Nottingham City Homes and the council’s Energiesprong initiative, more houses in Sneinton are receiving improvements tackling some of NCH’s older housing stock that is hard to heat and lifting residents out of fuel poverty. As well as being warmer, the environmental performance of the homes will be greatly improved reducing carbon emissions and improving air quality.
The project will be rolled out to 138 properties throughout the city, managed on the Councils behalf by Nottingham City Homes, with further phases also being planned. The aim is to not only make the houses warmer and reduce energy bills for tenants but also improve the environmental performance of the homes, helping towards Nottingham’s ambition to become carbon neutral by 2028. It formed part of the winning submission which saw Nottingham City Council named the UK’s Climate Champions at The Guardian’s Public Services Awards 2020.
The Energiesprong approach, pioneered in the Netherlands, upgrades a home with innovative energy-saving and energy-generating measures, including new highly insulated outside walls and windows, a solar roof, and a state of the art heating system. The end result is homes that are almost net-zero carbon. This phase of the scheme is being funded through a European Regional Development Fund grant of £5m.
Melius Homes, who were the successful contractor for the pilot and the rollout tender, will be continuing in their role as principal contractor.
An NCH tenant from the initial pilot, Ms Esther Lutzuver, said: “These homes were freezing before and I dreaded winters. Before the energy efficiency works I was planning on moving as the cold was just getting too much. I really can’t believe the difference the refurb has made.
“Last winter was so much better, me and my family found the house to be really warm and my energy bills have not got more expensive in fact I’m paying less. I’m so happy living here now, I’m no longer thinking of moving, I’ve recently redecorated the whole house and I’m saving up for a new carpet.”
Nottingham City Homes Chief Executive, Nick Murphy, said: “It’s important that we insulate our homes and make them more energy-efficient for the future. As well as helping fight climate change this will tackle fuel poverty, making our homes warmer and cheaper to run. It’s a great start to 2020 to be rolling out the Energiesprong approach to more homes. The first pilot homes look fantastic and have really lifted the local area; this rollout will really add to the regeneration of neighbourhoods across the city.”
Councillor Sally Longford, the City Council’s Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Energy and Environment, said: “The Energiesprong pilot in Nottingham is a far-sighted, exciting and highly effective way of tackling old and cold council housing. It’s made a huge difference for tenants, so I’m delighted we are rolling it out to even more properties where we can also reduce emissions and bills while increasing warmth and well-being for residents. Homes, and especially older homes, account for a large proportion of carbon emissions so tackling this helps us towards our ambitious target of becoming carbon neutral by 2028.”
Nottingham City Council, Head of Energy Services Wayne Bexton, said “Collaboration and innovation has been needed to bring about this rollout which represents a new chapter in decarbonising our social housing stock. Energy Services work on a number of innovative projects across Nottingham’s built environment to support the council and our commercial customers move to a low carbon future. The ambition from the pilot has been ramped up to include a school, and we are keen to build on the model to cover a broad spectrum of buildings, all of which will support our carbon neutral ambitions.”