Stratford-on-Avon District Council working with the Orbit Group has secured £1.45 million as part of a successful bid to the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF) Demonstrator.
The Government scheme supports the decarbonisation of social housing over 2020/21 and aims to boost green jobs as part of the COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan. This £50 million programme will support social landlords to demonstrate innovative approaches to retrofitting social housing at scale.
This UK-wide demonstrator scheme will see grants supplied to upgrade over 2,000 social homes. Those living in upgraded properties will enjoy homes which are more energy efficient and as well as helping meet the country’s net zero emissions target, the SHDF Demonstrator will also support up to 3,200 jobs in the green energy sector.
The District Council, together with Orbit is one of 17 Demonstrator Projects in the county to see what carbon reduction measures can be undertaken on current housing stock. In addition to the £1.45 million funding, Orbit is investing £2.2 million into the project in the Stratford district.
Nick Cadd, housing and communities manager at Stratford District Council said:
“We are delighted that residents in Stratford-on-Avon District will be benefiting from this project. Improving energy efficiency and potentially saving money on fuel bills is good news for tenants as well as making homes warmer and reducing carbon emissions across the sector. This project and funding will allow us to explore the most appropriate measures that would help improve the energy efficiency of the homes people in our area live in. As part of this, Orbit is making significant investment to improve the energy efficiency of their properties – and we will be supporting them during this project. We look forward to learning the lessons from the Demonstrator Project, so that other residents can also benefit in the future.”
Mark Hoyland, Orbit Group chief executive, added:
“In addition to providing homes which are good quality, affordable and safe, we are continuously looking at ways to make our properties as energy efficient as they can be. This ensures that our customers’ fuel bills are as low as possible and it upholds our ongoing commitment to reduce our carbon footprint through lower energy consumption. By working with the District Council on this, we will help our customers in Stratford to benefit from a more energy efficient home through national, Government funding. This project will allow us to drive real innovation in response to the challenges that present themselves when retrofitting sustainable technologies to a home. It is our aim to take the lessons that we learn from this work into to our ongoing home improvement programmes.”
Survey work is now underway on a variety of properties across the district with a view to identify what measures will help lower each property’s carbon footprint. These measures are likely to include external wall insulation, floor insulation and air source heat pumps. Once identified, the measures will be applied over the coming year. There will be no charge for the survey assessment, or any subsequent work undertaken. All assessments will be carried out with prior agreement of the Orbit customer and in a covid-safe manner by Orbit’s contractors.
Following the energy assessment, Orbit customers who may benefit from this project will be notified by Orbit and their appointed energy advisors, Act On Energy, who will explain the next steps.
Measures are expected to be installed by December 2021. As this is a demonstrator project, the results will be carefully monitored following installation and shared across the sector – to see what lessons can be learnt and to measure successes before more properties receive similar measures.