Housing association, Homes Plus, is nearing completion on a £2.3 million project to make 129 homes warmer, greener and cheaper to run.
The housing association worked with Stafford Borough Council, South Staffordshire Council and Shropshire Council to secure funding from the first wave of the Government’s ‘Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund’ (SHDF).
The properties have benefitted from wall and loft insulation, draught proofing and improved heating systems. As well as low carbon technologies including air source heat pumps and Solar where possible - all of which will make homes more energy efficient.
The partners successful bid was for £1.2 million funding with Homes Plus investing a further £1.1million in the project.
The fund was set up by the Government’s Department for Energy Security and Net Zero to improve the energy efficiency of social housing.
The landlord, with more than 19,000 homes across Staffordshire and Shropshire, has been working with contractor Broad Oak to upgrade the energy efficiency of its existing housing, particularly older homes that were not built to today’s stringent energy-efficiency standards.
As a result of the retrofit work, carbon emissions have been reduced and some of the properties have been improved from an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating F to an A.
Representatives from Homes Plus, Broad Oak and the borough council visited one of the properties that has befitted from the scheme, in Stafford, to see first-hand the work delivered so far under the project.
Councillor Jill Hood, Cabinet Member for Community at Stafford Borough Council, said: “I am really pleased that, along with our partners, we have been able to help a number of our residents heat their homes more efficiently. It has been a concern for many in our community who have struggled to pay bills, especially during the colder months, with high energy prices and the cost of living leaving that horrible choice about whether to prioritise heating or eating.
“The measures introduced will have a two-fold benefit - ensuring properties can be kept warmer in the long term without having a detrimental impact on energy bills, and reducing the carbon footprint of the homes themselves.”
Residents John and Shirley have lived in their Homes Plus home for more than 30 years. Their home was one of the first to be upgraded thanks to the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund and the work is now complete.
John said: “Whilst the work was being done the team on site were fantastic, I can’t fault them. The work has made the house look a lot more modern and our home feels a lot warmer.
“Our gas bill had doubled due to the increase in energy prices, but thanks to this work our payments have reduced back down to what they were previously.
“The house is less draughty, it saves you money and the overall appearance of our home has been improved.”
Dan Timmis, Director of asset management at Homes Plus, explained: “At Homes Plus we are committed to improving the energy efficiency of our homes across Staffordshire and Shropshire. Through this £2.3 million scheme we have made homes warmer and more energy efficient for customers, saving them money on their energy bills and reducing our properties’ carbon footprint.
“Customers tell us the work caused little disruption and they can already feel the benefits in their home. At a time when so many people have very real worries about rising energy bills, this work is more important than ever."
Neil Holmes, Operations Manager at Broad Oak, said: “We cannot emphasise enough the significance of the work we undertake on the social housing decarbonisation scheme. Our dedicated efforts in installing insulation and energy efficient heating measures into Homes Plus properties have made a profound impact on energy efficiency and sustainability. Over the course of a year, we have successfully transformed in excess of 100 properties, providing residents with a more comfortable and environmentally-friendly living environment.”
Press Release No 6046