Tackling the problem of how to retrofit older homes for a sustainable future is one of the harder items on property’s net zero agenda. One council in England thinks it has found the answer.
Nottingham City Council has secured £5m through the European Regional Development Fund to roll out its Energiesprong, ultra-low energy homes pilot, which will include improvements to over 150 Nottingham City Homes properties.
The scheme will tackle some of NCH’s older housing stock that is hard to heat, 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.
Energiesprong is a ground-breaking whole-house renovation approach, pioneered in the Netherlands. It upgrades a home with innovative energy-saving and energy-generating measures, which include new highly insulated outside walls and windows, a solar roof, and a modern heating system. The household’s energy demand will be greatly reduced and what energy is needed can mostly be generated on site via smart use of renewable energy technologies; environmental performance will be improved to almost net zero carbon.
The model has been further developed and this rollout includes energy efficiency improvements to a city school and a number of homes in Derby managed by Derby Homes.
An NCH tenant from the initial pilot, Esther Lutzuver, said: “These homes were really cold 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.”
Cllr Sally Longford, portfolio holder for energy and environment in Nottingham, said: “As the city’s largest landlord it’s right that we that we tackle energy inefficient homes as all that wasted energy impacts on our climate change ambitions as well as being expensive for our residents. We have already achieved a lot through our Greener HousiNG programme and we are determined to do more. Our recently launched Fuel Poverty Strategy sets out a bold vision to build on our successes by embracing new technology and innovations to ensure we do all we can to tackle high energy bills, cold homes and climate change simultaneously.
“We’re very excited that Nottingham is at the forefront of this revolutionary approach, we’re not only improving people’s homes locally, but also helping to shape a new direction for tackling the UK’s coldest homes.”
Wayne Bexton, head of energy services, Nottingham City Council, 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.”
This rollout will be in two phases; Interreg NWE programme E=0 is supporting the first 17 retrofits and a European Regional Development Funded project, Deep Retrofit Energy Model (DREeM) which aims to improve the efficiency of homes & public buildings in Nottingham is supporting the bulk of the rollout. The rollout follows a successful UK first pilot which was paid for by European Union funding stream Horizon 2020, through a project called REMOURBAN.
Further phases of the rollout are planned through Interreg NWE funded MustBe0 and BEIS funded Whole House Retrofit.