Tenants to save thousands in hot water bills with Mixergy - Birmingham City Council retrofit programme

January 17, 2023

Update June, 2024:

Since this project began, a further 474 Mixergy cylinders have been rolled out. This will equate a saving of over £120,000 for tenant hot water bills, and a reduction in nearly 80 tonnes in carbon.

Transitioning to net zero and helping their tenants to live better

Local Authorities across the UK are facing the critical challenge in tackling the fuel poverty crisis while reducing their carbon emissions. Funded retrofit programmes are offering a unique opportunity for councils to upgrade their housing stock to help their tenants to live better now, while getting ready for the energy transition ahead.

An image displaying one side of a block of flats involved in the Birmingham City council retrofit.

Following their own declaration of a climate emergency in 2019, Birmingham City Council set an ambitious target to reach net zero by 2030, 20 years ahead of the UK government’s own 2050 target. To support this programme, they recently announced plans to retrofit 300 properties in the East Birmingham region to test approaches in thermal efficiency, reducing carbon emissions and providing energy savings for their tenants.

To upgrade the hot water tank systems, Mixergy’s heat what you need solution was chosen as the optimal technology and installed across 126 properties, working with Equans as the principal contractor and Legionella and Fire Safe Services as the mechanical contractor. As a result, the council is set to save residents up to £50,000 in hot water bills whilst reducing their carbon impact by over 80 tonnes of CO2 every year.

An installed Mixergy cylinder and controller

We want to get our emissions down by 2030 and housing is the biggest area that contributes towards this. We’re looking at retrofitting our properties with new technologies. I would love to see the West Midlands be the hub of the country when it comes to taking us on that journey.

Sharon Thompson, Councillor and Cabinet Member for Housing & Homelessness at Birmingham City Council

“This is the best improvement the council has ever made”

Resident Dot Burrows sat on her sofa looking at a mobile phone

Aside from the carbon savings on track to exceed a combined total of 80 tonnes a year, individual residents are already feeling the benefits of this ambitious project. Resident Dorothy Burrows is on track to save nearly £500 a year and is thrilled with how the technology is working:

We’ve worked out it will be about £500 a year in savings. I’m better off, I can do more, I can spend more money on my grandchildren. It’s the best thing the council has ever done.

Dorothy Burrows, Resident

The Mixergy tanks offer the residents complete control over their water heating using a mobile app and integrated tank gauge. Residents can heat between 10% and 100% of the volume in their tank, saving energy and money by using smart schedules and machine learning to heat only the water they need. The tanks also have a boost function, so the residents will never run out of hot water.

A hand holding a mobile phone displaying the hot water levels through the Mixergy App

Improving the quality of living for residents

The Mixergy tanks also play an important role in helping the Council to manage hot water hygiene across their housing estate. A fortnightly sterilisation routine automatically ensures that water is heated to a high enough temperature to prevent harmful bacteria such as legionella.

The energy crisis is seeing residents reduce their hot water temperatures to save money, which increases the risks of legionella bacteria build up. But the great thing about Mixergy is that you can keep your water at the correct temperature and still save a substantial amount on your energy bills.

Danielle Bayliss, Operations Director at Legionella and Fire Safe Services

Mixergy’s cloud connectivity and enterprise dashboard lets housing management teams remotely monitor their fleet of tanks through an IOT platform. This also helps maintenance teams to diagnose faults remotely, saving money on unnecessary maintenance callouts. The tanks are also future-proofed for connection to a heat pump or solar photovoltaics (PV) should the council choose to install this technology in the future.

For me this is also personal, we need to reduce our carbon outputs and focus on fuel poverty. Mixergy is an ideal solution to address both challenges.

Nigel Harris, Gas Compliance and Site Manager at Equans

With the council embracing Mixergy’s heat what you need technology, they are empowering their residents to control their hot water bills like never before.

Birmingham City Council are really pushing the envelope for their social housing tenants. We’re thrilled to be working with them to install all electric Mixergy tanks to save tenants money, through our only heat what you need technology.

Peter Armstrong, CEO of Mixergy

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If you’re a housing association or contractor interested in how Mixergy’s patented technology can help your residents tackle fuel poverty, contact us to find out more.