There are a range of challenges facing the UK’s social landlords in achieving their targets of ensuring that all their homes achieve a minimum of an EPC C by 2030 and EPC B by 2040. These targets have been put in place by the government to ensure that the 4million properties operated by HA’s/LA’s are fit for purpose, affordable to operate and comfortable to live in. A variety of grant schemes help social landlords make incremental performance gains such as the Green Homes Grant, which helps housing associations and local authorities access funds for insulation upgrades and heat pump retrofits, but there is no single silver bullet measure that will raise a property from an EPC score of E to B. To achieve this a balanced approach across a range of solutions is required. This approach has been coined ‘deep retrofit’, going far beyond just a few more inches of insulation in the loft.
PH Jones, the social housing installation and maintenance contracting arm of Centrica, have worked with East Devon District Council to undertake some deep retrofit activities on 78 properties funded by the LAD scheme, to raise their EPC band from an EPC rating E to a minimum of EPC rating B. The properties range in age and construction type from the 1950’s onwards.
The measures deployed by PH Jones include:
The net effect of these measures led to an incredible uplift in the EPC performance of the Council’s properties. Here are some worked examples:
1. A 3 bedroom semi-detached house was improved from an EPC E40 energy and F23 environmental impact to EPC B81 energy and B83 environmental impact.
2. A 1 bedroom bungalow was improved from EPC E46 energy and F29 environmental impact to EPC A93 energy and A94 environmental impact.
Ease of installation is key for the mass roll out of low carbon technologies and PH Jones is leading the charge by upskilling their workforce to install heat pumps, solar PV and smart hot water cylinders such as Mixergy’s.
John Taylor, Operational delivery manager at PH Jones:
“This is an all new, clever technology and after a relatively short space of time we had the installation team comfortable with installing and commissioning the Mixergy cylinders ready for use, it must be pointed out that Mixergy’s technical support and training was first rate. All in all, everybody involved in the installs have been very impressed with their capability.”
The residents have reported that their homes are now a toasty 22˚C and can operate their hot water and heating combined for a total peak cost of £0.65 per hour. This is significantly lower than their storage heater and immersion heater systems in place previously. Ensuring that usability, comfort and operational costs are improved is key to ensuring the buy in of residents and that of any housing providers’ investments are effective.
This has been a really exciting project to be involved with and it will enable tenants to improve both the energy efficiency and the costs which they incur in running their homes, but also helping to reduce their carbon footprint.
To discuss various funding and upgrade options for your portfolio of properties, get in touch with us to arrange a call.