For this update I want to focus upon the excellent work being undertaken in three of our areas:
Norwich City Council
Norwich City Council have been working hard to reduce fuel poverty and excess winter deaths (EWDs) since 2012/13. In Norwich we believe that 10% of households are experiencing fuel poverty. That equates to a staggering 6,523 households. However, progress is being made. The graph below shows our continual improvement addressing this issue. There is also a reduction in EWDs over the same period.
Norwich was the first city in the UK to start “collective switching” and has helped a number of councils locally and nationally to set up and run their schemes via our procurement framework and/or marketing advice. Presently we are maintaining the Norfolk Big Switch and Save partnership. In 2016 we engaged with 1,580 people in Norwich in the spring and expect to assist another 2,000 this winter. http://www.bigswitchandsave.co.uk
This winter Norwich City Council will be working with British Gas to promote fully funded replacement boilers via ECO grants to the vulnerable and fuel poor worth over £500,000 as well as our usual promotions with Aran for loft and cavity wall insulation. This work is branded under the Cosy City banner. http://www.cosycity.co.uk
In addition, to foster better working between agencies and the 3rd sector, Norwich City Council will be working to deliver the council's 3rd Warm and Well event, called Winter Wellbeing. This event has grown to be Norfolk’s premier pre-winter networking event.
Peterborough – Green Energy Switch:
Green Energy Switch have worked in partnership with Peterborough Energy to promote and increase awareness of a locally owned, not-for-profit low-cost energy alternative. Peterborough Energy, which is supplied by OVO Energy but managed and administered by Peterborough City Council, aims to reduce fuel poverty amongst Peterborough residents in light of the ever-increasing price of tariffs by the Big Six suppliers. Of the 4,800 customers that have switched to Peterborough Energy so far, an average of £248 has been saved per annum.
At the heart of this impressive growth are the home visits conducted by Green Energy Switch’s Home Visits Team. The Team visit residents in every corner of the city, providing residents with simple and achievable energy conservation advice, expertise on their energy bills and the opportunity to make the considerable savings with Peterborough Energy. In addition, all switchers receive a free energy saving pack with items to enable a low energy lifestyle, are entered into a monthly prize draw for shopping vouchers and are also encouraged to refer friends and family with the chance to collect Amazon Vouchers.
These home visits have been warmly received by residents and have enabled the Peterborough Energy brand to develop from strength to strength and integrate itself as a friendly and inexpensive alternative across the city.
St Edmundsbury Borough Council:
St Edmundsbury Borough Council has a number of park home sites and has long recognised the clear need for the retrofit of these prefabricated structures, given the higher than average risk of fuel poverty amongst park home residents. In 2015, a successful bid was submitted to National Grid’s Energy Innovation Fund to fund energy efficiency improvements at Shepherds Grove Park in Stanton, Suffolk.
In total, £100,000 was secured to fund new gas central heating systems and external wall insulation (EWI). National Grid also installed new gas connections to 14 homes where the residents were over the age of 70. In addition, match funding was provided by St Edmundsbury Borough Council and the county-wide Warm Homes Healthy People project.
Shepherds Grove Park was selected due to the poor standard of existing insulation and the high level of fuel poverty among residents, all of whom are over 55 years old. Many are retired and spend considerable periods of time at home, so being able to maintain a warm and affordable property is essential.
Park homes have traditional missed out on nationally mandated insulation programmes due to their classification as temporary accommodation. A prerequisite for our installer partner Cornerstone (East Anglia) Limited was being able to secure a 25 year installation warranty for the EWI, as this has not previously been possible.
The properties insulated comprised a number of different park homes styles in various states of repair, with works including all necessary enabling, adaptation and remedial works to prepare the properties for the Alumasc Swisstherm external wall insulation system. Bespoke aluminium powder coated extended window sills were fitted to compensate for the additional wall thickness, with flashing details also installed under the verge of the roof where required.
The installer Cornerstone appointed an experienced Site Manager and a Resident Liaison Officer, who liaised with the resident Site Manager on a daily basis under the supervision of the Council, ensuring excellent levels of resident satisfaction with the end to end process.
The previously poorly insulated walls achieved a post-installation U-Value of 0.29 W/m2K after the application of insulation. Residents were able to choose from a wide range of finish colours, with the final decorative silicone render coat rejuvenating the properties and providing long-term protection, mitigating the need for future repainting of the external surface.
The measures were installed between December 2015 and February 2016. In total, 24 properties benefitted from external wall insulation, with ten of these also receiving new gas central heating systems. The properties with existing heating systems, and therefore only receiving EWI, are expected to enjoy lifetime carbon savings of 25 tonnes and energy bill reductions of at least £237 per year. Park homes receiving both measures are expected to benefit from lifetime carbon savings of 64 tonnes and energy bill reductions of £402 per year.
Residents have reported a significant improvement in comfort levels in their properties, with many commenting that their thermostat has been turned down a few degrees and that their home remains warmer longer once the heating is turned off. Many residents have been lifted out of fuel poverty by the scheme, which has been very well received and sets an excellent template for future park home retrofit in the region.
PHOTO CAPTION: An insulated park home at Shepherds Grove Park
Details of any other events held and/or forthcoming:
ALEO East’s next meeting is due in mid-November.
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