We are thrilled to have won ‘Housing Association of the Year’ at the Wales Regional Energy Efficiency Awards 2018 and wanted to tell you about some of the energy efficiency projects we have on the go, which aim to improve the energy efficiency of our housing stock. The overriding aim is to provide cleaner energy and give residents the opportunity to save money on household bills.
A recent report found energy bills could be cut by more than 60% if homes could generate, store and release their own solar energy, which is a real step towards the reduction in fuel poverty, which remains a major concern for many of our tenants and residents.
In partnership with Neath Port Talbot Council and SPECIFIC Innovation and Knowledge Centre, we are developing the ‘Active Homes Neath Project‘ which is set to become the first development of social housing to use innovative technologies to store and release energy in the UK.
The city deal for the Swansea Bay city region will also provide a fantastic opportunity for the growth and regeneration of Blaenymaes and the themes of environmental sustainability and energy generation have been a hot topic. We currently have six properties there involved in a live project to generate energy from solar photovoltaic matched with battery storage and supplemented with SMART heating controls.
One resident taking part in the project said:
“I’m really pleased to have been selected to be part of this exciting project in Blaenymaes and to test the technologies to see how to get the most out of them to continue to reduce bills. Particularly, being the only flat in the pilot, it will be interesting to see how beneficial the bigger battery is so that hopefully if the scheme gets rolled out across the whole of Blaenymaes flats will be able to benefit as well as the houses.”
The pilot project will inform a funding application to Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO) with an estimated value of £4m that will see the technology rolled out to a further 683 homes. If successful, there will be targeted training, education and employment opportunities delivered to the Blaenymaes community and the technology will see household expenditure on energy drop significantly, meaning discussions can take place about the creation of a community energy trading platform.
But that’s not all, we’ve also managed to secure grant funding from Wales and West Utilities which has allowed us to install gas mains to 60 properties so far this year. Previously heated electrically with economy 7 storage heaters, the new gas installation should both reduce energy bills and improve the environment, helping to tackle the creation of condensation and mould from daily living.
Article added: 12th February 2018