Leeds City Council obtained funding from the government’s Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund to deliver the work
190 homes underwent whole-house retrofits to decarbonise
Savings projected to be around £1600 per year
An innovative £9million project to make 190 Leeds homes warmer and greener has had dramatic results, with the properties now amongst the country’s most energy-efficient.
As part of the scheme – completed by energy and regeneration specialist Equans, in partnership with Leeds City Council - the flats in Holt Park have been fitted with a range of eco-technology to drive down carbon emissions and reduce energy bills for residents
The whole-house retrofit has seen the flats’ – 150 of which are council-owned – Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) ratings drastically improved to an A-rating – a level achieved by just 0.2% of homes in England.
Despite recent price rises, residents of the properties can expect their bills to be cut by up to 70% – saving them as much as £1,600 per year*.
To achieve these efficiency levels, new high-performance windows, doors and insulation have been installed alongside specially-designed ‘warm roofs’ - keeping the homes warmer for longer and reducing the energy needed to heat them.
Inefficient, carbon-intensive gas boilers have been replaced by environmentally-friendly air source heat pumps, controlled by smart thermostats.
Top-floor flats also have newly-fitted solar panels, allowing residents to generate their own free electricity, and LED lighting has been incorporated throughout – all of which contribute to carbon emissions now being -0.1 CO2ton per annum, compared to 2.8 CO2ton per annum previously.
The project received funding from the Government’s Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF) - introduced by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) - to improve the energy performance of social-rented homes – in turn reducing pollution and tackling fuel poverty. The Government aims to ensure the UK’s most fuel-poor homes are improved to achieve an EPC rating of C or above before 2030.
Susan Neale is one of the Holt Park residents to have work completed to her home. She said: “This winter I won’t be scared to have my heating on.
“My home is completely different now – it’s warmer and quieter and I feel better knowing that I won’t be struggling or worrying as much about my bills. I hope more people get the chance to have the same work done.”
Steve Batty, Head of Sustainability at Equans, said: “This project has been vital in demonstrating what can be done to decarbonise the UK’s housing stock. It has really led the way when it comes to meeting the Government’s goals to upgrade fuel-poor, inefficient homes.
“At a time when many are worried about recent energy price hikes, we’re proud to be able to use our expertise to demonstrate how a ‘whole-house’ approach to retrofitting homes can deliver outstanding results.”
James Rogers, Director of Communities, Housing and Environment at Leeds City Council, said: “It is fantastic news that we have completed this project, which supports our ambition to deliver a range of significant environmental improvements for people living in 190 flats on the Holtdale estate.
“This will not only help us reduce carbon emissions and make the 190 homes on the Holtdale estate more energy efficient, it will also play a huge role in helping to cut energy costs for people in these homes by up to 70%. We know that unfortunately too many people suffer from fuel poverty in Leeds and it’s work like this that will help cut those costs and make real positive impact to people's lives.”
The homes in Holt Park will continue to be monitored to inform the way ahead when it comes to reducing carbon emitted from the country’s housing stock.