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EQUANS bags Birmingham retrofit contract

EQUANS, part of the ENGIE Group, has been appointed by Birmingham City Council to retrofit 300 homes, in a project which will serve as a pilot for decarbonising the council’s 60,000 properties in the region.

The 300 properties are in East Birmingham and will be used to test approaches to improve thermal efficiency, reduce carbon emissions and provide energy savings for tenants. 

The project will also be used to address fuel poverty in an affordable and achievable way, by developing and implementing innovative solutions and funding models which can be used to scale up whole house retrofit across the city.

The pilot scheme forms part of the 3 Cities Retrofit programme - one of the largest retrofit initiatives in the UK which could cover nearly 165,000 social homes across Birmingham, Coventry and Wolverhampton.

Birmingham City Council has committed to making the city carbon neutral by 2030 and this scheme is intended to make a step towards realising the ambitions.

Paul Bingham, Regional Director for EQUANS UK & Ireland, said: “The council took the bold step of publicly declaring and committing the city to be net zero by 2030.  As Europe’s largest local authority, the council has more housing stock, customers, and infrastructure to contend with – not to mention the pressure and responsibility as a leading local authority to perform and innovate.

“This pilot programme is a testament to the council’s dedication to just do that.  We have a long-standing partnership with Birmingham and our broad expertise in energy, regeneration and retrofit means we are primed to make those goals a reality.”

Leader of BCC Ian Ward, said: “These 300 properties are just the start of our ambitious plans to ensure that all our housing stock is carbon neutral by 2030.  The council has a large estate and the delivery of the 3 Cities Whole House Retrofit Pilot, presents us with a great opportunity to progress towards our net zero carbon ambitions. 

"This exciting pilot will also make a significant contribution to economic recovery and growth through creating employment and skills opportunities for local businesses and the local community.  The economic and health benefits this can bring to the city in the future are considerable, but we need to support a just transition which brings everyone with us.”

Councillor Sharon Thompson, Cabinet Member for Housing & Homelessness, added: “BCC’s housing stock is a large net contributor to the city’s carbon emissions, accounting for 26% of the city’s total.  Tackling these heat emissions and achieving a ‘net zero’ position is key to us achieving our route to zero commitment. 

"We need to improve the thermal efficiency of our housing stock to reduce carbon emissions, reduce energy bills, address fuel poverty and support a just transition to a zero carbon city.  This pilot will show us the way to do this and underpin our strategy for long term investment in our housing stock.”