Energy upgrades to over 600 Cornwall Council residences

The work is nearing completion on improving the energy efficiency of hundreds of homes owned by Cornwall Council, helping to reduce tenants’ energy bills.

Under the government’s £4million Obtain a building fund program counseling and Cornish housing recently installed solar panels in 600 homes in Cornwall, saving households an average of £495 on their energy bills over the past year.

Carbon emissions reductions for homes in Bodmin, Liskeard, Bude, Wadebridge and Saltash exceed targets under the council’s scheme to help Cornwall become carbon neutral.

The work was jointly funded by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) with matching funding from the council and additional funds from an Energy Company Obligation scheme.

49 other houses are undergoing a series of whole-house renovations, including exterior wall and attic insulation, solar panels and air-source heat pumps as part of the Social Housing Decarbonization Fund demonstrator fsupported by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Work on these homes in Falmouth and Chacewater is due to be completed this autumn and will reduce heat loss from buildings as well as emissions and energy bills.

The work was carried out through a partnership with OVO energy solutionswhich is part of the energy supplier OVO.

Since 2020, the board has also been part of a national Whole House Retrofit Innovation pilot project fsupported by BEIS will install energy saving measures in 83 homes in Cornwall.

Due to supply chain pressures caused by the pandemic as well as changes in funding requirements and scale of the project, this work will no longer continue.

Similar issues affected 42 homes that were due for a full renovation under the Getting Building Fund and 26 homes under the Social Housing Decarbonization Fund.

Councilor Olly Monk, Cornwall Housing Portfolio Holder, said: ‘We are committed to improving the energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions from our homes and have already installed energy-efficient upgrades in over 600 properties across Cornwall. Cornwall’s first homes to undergo a series of upgrades to make them warmer, greener and cheaper to run are also nearing completion.

“The last two years have been extremely difficult for the building sector and BEIS recognizes that all of the whole-home retrofit pilot projects commissioned nationwide have faced similar challenges. We apologize to our Cornwall Housing tenants who needed to complete work on their homes as part of these pilot projects. We have identified their homes as needing energy upgrades and are currently carrying out a detailed review of all our homes so that we can bid for alternative government funding to enable us to upgrade the energy efficiency of Cornwall Housing homes.

Councilor Martyn Alvey, Cornwall Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change, said: “Energy consumption in the home remains a priority in our dialogue with the government on the support needed for Cornwall to become the UK’s first neutral region. TThese pilot programs are shaping our County Deal are asking for long-term renovation funding and are shaping our Shared Prosperity Fund investment program.

“In addition to the 649 homes benefiting from upgrades, we are also making low-carbon and energy-saving upgrades to 400 homes through our Warm Homes Fund; the expansion of our solar photovoltaic program for municipal tenants; and we recently installed energy-efficient heating measures in a further 170 homes across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly under the government’s Green Homes Grant Local Authority Deliver (GHG LAD) scheme and the Warm Homes Fund.

Mark Duddridge, President of LEP, said: “We are really pleased that 600 homes will now have solar panels thanks to the Getting Building Fund retrofit project. This work is an important part of Cornwall’s ambition to be carbon neutral by 2030 and with the cost of living crisis, reducing tenants’ energy bills will make a significant difference for these communities.

“Projects funded through the Government’s Building Fund were expected to enable a new, greener economic recovery and provide economic security for a larger portion of the population while promoting a greener agenda. We are therefore delighted to see these projects come to fruition and have a positive impact on the lives of local populations and businesses.

To mark Robson, Director of Business Development at OVO, said, “Now, more than ever, these projects are critical to supporting households through the cost of living crisis while reducing their home’s carbon footprint. OVO Energy Solutions has provided key refurbishment measures – such as insulation, double glazing and new solar installations – to homes in Cornwall. By working with major local authorities and housing associations, we have opened up a huge opportunity to create greener, more energy efficient homes for people who live in drafty homes and will benefit from lower energy bills. .

Cornwall Housing tenants requiring maintenance on their properties should contact Cornwall Housing on 0300 1234 161 or [email protected].

If you have any further questions, please contact [email protected].

If you are struggling financially due to rising energy costs, you can get help through the council’s partner, Community Energy Plus, on freephone 0800 954 1956 or[email protected]. We also work closely with Inclusion Cornwall who can direct you to a range of resources to help you with financial difficulties.

Article published on August 11, 2022