31 homes in Conwy, North Wales will benefit from a trial of brand-new low-carbon technologies led by housing association ClwydAlyn, in partnership with Cyd Innovation.
The properties are not connected to mains gas and are currently heated by electric radiators, which have become increasingly expensive to operate as energy prices have soared. The groundbreaking refurbishment programme showcases the potential of harnessing innovative green technology to make heating more affordable and increase efficiency ratings.
The key innovations trialled include the use of cutting-edge infrared heated wallpaper technology, smart hot water cylinders and smart controls and monitoring systems. These pioneering technologies, powered by electricity and connected to solar panels and a battery, create warmer homes at a significantly lower cost than traditional sources and emit approximately 50% less carbon dioxide than fossil fuel systems such as oil or bottled gas.
Tom Boome, Head of Technical, Innovation and Climate at Clwyd Alyn comments:
“This exciting scheme will help 31 households to benefit from warmer homes while saving a significant amount on their annual energy bill. We hope that this scheme will serve as a pioneering example of what is possible, benefiting people across the country in the future.”
“We have anecdotal evidence of fuel poverty where the residents have been severely impacted by heating costs, so much so that some have turned off the heating completely or used portable oil-filled radiators in the winter.”
The first-of-its-kind initiative has received £1.7 million from Welsh Government and will target 120 of ClwydAlyn’s homes in 2023 with the potential to include more homes through further funding in the next two years. ClwydAlyn has partnered with Cyd Innovation, a local independent retrofit and social value expert, to maximise the impact of the project by ensuring the investment also creates local jobs and training opportunities.
Steven Reynolds, Founder of Cyd Innovation added:
“The high cost of living means it is critical that we drive investment into making homes in North Wales more affordable to heat. Funding opportunities like this create significant social, economic and environmental outcomes including the creation of new jobs, improved household finances and enhanced physical and mental health, which can be life-changing.
“As an organisation, we are focussed on eradicating poverty and delivering decarbonisation through specialist energy efficiency retrofit consultancy supporting our customers to progress their housing stock to net zero. This includes securing investment and local supply chain development opportunities to support uplift within communities.”
Mold-based contractor Wall-Lag successfully won the contract to be the lead installer on the programme, with the collaboration not only supporting the employment of 12 new jobs, contributing to the local economy, but also emphasising a focus on maximising local spend to stimulate economic growth.
The first homes are currently being surveyed, with initial installations expected to take place in the next few weeks. Sensors are being installed into the properties so that a detailed assessment can be made of the benefits of the new technologies, which will be shared with the Welsh Government to inform future decisions on funding.