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Consortium wins Welsh Government funding to retrofit 1,300 homes


CONSORTIUM WINS WELSH GOVERNMENT FUNDING TO RETROFIT 1,300 HOMES

ClwydAlyn forms part of a major consortium of 26 Welsh Social Landlords, who have won a share of £7m Welsh Government funding to deliver an optimised retrofit programme across more than 1,300 Welsh homes.

The collaboration of 68 partners, including 26 social housing providers, and managed by Sero, has been awarded more than £7m by Welsh Government to deliver a pioneering programme that, as well as decarbonising more than 1,370 Pathfinder homes, will create the tools required to roll out the large scale decarbonisation of homes across Wales.

The Optimised Retrofit approach will deliver a whole house, pragmatic route to decarbonising existing homes. The pathfinder programme will use a combination of building fabric improvements, low and zero carbon technologies (such as solar panels, battery storage and heat pumps), and intelligent ongoing operational controls, to take each home to its lowest achievable carbon footprint.

The approach is designed to support incremental home upgrades over multiple steps, in a coordinated way. The scheme enables delivery of a more comprehensive level of genuine zero carbon, typically for less cost, by supporting and aligning with the decarbonisation of the energy grids that will take place over the coming decades. This complexity is then rationalised into a simple ‘Zero Carbon by…’ forecast year – the year that individual home is expected to achieve net zero operational carbon emissions.

As well as social housing providers, this large‐scale collaboration of partners includes a range of research, innovation, academic, technology, energy and industry organisations from across the UK. Alongside providing supplier and employment opportunities across Wales, these will lead supporting activities such as cutting‐edge research, training and upskilling, and establishing frameworks for the retrofit industry, to enable the Welsh economy to become a true leader in decarbonisation.

Representing over half the social housing stock in Wales, the Optimised Retrofit collaboration will use the Pathfinder homes to refine a range of digital tools that enable each home to be easily and quickly surveyed, and ‘Pathways to Zero’’ carbon identified. This includes forecasting the year that each home will achieve zero carbon, based on the recommended stepped improvements, as the grid becomes greener.

Following the completion of the Optimised Retrofit Pathways programme, these digital tools will be made available to Welsh social housing providers, academia, government, and subsequently private homeowners. This will enable the longterm delivery of a legacy of tools, skills, frameworks and an evidence base that will allow others to follow and enable the decarbonisation of Wales’ homes to quickly gain scale and pace.

Talking about the project, Dave Lewis Executive Director of Asset Management for ClwydAlyn said: “We are acutely aware of the Climate Emergency and Biodiversity crisis and the role we as social landlords can play in reducing Carbon emissions.

“We are committed to mapping out and achieving our pathway to zero. It will play an important role in reducing fuel poverty in our residents’ homes whilst re-energising employment opportunities to support the local economy - both of which will directly help us with our mission Together to Beat Poverty.

“We are looking forward to working collaboratively with members of the consortium on this important area of work, which forms part of our wider environmental strategy.”

The funding has been awarded through the Welsh Government’s Optimised Retrofit Programme that was introduced this year as part of the Innovative Housing Programme, to help reduce the carbon footprint of existing social housing in Wales, make energy bills more manageable for residents and provide new job and training opportunities.

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