Housing provider, Orbit, has secured £1.4m of fresh funding as part of the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF) Wave 1.
The successful bid will see Orbit work with the West Midlands Combined Authority and Stratford-on-Avon District Council to upgrade 136 properties in total. In addition to the Wave 1 funding, Orbit is investing a further £4.6m into the project.
Wave 1 will upgrade (by March 2023) more than 20,000 social housing properties that are currently below an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) C rating. This will really help to reduce fuel bills for social housing tenants as well as deliver warm homes whilst at the same time will significantly lower carbon emissions and follows the initial success of the SHDF Demonstrator project that has been delivering innovative approaches to retrofitting social housing in a scalable way since October 2020.
Ted Pearce, director of Strategic Asset Management at Orbit, commented:
“We are committed to reducing the carbon emissions of our properties and delivering on our net zero carbon targets in order to provide more energy efficient homes and sustainable communities for our customers. As fuel bills continue to soar, there is a growing financial burden for households across the country and this funding will help us to tackle this issue in Stratford and the West Midlands and use the experience so we can proactively plan ahead.
Since being awarded SHDF funding in early 2021, we have undertaken a large programme of works in Stratford. This has included hard to treat homes, such as properties with solid walls and properties that have a relatively small floor area to their external area-such as bungalows. Committing to a whole house retrofit while customers remain living in their home has helped the team-led by Jeanette Hodges-to really attain a great understanding of the practical challenges of achieving net zero carbon emissions across our properties.”
This new phase of funding will enable us to extend this work and help us to continue to utilise the latest technology and innovation to address the challenges in retrofitting social housing. The learnings will be invaluable for the sector to successfully deliver on its decarbonisation aims, and enable us to better understand the impact on our customers and our role in supporting them through this transition.”