Liverpool affordable housing provider Plus Dane will spend £10m over the next two years retrofitting homes in their latest efforts to decarbonise their housing stock.
Having secured £4.5m from Mayor Steve Rotheram and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund, this latest retrofit project will go some way to decarbonise their portfolio of over 18,000 homes across Merseyside and Cheshire.
The project has commenced its early stages, with Plus Dane’s assets team starting to allocate funding to projects across Merseyside, identifying any energy inefficient properties, and investigating a range of options.
Previously, the firm have delivered retrofit projects including extensive cavity, external wall, and roof insulation, as well as a pilot scheme installation of a ground source heat pump at a development in Wirral.
Director of repairs at Plus Dane, Barry Callow, said: “Funding from the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund is really making a difference to what we can achieve when looking to retrofit our homes.
Making our homes more energy efficient is a positive thing, not just as part of our obligation to meet net zero targets in the sector, but also for our customers who should see that they don’t need to use as much energy to keep their homes warm.
Slated to continue over the course of two years, Plus Dane have said that the retrofit programme is likely to begin this autumn.
The firm previously benefited from financing through the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund
In the first wave of the Social Hoing Decarbonisation Fund, Plus Dane were awarded £2 million, which was again allocated through the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.
It was the first time Plus Dane committed to a retrofit project of this scale, and demonstrated the housing association’s commitment to decarbonisation and net zero targets.
The funding was used to retrofit two apartment complexes in Wirral, Norwood Court and Gordon Court in Greasby.
In order to provide heating and hot water to more than 40 flats, two 140m holes were bored underground to install a ground source heat pump.
Almost all residents agreed to have this new system installed in their homes, and those who did will have the option to connect in the future.
Furthermore, the blocks underwent a refurbishment of communal areas, and external insulation was installed, covering the three buildings in the complex from with a white render.
Other retrofit works to be carried out included cavity insulation, new windows and new patio doors in some ground floor flats.
Speaking prior to these initial retrofit efforts, Barry said: “We identified Norwood Court and Gordon Court as some of our poorest performing homes with regards to energy efficiency, so they were ideal for undertaking this pilot scheme.
“Storage heaters are not only inefficient but expensive for customers to run. We are delighted to have been able to offer a sustainable alternative in the form of a ground source heat pump.
“Sustainability is a massive priority for the housing sector, and we are pleased that it is also the first major project that sees us moving away from gas central heating to offer low carbon technology in our homes.”
After securing a further £42m from the Government, taking the total retrofit fund to £105m, Mayor Rotheram is scaling up the region’s retrofit programme.
The funding will be used to help 10,000 low-income homes to save money on their energy bills.