Thursday, 4 April 2013

New look revealed for warmer, greener homes


Caption: (Left to right) Keepmoat's Steve Batty, tenant Tom Reynolds, Cllr Mark Dobson and Aire Valley Homes' Simon Costigan inspect newly insulated properties.

Council properties receiving an eco-makeover were unveiled today, revealing transformed homes that are now warmer and cheaper to heat.

Houses in Baildon Place are the first of 180 council homes to have insulation attached to the outside of the properties by Keepmoat.

With less heat escaping from the homes, tenants are set to save around £475 a year on their fuel bills.

The properties, that have little or no insulation due to the way they were built, are the latest to receive an energy efficient upgrade.

Keepmoat has been installing the insulation and other eco-measures on behalf of Leeds City Council and three of the city’s arms length management organisations (ALMO) – Aire Valley Homes, East North East Homes and West North West Homes.

Works to other council blocks are continuing and those tenants will soon be joining the residents of Baildon Place in benefitting from a more energy efficient home.

These improvements take the total number of council homes to receive energy improvements to over 35,800. Homes have benefited from upgrades including loft and cavity wall insulation, double-glazing and efficient doors.

Councillor Mark Dobson, Leeds City Council’s executive member for the environment said:

“We need to do all we can to protect people from rising fuel costs. Having already tackled thousands of homes, insulating our non-traditional build properties with solid wall insulation is another way we can achieve this.

“Having visited the homes today, I’m sure residents will be pleased with the results. I’m certainly delighted that the joint efforts of the council, ALMOs and Keepmoat will bring multiple benefits to tenants – warmer and greener homes that cost less to heat.”

Simon Costigan, chief executive of Aire Valley Homes Leeds said:

“Through a programme of significant investment across all the ALMOs our homes are some of the most energy efficient in the city. The recent cold weather is a really timely reminder that this type of work has a significant impact for residents as it improves the thermal efficiency of the property and also reduces fuel bills in times of austerity.

“We are committed to continue with this type of investment as it helps tackle fuel poverty and improves the environmental performance of our homes.”

Steve Batty, Head of Sustainability at Keepmoat said:

“As one of the first companies in the UK to be granted Green Deal Provider status, we are delighted to be working with our partners to improve the energy efficiency of the city’s housing stock. Residents are already beginning to notice that their homes feel warmer, and they should soon be able to see a difference in their fuel bills.”

Tom Reynolds, tenant, said:

“We’re already feeling a big difference. I came home from work the other day and thought I’d left the heating on as the house was so warm.”

The partnership project between Leeds City Council, the ALMOs and Keepmoat is one part of a wider Green Deal Demonstrator scheme being run by Leeds City Council.

The demonstrator is testing how many people will take up the offer of Green Deal loans and grants to pay for energy efficiency improvement works.

Funding for the project has been provided by the Department of Energy and Climate Change and through the government-backed Energy Company Obligation (ECO).

Alongside the external insulation being installed on council homes, private home owners can still take up the offer of an interest free loan under the Green Deal as part of the council’s Wrap Up Leeds+ scheme.

Residents could also save up to a further £115 on their energy bills by signing up to the city’s collective energy buying scheme. The more people that register with Community Energy Direct, the better as it will give the organisation and partner Which? more bargaining power to negotiate a new energy price on behalf of residents. Based on the new price, residents can decide if they want to switch to the new provider.

Notes to editors

  • People can register for Wrap Up Leeds+ by calling 0800 052 0071 or online at www.wrapupleeds.co.uk.
  • People can sign up to the Community Energy Direct scheme at www.communityinfo.org or by calling 08454 502 581.
For media enquiries please contact:
Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1577
email: amanda.l.burns@leeds.gov.uk

ENDS