Thirteen, a north-east-England housing provider with more than 35,000 homes, has embarked on a retrofit project in a bid to improve the energy performance of its Hartlepool stock.
The £1.3m scheme, undertaken in partnership with EQUANS, aims to help customers save on energy usage and experience a warmer home in the colder months, while also driving down carbon emissions.
The scheme will focus on homes in the Owton Manor area of the town.
It is being funded by the government’s Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund, which was set up to support the installation of energy performance measures in social housing properties.
Taking a fabric-first approach, Thirteen is upgrading doors and windows in its properties, installing and upgrading wall and loft insulation, while ensuring there is appropriate ventilation to reduce the risk of condensation.
A range of sensors and technology to support testing, learning, and the customer experience will also be piloted during the process.
Thirteen’s aims to have all of its homes with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of C by 2030 and meet the government’s net-zero ambitions by 2050 – and also reach net zero carbon on its direct business emissions by 2035.
Thirteen’s director of Asset Management, Doug Bacon, said: “We’re seeing first-hand the impact of climate change, and projects like this will not only reduce the carbon footprint of our homes, but they will help our customers lead more comfortable lives in homes that are warm and cost-efficient to run.
“We know that older homes are much less energy efficient, so retrofitting them with improved windows, doors and insulation will make a big difference to properties in our more established communities.
“We’re really pleased to see this £1.3m project underway and we are already planning a range of further projects over the next few years as we look to scale the retrofit of existing homes.
“Forward planning is crucial to this, as it provides visibility for customers and our delivery partners.”
Around £140,000 will also be invested into the local community as part of this project, which Thirteen says will create jobs, educational activities, environmental projects, and help communities become more resilient.
To help its customers prepare for the work getting underway, Thirteen held a clean-up event to help customers get rid of any unwanted household items.
A dedicated team are also onsite to support customers throughout the project.
This is the first of two schemes, with plans for a further 60 homes to benefit from similar work in Stockton on Tees later this year.
The £3m spent on the schemes to create greener homes is part of Thirteen’s wider £36m investment plans for the year, which will be delivered on its properties across the north-east and Yorkshire.
Darren Sterling, director of regeneration and sustainability at EQUANS, said: “As we’re continuing to see energy prices rise, by making significant improvements to the efficiency of homes, we’re hopeful that residents will feel the benefit, especially when we reach the cooler months.
“We’re delighted to be working in close partnership with Thirteen. EQUANS’ objective of supporting businesses and communities to go green and reduce their carbon footprint is aligned with Thirteen’s own plans for the future.
“Working together, I’m confident residents on the estate will quickly see and feel the benefit.”
Image: Partnership framework manager Anthony Ferguson (Thirteen); net zero customer engagement coordinator Nathan Butler (Thirteen); site manager Quincy Chapman (EQUANS); director of asset management Doug Bacon (Thirteen); and operations manager Paul Blackwell (EQUANS)
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