Nottingham City Council to pilot energy efficient homes of the future

Four hundred homes in Sneinton are part of a European project to make them warmer, cheaper to run and fit for the future.

The £5m project, called REMOURBAN, is piloting new technologies to make a step change in the amount of energy older houses use, so they’re ready for low carbon standards in 2050.   The project will reduce residents’ bills and make them warmer through innovative insulation techniques, and in some cases energy generation and battery storage.   Some measures such as external wall insulation will also transform how homes and neighbourhoods look.

A number of organisations across the city are working together to deliver this project, including Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham City Council, Nottingham City Homes, Nottingham Energy Partnership, locally based renewable energy company Sasie Ltd, and system solution firm Infohub Ltd.

Three Nottingham City Homes neighbourhoods across Sneinton have been identified for the energy upgrades. All tenures, social, leaseholder and owner occupier will be included in the pilot.

The first 122 homes are already complete, with homes in Windmill Lane getting external wall insulation and LED lighting, and work is about to start on the same measures at nine apartment blocks on Newark Crescent.

Four low rise apartment blocks – Morley, Keswick, Haywood and Byron Courts – will be connected to Nottingham’s energy-from-waste district heating network, along with receiving solar panels, battery storage and external wall insulation. The apartments will be warmer than before but have lower bills and all their energy needs will be fully met from low carbon sources. This scheme is also piloting the concept of low temperature district heating which could enable Nottingham to roll out this low carbon energy source to many more domestic properties in the future, at a much lower cost.

Finally, the most innovative solutions will be applied to nine houses which will receive a “whole-house” solution which reduces their net energy usage to zero through a variety of extensive energy efficiency and energy generation measures.  Part of the innovation is how the works are funded, with the household paying an ‘Energy plan.’ This means the resident has a much more comfortable home, and a flat rate cost for energy which will not rise significantly when energy bills rise, but it means the landlord will receive an on-going income which will help to fund works to more homes.

This builds on the Nottingham’s award winning Greener HousiNG scheme, which has already delivered external wall insulation to over 6,000 homes and solar panels to over 4,000 homes.  Greener HousiNG is a domestic energy efficient scheme jointly delivered by Nottingham City Council, Nottingham City Homes and Nottingham Energy Partnership to provide city-wide energy upgrades to make Nottingham homes warmer, more energy efficient and cheaper to run.

Mrs Margaret Langsdale a Nottingham City Homes tenant from Windmill Lane who has recently had external wall insulation and LED lights installed said: “The biggest change is that the house is much warmer.  Before the external wall insulation as soon as the heating was turned off it would be cold, now the house holds the heat for much longer. The gas bills have gone down a bit but the biggest benefit is that we get a lot more heat for the money that we do spend on bills.”

“The LED lighting has been great; the rooms are much brighter especially the kitchen and bathroom which need enclosed lights and the light was quite dull before and the electricity bill has gone down since the LEDs were installed. Also as part of the works we had outdoor security lighting fitted at the front and back, these lights have been fantastic, I feel much safer.”

Councillor Alan Clark, Portfolio Holder for Energy and Sustainability, said:  “This is a really exciting project to make 400 homes warmer, cheaper to run, and ready for a low carbon future.  We made a great start through our Greener HousiNG scheme, which has been labelled as best practice by the Government, but we are ambitious to do much more – to help more people with their bills, cut more carbon emissions, transform more homes.  But with cuts to almost all Government funding for energy efficiency, it is vital we find ways to continue this work without subsidy and this project will test some ways to do just that.”

Councillor Jane Urquhart, Portfolio holder for Planning and Housing, said: ““Tackling fuel poverty is a huge priority for Nottingham City Homes; they are committed to ensuring that their tenants can afford to heat their homes well every winter.  They have already improved the average Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of their properties to a C rating and are continuing to invest in their properties to ensure that they meet the low carbon standards of the future.  The REMOURBAN project allows them to pilot innovative technologies and procurement processes to achieve this.”

“The results of the REMOURBAN project combined with the Greener HousiNG model, which seeks to make energy efficiency much more affordable for private home owners and Nottingham City Homes alike, should deliver significant energy and carbon savings across the city.”

Dr Anton Ianakiev, a reader in civil engineering at Nottingham Trent University, said: “We’re very proud to be working with the city council and all the partners on the Remourban scheme. As well as being of major benefit to people living in the city, the project forms the basis of international academic research which we expect will provide new knowledge on building energy efficiency, domestic energy consumption, carbon emissions and more.”

Alongside energy efficient housing REMOURBAN is also piloting greener transport options in Nottingham, including:

  • Introducing a delivery hub for parcels, with carbon neutral transport for the last mile, reducing air pollution in the area
  • Extending the enterprise car club to Sneinton, bringing a parking bay and electric vehicle and charging point to the area
  • Electric bus charging infrastructure at Queens Drive Park and Ride to service thirteen new electric buses.

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