Few people now doubt that we are in a climate and ecological emergency. It’s time we started acting like it
Scaling up deep retrofit for social housing landlords - Adamson court
The challenge: scaling up deep retrofit for social housing
The UK retrofit agenda has failed to scale up over the last few decades. Despite rounds of policy attempting to address it, UK housing stock still has some of the worst energy efficiency levels in Western Europe. Social housing decarbonisation is currently receiving significant government grant support. Though this is applauded, it will not scale into an energy efficiency market without the development of business and operational models which allow retrofitting to be funded through social housing capital.
Last year we worked on an Energy Redress grant-funded project in partnership with Places for People, focussing on a deep retrofit project of the Adamson Court development in Bedford - a typical 1970s mid-rise block. Alongside Etude, SOAP retrofit and Currie & Brown, we sought to solve three key challenges facing the social housing sector:
• Providing energy security for tenants through the current cost of living crisis
• Generating income streams and cost reductions for the social landlord
• Ensuring the future viability of their assets
How we helped: designing a deep energy efficiency retrofit and ‘heat as a service’ operating model
We designed a deep energy efficiency retrofit and innovative ‘heat as a service’ operating model that will reduce and stabilise tenant heating costs while adequately heating homes, and generating a revenue stream for the social landlord to pay down the capital costs of the retrofit.
The impact: creating a replicable model for carbon and cost savings
Our deep retrofit fabric solution achieves a 76% reduction in heating energy demand and an 82% reduction in carbon emissions against the existing building.
Minimising energy costs is increasingly important as the cost-of-living crisis hits the poorest members of society hardest. Social housing tenants on pre-payment meters have seen their bills rise by over 54%. Many of these tenants face high bills from thermally inefficient homes, forced to choose between heating and eating. To help combat this, we developed a price formula which saves an average of £220 per household per year on heating bills, while also protecting tenants from 50% of future energy price rises.
With social-housing decarbonisation fund support, our model pays back capital costs of the deep retrofit in 40 years, and it is replicable and scalable across all electrically heated social housing blocks.