Energy Efficiency and Sustainability

06.11.17

The Energiesprong approach

Jane Lumb, head of energy and sustainability policy at Nottingham City Council, discusses a new housing procurement approach being trialled in the region to radically improve the energy efficiency of older homes.

There is little doubt that many of Britain’s homes need to improve their energy efficiency. A 2015 study by the Association for the Conservation of Energy found that the UK has among the highest rates of fuel poverty and one of the most energy-inefficient housing stocks in Europe. Poorly heated homes have a knock-on impact on health outcomes, and all that wasted energy impacts on our climate change ambitions.

Local authorities have one of the biggest roles to play in helping people save energy and live in homes that they can afford to heat. Having an in-depth understanding of our neighbourhoods, residents and housing stock, we can target schemes which maximise the impact on fuel poverty and carbon emissions.

To reduce the cost of energy bills, Nottingham City Council launched the not-for-profit Robin Hood Energy company, but we also need to improve the energy efficiency of our homes. Under our Greener HousiNG scheme, we have delivered external wall insulation to over 6,000 social and private homes and installed solar renewable energy (PV) systems in over 4,000 of our social homes.

We expect climate change regulations to require housing emissions of greenhouse gases to be near zero by 2050. More standard external wall insulation is not enough. With 26,000 houses, Nottingham City Council therefore has a commercial imperative to find a method of retrofitting houses to a near-zero emission standard in an affordable way.

We need a new model which completely changes energy usage of older homes in a way which pays for itself. The Energiesprong model could be just the solution.

‘Zero net energy’ homes

Ten homes managed by Nottingham City Homes have been selected as the first UK Energiesprong pilot to be contracted. The project will radically improve older houses using energy-saving and energy-generation measures, dramatically reducing household bills and making homes much warmer. The ambition is to make this the first part of a wider area regeneration programme.

The Energiesprong approach, pioneered in the Netherlands, upgrades a home with a manufacturing solution that includes new outside walls and windows, a solar roof and a state-of-the-art heating system, all installed in a matter of days. The aim is to generate as much energy as the homes need, making them almost ‘zero net energy.’ Works will not only enhance the homes’ energy performance, but will also dramatically improve the look and feel of the neighbourhood. 

Part of the innovation is how works are funded. The household pays an ‘energy plan’ to the landlord and the landlord receives an ongoing income to fund similar works to more homes. The resident has a much more comfortable home and a flat rate cost for energy, which will not grow significantly when bills rise. 

A further part of the innovation relates to procurement. By using a collaborative, outcome-focused approach and by requiring the developer to guarantee that the homes will perform as specified well into the future, the market is incentivised to put forward more innovative solutions. With offsite manufacture of some of the solutions, cost savings should be achieved as the approach is scaled up.

As a pilot, the work on the first 10 homes is not yet possible without support. This pilot is part of a cluster of smart city solutions being delivered in Nottingham over a three-year period under the European-funded REMOURBAN project, which seeks to show how sustainability can be integrated into the regeneration of our towns and cities.

This is just the start. Nottingham will be the home of the first UK pilot, but the Energiesprong UK team is co-ordinating efforts by several local authorities and housing providers across the UK.  Working together, we can share learning to speed up the innovation process and reduce costs more quickly.

We are ambitious to do more and are seeking funding for the next stage of development. By working together, we can find the cost-effective solutions to make homes almost zero net energy and really tackle fuel poverty once and for all.

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest public sector news

CIPFA warns councils against exposing public money to risk in commercial property investment

19/10/2018CIPFA warns councils against exposing public money to risk in commercial property investment

Councils have been warned not to expose public funds to “unnecessary or unquantified risk” when borrowing to invest in commercial pro... more >
Oxford housing plan to build ‘upwards’ approved by city council

19/10/2018Oxford housing plan to build ‘upwards’ approved by city council

Plans to build “upwards” for the first time in Oxford city centre in a bid to tackle a major shortage of housing have been approved b... more >
Council strips contract from NHS trusts and hands it to Virgin after High Court row

18/10/2018Council strips contract from NHS trusts and hands it to Virgin after High Court row

Lancashire County Council (LCC) has awarded a controversial £104m healthcare contract to Virgin Care for the second time after a hearing in... more >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this... read more >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the o... more > more last word articles >
500 jobs could go as city council eyes 5% tax hike to tackle £28m deficit

11/10/2018500 jobs could go as city council eyes 5% tax hike to tackle £28m deficit

Up to 500 jobs are at risk at Wolverhampton and residents face a council tax rise of 4.99% in what has been described as “the most significant financial challenge the council has ever faced... more >
Government removes intervention in Tower Hamlets LBC

05/10/2018Government removes intervention in Tower Hamlets LBC

James Brokenshire has formally ended the government’s intervention in Tower Hamlets London Borough Council following “significant improvements” in a recent review. The Mini... more >

the raven's daily blog

What cities should become

15/10/2018What cities should become

Tom Leaver, project manager at Future Cities Catapult, examines the rationale behind the creation of the City Data Sharing Toolkit, and explores how this is driving a seismic shift in how cities evolve into our data-rich future. We’re used to big-screen sci-fi future cities being dystopian monoliths to everything wrong with the worl... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

comment

Inspiring leadership in social value

15/10/2018Inspiring leadership in social value

We have learned a lot since the last National Social Value Conference, with many organisations both in the public and private sectors now embeddi... more >
Is fair funding possible, or pie in the sky?

15/10/2018Is fair funding possible, or pie in the sky?

David Phillips, associate director at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, discusses the current health of local government finance, and how a bette... more >
Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

15/10/2018Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

On 6 September, the biggest decision-makers of the north joined forces to celebrate and debate how to drive innovation and improvement through th... more >
The Convention of the North

15/10/2018The Convention of the North

Steve Rotheram, mayor of the Liverpool City Region, discusses the findings of the very first Convention of the North, which was held in Newcastle... more >

interviews

Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

15/10/2018Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

On 6 September, the biggest decision-makers of the north joined forces to celebrate and debate how to drive innovation and improvement through th... more >
Michael King: Time for Ombudsman reform

06/08/2018Michael King: Time for Ombudsman reform

Michael King first joined the Local Government Ombudsman service back in 2004 as deputy ombudsman. At the start of 2017, he was appointed as the ... more >
Helping a city understand itself

06/08/2018Helping a city understand itself

SPONSORED INTERVIEW The urban landscape is changing. How can local authorities keep up with citizen behaviour? Stephen Leece, managing directo... more >
Modern policing: the future is bright

06/08/2018Modern policing: the future is bright

SPONSORED INTERVIEW The public sector, and policing in particular, has often been criticised as being slow to adapt to change. But now, says L... more >

public sector focus

View all News