Poverty and Inequality

08.01.19

Nottingham council to rollout ultra-low energy homes using Dutch model to half energy bills

Nottingham has become the first city council to pioneer the “Energiesprong” initiative which has upgraded the energy efficiency of thousands of homes in the Netherlands and will aim to cut UK tenants’ energy bills by half.

The city council has secured over £5m in funding to roll out the ultra-low energy homes pilot which will see over 150 social housing homes in Nottingham receive new wall cladding, windows and solar panels.

The funding comes from the EU’s European Regional Development Fund, and Nottingham City Council hopes the scheme will tackle some of the region’s older housing stock which is harder to heat, lifting residents out of fuel poverty.

One Nottingham tenant from the initial pilot, Esther Lutzuver, said: “These homes were really cold before and I dreaded winters. Before the energy efficiency works, I was planning on moving as the cold was just getting too much.

“I really can’t believe the difference the refurb has made. Last winter was so much better, me and my family found the house to be really warm and my energy bills have not got more expensive in fact I’m paying less. I’m so happy living here now, I’m no longer thinking of moving, I’ve recently redecorated the whole house and I’m saving up for a new carpet.”

Energiesprong is a whole-house renovation approach, pioneering by the Dutch, and upgrades a home with energy-saving and energy-generating measures.

State-of-the-art heating systems, solar rooves, and new highly-insulated outside walls and windows lead to greatly reduced energy demand per household and energy is also created on site via smart use of renewable energy technologies.

The council’s portfolio holder for energy and environment, Sally Longford, commented: “As the city’s largest landlord it’s right that we that we tackle energy inefficient homes as all that wasted energy impacts on our climate change ambitions as well as being expensive for our residents.

“We’re very excited that Nottingham is at the forefront of this revolutionary approach, we’re not only improving people’s homes locally, but also helping to shape a new direction for tackling the UK’s coldest homes.”

The model has been further developed and the new roll-out includes energy efficiency improvements to a city school and a number of homes in Derby.

Before Christmas it was reported that the city council needed to cut £22m from its budget, with an initial 27 jobs being cut. The council was heavily critical of government austerity, and said the main cause of its deficit was the reduction in its main source of government funding being reduced by three quarters since 2013.

There have also been plans for local government restructure across the whole of Nottinghamshire, creating a new unitary authority, but these plans were shelved last month after opposition from leaders and councillors of local district and borough councils in the area.

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