A multimillion pound project is underway to make homes across County Durham warmer, greener and cheaper to run.
The housing association believe housing is upgrading more than 1,000 properties with a series of measures to make them more energy efficient.
Contractor RE:GEN Group will carry out work such as loft, cavity wall and underfloor insulation along with ventilation, on homes which will benefit most from the measures. Energy efficient lighting and new heating controls could also be installed.
The first properties to receive upgrades, increasing their EPC (energy performance certificate) rating to C, were completed this week (Monday, 11 July 2022) with the wider scheme of works due to be finished before April 2023.
Funding towards the scheme was secured from the first wave of the government’s Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF).
A total of £6m funding was awarded to a consortium of five housing associations, including believe housing, and led by Durham County Council.
The biggest share of the SHDF funding, of almost £3.4m, went to believe housing which is investing an additional £1.69m in the scheme.
Ruth Dent, Director of Assets and Compliance at believe housing, said: “Securing this funding was a real achievement and it is great to now see the work well underway by RE:GEN Group.
“This scheme will make many of our customers’ homes warmer, more energy efficient, reduce carbon emissions and fuel bills.
“And the timing couldn’t have been better.
“With energy costs expected to rise again this winter, when the cold weather arrives, this work will start helping to reduce energy consumption and save money for our customers and keep them warm and comfortable at home.”
This scheme is the latest in a series of initiatives which believe housing has worked on with north-east regeneration specialists RE:GEN Group.
Ruth said: “We’ve got some great partnership work on the go with RE:GEN Group, which means we’re able to support regional jobs and a more local supply chain, which is good for the environment and local economy.
“Working with people who live and work in the north-east also means they know the area and care about giving back to the communities they are working in as much as we do.”
Brian Bedford, Head of Sustainability at RE:GEN Group, said: “Delivering energy efficient and ventilation measures to 1000 homes before the end of March is certainly a challenge but displays the determination of both believe housing and RE:GEN Group in reducing carbon emissions.
“The results will not only provide residents with a warmer more comfortable home, it will also help with alleviating the pressures associated with the rising energy crisis and increased cost of living.”
The SHDF-backed scheme supports believe housing’s objectives to create thriving places and homes people want to live in and to respect and protect the planet.