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Homes ‘transformed’ thanks to £2.1mn energy improvement programme

The completion of a £2.1mn energy efficiency improvement programme is helping residents in County Durham and Northumberland save up to 40% on their energy bills.
Ouston SHDF The Brooms

Delivered by northern housing association Karbon Homes, through the programme 91 homes have been fitted with a range of energy saving measures, making them warmer, greener, and cheaper to run.

Energy improvements have included external wall, cavity loft, and underfloor insulation, new roofs, and PV panels.

57 of these homes are in the village of Ouston, County Durham. Karbon appointed north east regeneration specialists RE:GEN Group to deliver the work at Ouston and many of the residents are describing their homes as being ‘transformed’.

One happy resident is Pauline Lowes, who said: “I’m really chuffed with Karbon, they have one very happy bunny here and a lot more on the estate. My bungalow needed some TLC and the work I’ve had done has transformed it. The difference is phenomenal.

“All the work they’ve done has been great, already I’m noticing I’m saving on my energy bill. We need that these days, with the price of energy. And from an environmental perspective, everyone asked should be taking up the offer of having work like this done, it all adds up.”

The programme was partly funded by a grant from the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund, set up to help registered providers of social housing across the UK improve the energy performance of their homes.

Anthony Bell, Assistant Director of Asset and Regeneration at Karbon Homes, said: “This is the first large-scale retrofit programme we’ve completed of this kind and we’re really pleased with the results. From the outside the homes look fantastic and the feedback we’ve received from customers has been really positive.

“Not only has this programme helped us lower the carbon footprint of these homes, but it’s also helped us provided our customers with warmer, more comfortable homes. As the cost of living crisis continues to have an impact, and we look for more ways to help customers financially, this work has never been more important.”

Lee Francis, CEO of RE:GEN Group, said: “It was great to visit the site and hear first-hand from both clients and residents that they’re happy with our work and are already reaping the benefits of living in warmer, healthier homes.

“Retrofitting homes in this way plays a significant role in helping the UK reach net zero by 2050 and we’re proud to be at the forefront of driving these sustainability improvements to social housing across the North East.

“We’re now looking ahead to our second SHDF project in partnership with Karbon which is testament to the hard work from all involved at RE:GEN and our supply chain partners.”

Thanks to another grant from the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF) Wave 2.1, Karbon will be investing £3.2mn in improving the energy efficiency of 218 more homes across Northumberland and County Durham over the next two years.

This upcoming project contributes towards a wider, £80mn retrofit investment across the North East and Yorkshire, delivered by a consortium of 18 housing associations, councils and ALMOs in the region and led by the North East and Yorkshire Net Zero Hub.

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