21 homes in Malton, North Yorkshire were the first to receive the upgrades, with the remainder, which are in other cities, towns and villages across the county, scheduled for completion by March 2024.
The work is part of Yorkshire Housing’s drive to improve the energy efficiency of its 16,500 homes. All the homes earmarked for the improvements have an energy performance rating of SAP Band D or E, which means they are using more energy and have higher running costs than other homes. Yorkshire Housing currently has around 3,500 homes that are SAP Band D or below, and is aiming to improve these ratings to SAP Band C or above by 2030.
As well as replacing roofs, which is part of a routine programme of upgrade work, Yorkshire Housing is also fitting solar panels, using an integrated system that embeds them seamlessly into the roof. The panels are designed to sit flush with the roof and provide the same protection as roof tiles, while also generating solar energy.
Supplied by roof systems manufacturer Marley Ltd, they create a sleek, unobtrusive finish, which is particularly important in conservation areas where there are strict regulations in place to preserve and protect the character of a neighbourhood.
The project is part of a wider programme of investment that supports Yorkshire Housing’s commitment to reducing its environmental impact and tackling climate change.
Bob Spedding, Head of Asset Strategy at Yorkshire Housing said: “Our 16,500 homes across Yorkshire produce around 50,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year and we plan to get that number to zero by 2050. To help us do that we’re investing £30 million over the next five years in an extensive programme of energy efficiency and heating system upgrades, as well as spending £36 million on external elements like roofs and walls.
“Our approach to this work is also a great example of how improved planning is allowing us to work smarter. Fitting energy efficiency measures like solar panels during planned routine work that’s needed to maintain the integrity of our homes is much less disruptive for our customers and is also more efficient and cost-effective for Yorkshire Housing, so it’s a win-win situation.”
Households are continuing to feel the pressure of the cost of living crisis and the changes Yorkshire Housing is making to its homes is already helping customers reduce the amount of energy they use and saving them money on their electricity bills.
Mia Marshall, a Yorkshire Housing customer whose home in Malton was part of the first phase of work said: “The improvements have made a big difference. I’m already seeing savings on my electricity usage after my first meter reading since the work was done, and the roofs look great too.”
Yorkshire Housing’s investment in improving the energy efficiency of its homes has gathered pace in the last couple of years. Its first major upgrade project in 2022 was in the Craven area of North Yorkshire, where solid fuel heating systems were replaced with low carbon alternatives in 30 homes, reducing customers’ energy consumption and cutting carbon emissions by around 30 tonnes a year.
It is also nearing completion of a £1.3 million energy efficiency upgrade project in the village of Staxton, near Scarborough, and another is due to start on 32 rural homes in North Yorkshire later this year.