Almost £10m is being made available to retrofit up to 1,000 homes owned by housing associations and councils in Wales
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Housing is responsible for 27% of all energy consumed in Wales and 15% of all demand side greenhouse gas emissions, part of the Welsh government’s larger Innovative Housing Programme, the Optimised Retrofit Programme (ORP) will fund measures to reduce the carbon footprint of existing social homes in Wales.
A competition will be launched next month to support the piloting of innovative solutions for retrofitting housing stock.
The knowledge gained from this process will be used to influence the future of the Welsh Housing Quality Standard, which sets out standards that homes in Wales must meet.
Announced earlier this year, the Welsh government’s £45m Innovative Housing Programme provides funding for the building of new carbon neutral social homes using modern methods of construction.
The Welsh government currently has a target to reduce greenhouse gases by 95% by 2050 with an ambition to reach net zero in the future.
Announcing the plans, Welsh housing minister Julie James said: “The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the importance of a warm, secure and affordable home like never before. It has also shown the positive effects of reducing greenhouse gasses.
“Housing is responsible for 27% of all energy consumed in Wales and 15% of all demand side greenhouse gas emissions. While we have plans in place to ensure new homes are heated and powered only from clean energy sources, ensuring our existing housing stock is as energy efficient as possible is vital to if we are to meet our ambitious target of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 95% by 2050.
“This scheme is essential to tackling climate change, and driving down household energy costs now and in the future. Helping people, including those on lower incomes, to reduce their fuel bills while keeping their homes warm.”
Clarissa Corbisiero, deputy chief executive and director of policy and external affairs at Community Housing Cymru, said: “Despite the immediate threat of COVID-19, the climate emergency has not gone away, and the pandemic has only highlighted the need for more good quality, affordable homes.
“Housing associations in Wales are committed to playing their part in tackling these issues. We now have an opportunity to learn from the experiences of the last few months, and be ambitious in our response. This funding is a welcome first step to decarbonise 1,000 homes, build local supply chains and create jobs in our communities.”
Source: Inside Housing