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Improving the energy efficiency of council homes

An ambitious retrofit scheme from Winchester City Council is reducing the carbon emissions and running costs of four vacant council homes before they are relet.

The four properties, located in Droxford and South Wonston, are receiving energy saving upgrades such as new internal wall insulation and new heating systems, which will improve their energy rating (EPC) from grade D to grade C.

Void retrofit
Councillor Paula Ferguson speaks to retrofit teams outside a vacant council home currently undergoing retrofit works in Droxford

The project follows on from a successful scheme to retrofit five timber-framed ‘Swedish cottages’ in Bramdean and Cheriton, which have received full fabric upgrades and, in some cases, new heating systems, raising their EPC ratings from D-F up to a C

Speaking about the retrofit programme, Deputy Leader of the council and Cabinet Member for Community and Housing Cllr Paula Ferguson said:

The energy efficiency of the council’s housing is key to our plans to tackle the climate emergency - we are committed to making our council housing greener faster. It’s therefore great to see this work getting underway as part of our wider retrofit programme with the ambitious target to make all council homes carbon neutral by 2030.”

“These works are also good news for the new tenants as the properties will cost less to heat once the improvements are made – that’s a huge benefit, especially given the challenges that many face given the significant rise in the cost of living.”

The retrofitting of these vacant properties is just part of the council’s plans to improve the energy and cost efficiency of council homes.

A second scheme, Retrofit Ready, which aims to make smaller energy efficiency upgrades to homes that are currently tenanted, got underway towards the end of last year. A callout asking tenants if they'd like the upgrades received over 800 responses and energy assessments have now begun for those homes, with work starting on some measures such as upgrades to windows, doors and extractor fans starting almost immediately.


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