Energy Performance of Durham homes improved following successful bid for funding

Posted on 16/04/2024

Anchor, England’s largest not-for-profit provider of specialist housing and care for people in later life in partnership with their framework contractors Equans, have upgraded the Energy Performance of 23 properties in Durham, after securing funding from the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF) Wave 2.

The project follows a successful bid for SHDF funding that Anchor submitted as part of the Greener Futures Partnership, a group of like-minded housing associations who have come together to tackle the long-term decarbonisation challenge.

Anchor secured £2.2 million of SHDF funding and are using this to deliver energy efficiency works to 341 homes that are below an Energy Performance Certificate’ rating of C, with homes in Hawkshead Court, a housing location in Newton Aycliffe, Durham one of the first to benefit.

Working with Equans, Anchor completed retrofit assessment surveys to all properties, improvements were designed, and in January 2024, works got underway to improve residents’ homes. One of the measures that took place was to replace old storage heaters with new Elnur high heat retention storage heaters, which offer residents much more control of their heating without compromising on warmth and affordability.

Resident Jimmy Sneddon, 75 have already seen the benefits.

Jimmy said: “100% improvement! I don’t need my plug-in heater anymore; I’ve put it away! There is a warm air drift from the new heaters. It’s lovely and warm all through my flat.

Liz Davenport, Property Sustainability Director at Anchor, said: “As part of Anchor’s long term sustainability strategy and in line with Government targets, we need to ensure all our rented properties reach an ‘Energy Performance Certificate’ of C or above by 2030 whilst also ensuring residents’ homes are comfortable and affordable to live.

“This programme of works plays a key role in delivering on these aims and supporting our longer-term net zero carbon target by reducing carbon emissions.

“We are taking a ‘fabric first’ approach which means making homes more energy efficient by improving the fabric of the building including measures such as windows, wall, and loft insulation, followed by making improvement inside the home with upgrades to heating systems and installing low energy lighting.”

Tim Wood, Director of Sustainability & Innovation at Equans, said: “Equans is committed to making a Net Zero future happen for our clients across the country. By working closely with Anchor, we’re enabling them to make lasting, positive, change to the carbon footprint of their housing stock, starting with Hawkshead Court in Newton Aycliffe.

“The benefits aren’t just at a corporate level, and it’s rewarding for us to see residents are already benefiting from the works we’ve carried out in their homes. Hopefully they’ll be feeling the benefits of improved energy efficiency and newer technology.”