Completion of major fuel poverty alleviation project


Figure 2: Thermal image of Wimpey No Fine system built homes. "A" has no insulation and "B" has external wall cladding. Homes like "A" are to be targeted under ECO using measures like "B" has.Thermal image – “A” has no insulation and “B” has external wall insulation.

The National Renewable Energy Centre (Narec) in partnership with South Tyneside Homes and Homes for Northumberland has undertaken a major fuel poverty alleviation programme of energy efficiency improvements on over 300 socially rented hard-to-heat properties.

The £3.84 million European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)* collaborative project, has installed low carbon and renewable energy technologies and systems to improve the housing stock in the region and regenerate off-gas or non-traditional construction properties. Solutions included external wall cladding, low energy lighting, replacement doors and windows, loft insulation, TRVs, improvements to heating and domestic hot water systems, and enabling works for photovoltaic systems.

As part of the project, the impact and effectiveness of the modifications and improvements made to the different types of housing stock have been monitored and analysed by Narec Distributed Energy.

Key Improvements are:

  • Significant decreases in fuel bills
  • Major improvement in tenant satisfaction with homes
  • Reduction in greenhouse gas emissions

The key message of this project is that energy efficiency and renewable energy are a major weapon in the fight against fuel poverty. The same solutions can reduce fuel poverty and reduce human induced climate change.

In addition to the work included in this report, a unique SME capacity building programme was delivered. Through the project, over 95 regional SMEs were supported to access tailored support and assistance to expand or diversify their business capabilities within the low carbon sector.  By combining this with the retrofit programme, SMEs were able to visit the retrofit works as they were delivered allowing them a unique insight into the installation and use of these low carbon and renewable technologies, over 200 individuals in north east SMEs were supported with skills development.

Full details of this project are available in the end of project report at:

For more information please email: info@narecde.co.uk

Further information on fuel poverty can be found in the following blog posts:

* The European Regional Development Fund exists to reduce economic disparities within and between member states by supporting economic regeneration and safeguarding jobs. Since 2000, England alone has benefited from more than €5bn of funding, with a further €3.2 billion being invested between 2007 and 2013 in local projects around the country. From 2014 to 2020 a further €6.2 billion will be invested in England, with €0.54 billion targeted at the North East of England.

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