This is the project report for the Social Housing Energy Management project. The project is a partnership project between the UK’s National Renewable Energy Centre (Narec), South Tyneside Council and their managing agent South Tyneside Homes and Northumberland County Council and their managing agent Homes for Northumberland. The consortium has received £1.9m investment from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the total project value is £3.84 million.
The project involved retrofitting low carbon and renewable technologies onto over 300 properties managed by South Tyneside Homes and Homes for Northumberland. The properties were selected as they were considered “hard to treat, hard to heat”. A “hard to treat, hard to heat” property is one of non-traditional build or off the gas network, the properties selected for this project were all of nontraditional build. Under the original definition of fuel poverty, North East England had the highest levels of fuel poverty in England in 2010, thus one of the major objectives of the project was to remediate fuel poverty in socially rented properties.
Throughout this project, Narec has worked with Narec Distributed Energy to monitor the homes. This has included resident surveys, thermal imaging and using data loggers to measure the internal and external temperatures of the homes. Air pressure tests were commissioned and carried out on a sample of five properties to understand the improvements in air infiltration rates.
In addition to the testing and monitoring aspect of the project, a unique SME capacity building programme was delivered. Through the project, regional SMEs were able 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.
This report uses the data collected, in addition to third party data, to understand the impacts of the improvements to the properties.