Scheme that cuts heating bills at old and cold council houses could benefit Bulwell

Renovation work taking place to improve energy efficiency at some properties in Nottingham
Renovation work taking place to improve energy efficiency at some properties in Nottingham

Bulwell could soon benefit from a pioneering scheme to turn hard-to-heat council houses into ultra-low-energy homes.

Nottingham is the first place in the UK to pilot the ground-breaking approach to house renovation, known as Energiesprong, which originated in the Netherlands.

Ten old homes have been successfully completed by Nottingham City Council, with a further 17 under way.

The project will then be rolled out to 138 properties throughout the city, managed on the council’s behalf by Nottingham City Homes (NCH), with further phases also being planned.

It is improving the environmental performance of homes, as well as cutting bills and lifting residents out of fuel poverty.

Coun Sally Longford, deputy leader of the council, said: “This  pilot is a far-sighted, exciting and highly effective way of tackling old and cold council housing.

“It is making a huge different to tenants, so I am delighted we are rolling it out to more properties, where we can reduce emissions and bills while increasing warmth and wellbeing.”

Energiesprong updates a home with innovative, energy-saving and energy-generating measures, including highly insulated outside walls and windows, a solar roof and a state-of-the-art heating system.

The result is that homes are almost net zero carbon. Considering older homes account for a large proportion of carbon emissions, the project, which has been backed by £5 million of European funding, is helping the council reach its target of becoming carbon neutral by 2028.

Wayne Bexton, head of energy services at the council, described Energiesprong as “a new chapter in decarbonising”.

Nick Murphy, chief executive of NCH, said: “It’s important that we insulate our homes and make them more energy-efficient for the future.

“As well as helping fight climate change, this will tackle fuel poverty, making our homes warmer and cheaper to run.”

Esther Lutzuver, an NCH tenant who has benefited from the initial pilot, said: “My home was really cold before, and I dreaded winters.

“I can’t believe the difference the refurbishment has made.”