Hubbub and OVO to trial street-wide energy efficiency programme for Glasgow households
Environmental charity Hubbub has announced a new partnerships with the solutions arm of energy supplier OVO to find a street of households in Glasgow and help them reduce energy bills through installations and behaviour change methods.
Working in partnership with OVO Energy Solutions, Hubbub has called on Glasgow residents to apply for a street-wide trial to reduce energy bills as the cost-of-living crisis swells.
The project will see OVO Energy Solutions and on-the-ground experts work with the selected street to educate households on what actions and improvements can save the most money on energy bills.
Residents will also be able to choose from improvements in the form of installations, supported where possible by grants. These include solid wall insulation, loft insulation, underfloor insulation, upgrading heating systems, upgrading windows and energy efficiency lighting.
Energy and cost-savings will be independently monitored throughout. Relevant residents have until 11 September to apply.
Hubbub’s co-founder Gavin Ellis said: “We’re really keen to discover what is possible when a community comes together to tackle energy use in the home. This might include economies of scale by multiple houses on the same street carrying out the same work or be as simple as sharing ideas and information.
“We’re looking for a street that already has a strong sense of community spirit and is happy to work together and help each other. We hope the learnings and insight gained from this project will inspire other communities to work together and our ultimate aim is to create a model that can be replicated by people across Glasgow, Scotland, and the UK.”
Cost crisis crunch
Throughout 2021, when the gas prices first started a dramatic rise, OVO Energy Solutions insulated more than 1,500 homes. The company claims all of these were “vulnerable or fuel poor households”, of which 50% were privately owned.
The announcement of the trials comes as new analysis from the ECIU found that homes rated band F on the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) system will likely have to pay gas bills that are £968 higher than those rated band C. The Government is notably aiming for the UK’s housing stock to reach a minimum on band C by 2035.
Currently, the average UK home is rated in band D and these homes will have to pay around £420 more for gas this winter compared to those in a higher band. The ECIU notes that wholesale gas costs have added £2,500 to energy bills during the current cost of living crisis, when electricity is also accounted for, the worst performing homes will need to pay almost £2,000 extra compared to band C homes.
New research published on Tuesday (9 August) by Cornwall Insight has warned that household energy bill costs could surpass £4,200 early next year, bringing in fresh concerns that the UK is failing to respond to the energy cost and supply crises.
Cornwall Insight’s estimates suggest that households would end up paying £355 a month for a dual-fuel bill, compared to £164 currently.
Commenting on the trials OVO’s commercial development director Mark Robson said: “The pioneering trial will help bring neighbours together to upgrade their homes with green technology and reduce their bills. Now, more than ever, projects like this are critical to supporting households through the next winter while also improving the lives of people in the local community.”