OVO to deliver 400 whole-house retrofits in Cornwall to lower household energy costs
The energy solutions arm of OVO is partnering with Cornwall Council to deliver “whole-house” retrofits to more than 400 homes across the region and the Isles of Scilly, in a bid to help households combat the rising costs of energy and gas.
OVO Energy solutions, which is the UK’s third-largest energy supplier, will deliver energy efficiency solutions to more than 400 homes across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. These homes are off-gas and will be fitted with more than 1,000 retrofit measures.
The “whole-house” approach focuses on the fabric of the house first, such as external walls, cavity and loft insulation and underfloor insulation before then turning to energy efficiency technologies such as air source heat pumps, high retention storage heaters, solar PV and double glazing.
The improvements will be delivered as part of the Cornwall Winter Wellbeing partnership, with OVO Energy Solutions also set to work with Cornwall Council and Cornwall Housing on a Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund Demonstrator project in Falmouth to 45 Cornish Units.
The Social Housing Decarbonisation project, is a UK Government initiative focused on improving heat retention and reducing emissions across the lifetime of a building.
The expected annual cost saving is due to be around £600 per household. The project is due to be completed in July 2022.
OVO’s chief executive Raman Bhatia said: “By working with leading local authorities and housing associations, we’ve unlocked a huge opportunity to create greener, more energy-efficient homes for those people who live in draughty homes and will benefit from lower energy bills.
“Now, more than ever, the projects are critical to supporting households during the cost of living crisis while also bringing down the carbon footprint of the home. We’re proud to be working with Cornwall Council to retrofit homes across the county by installing technology, such as heat pumps or solar panels, and improve the lives of people in the community.”
At the start of the year, Ofgem announced the new energy price cap for average gas and electricity bills, meaning that the average home will see dual-fuel bills rise above £1,900. There have been fresh calls for Government-level focus on energy efficiency and renewables to decrease the nation’s reliance on imported gas.
The UK Government’s Energy Security Strategy, published in April, was dubbed an ‘Energy Generation Strategy’ by some commentators. It included headline-grabbing new targets on offshore wind (50GW by 2030) and hydrogen generation (10GW by 2030), as well as lofty ambitions on nuclear and more support for oil and gas – in spite of the potential climate impact.
Yet reducing energy consumption in the first instance was clearly not a priority.
The Energy Security Strategy confirms that Government’s current retrofit plans will improve the energy efficiency of up to 500,000 households out of the national stock of 27.8 million. For public sector buildings, £2.5bn is on the table through to 2025. There is no support on offer for business’ buildings.
The 2022 Spring Statement saw the zero-rating of VAT for insulation and low-carbon heating for homes. But it has been predicted that this will only incentivise action from high-income households that were already considering installation, with upfront technology costs still too high for most despite a recorded growth in interest.