Peabody secures funding for £50 million project to improve homes
Peabody will be investing £50 million in making thousands of its homes more energy efficient after securing £25 million from the second wave of the government’s Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund.
The grant, which Peabody is matching, will allow the organisation to retrofit 6,539 homes with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of D or less, bringing them up to an average standard of EPC C and paving the way for further upgrades in future.
Improvements will include better insulation in walls and lofts, triple glazing where required, and the use of ‘intelligent’ heating controllers and ventilation systems that will save residents money on energy bills. Solar panels will also be used for some homes.
Richard Ellis, Director of Sustainability at Peabody, said: "This £25m funding, which we are matching, will make a considerable difference to the work we can do to retrofit homes to make them fit for the future and warmer and cheaper to run for residents especially in this cost-of-living crisis.
“We know that improving the energy efficiency of older properties could reduce carbon emissions from the UK’s buildings by an estimated five per cent each year and this money will contribute to this, seeing us improve a huge 6,500 homes up to EPC C rating.
“To ensure value for money and improve as many homes as possible, we will implement ‘fabric first’ upgrade measures to thousands of social rent homes in London and the home counties, across a variety of housing types, from Victorian cottages to 1960s system builds.
“With almost three quarters of our homes already EPC C or above, this money means we can begin to tackle the rest of our homes that have an EPC of D or below.”
Peabody and Islington Council successfully bid for £785,000 in the first wave of the government funding last year. The funding, plus a further £1,500,000 from Peabody, was used to improve the energy efficiency of 66 social homes in Tufnell Park.
Peabody aims for all of its homes to be net zero carbon by 2050, in line with the government’s net zero strategy. The organisation recently joined forces with the National Trust, Historic England, The Crown Estate and Grosvenor to call for industry and government collaboration to build a workforce capable of meeting the UK’s climate goals and safeguarding the UK’s historic buildings.
A report commissioned by the group found that improving the energy efficiency of historic properties could reduce carbon emissions from the UK’s buildings by an estimated five per cent each year and generate £35 billion of output in the economy, while making homes warmer and cheaper to run. However, the UK has only half of the skilled workers it needs to do the job.
Lord Callanan, Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance said: “This investment will help thousands of households to heat their homes for less, keep them warm for longer and could save hundreds on their annual energy bill. The green energy sector is growing, and this funding will support green jobs and provide the training needed to deliver these vital upgrades to homes.”
The funding was secured on behalf of Peabody through a successful partnership with carbon saving experts Happy Energy Solutions Ltd. Appointed in 2021 to help secure external funding for energy efficiency works, Happy Energy has been a key partner in helping Peabody to deliver against their net zero ambitions.
Adrian Wright, CEO of Happy Energy, said: “In addition to securing these multimillion pound grants, we have worked alongside Peabody to ensure that the right properties are being targeted with the right measures, maximising the number of homes that can be brought up to an EPC C for the available budgets and providing comprehensive PAS 2035 whole building standard technical support and services.”