Energy efficient technologies installed in homes

Over two thousand homes in north-west England are benefiting from a green scheme to reduce carbon emissions and fuel costs, whilst stimulating the regional economy.

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Thanks to REECH, one of the project beneficiaries, Helena Partnerships, has been able to take on new apprentices. Thanks to REECH, one of the project beneficiaries, Helena Partnerships, has been able to take on new apprentices.

The Renewables and Energy Efficiency in Community Housing (REECH) initiative is aiming to retrofit energy-saving technologies in over 2000 social-rented homes in some of the most deprived communities in Merseyside and Halton.

The scheme involves installing external and internal wall insulation, air source ground pumps, energy efficient boilers, solar water heating systems, passive and mechanical ventilation, triple glazing, LED lighting and voltage optimisers in 2 112 households.

Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council is the lead partner in the project which also covers four other local authorities in Merseyside, as well as Halton in the neighbouring county of Cheshire.

New business opportunities

By increasing demand for green technologies, one of the project’s aims is to provide new business opportunities for local suppliers and contractors working in the green energy / low carbon sector.  It is estimated that the installation work will lead to a 12 000 tonne reduction in carbon dioxide emissions over the lifetime of the three-year project. The modelled CO2 savings measured over the lifetime of the energy efficiency measures installed are estimated at 115 000 tonnes.

Economically, the project is expected to leverage in a further GBP 9.5 million (EUR 11 million) of private sector investment and increase Gross Value Added (GVA) economic activity in the region by GBP 4 million (EUR 4.6 million).

Project Manager Frank Egerton said that the project has provided a significant opportunity for local companies in the construction supply chain to learn more about retrofitting whilst others have been directly employed insulating the homes. 

“Many of the companies have attended seminars arranged by REECH and some have gone on to complete training and have received accreditation for the installation of external wall insulation,” he said.

“Training providers have started to see that there is a demand for more courses in this area and they are now providing capacity to meet that demand. Two hundred and thirty jobs have already been created indirectly through REECH, and we would expect to see jobs in this sector increase over the next few years.”

Mr Egerton added that, by saving energy and reducing household fuel costs, the project would help to lift people in some of the region’s poorest communities out of fuel poverty.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment in the “Renewables and Energy Efficiency in Community Housing (REECH)” project is GBP 15 000 000 (EUR 17 400 000), of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributed GBP 7 170 624 (EUR 8 300 000) for the 2007 to 2013 programming period. The project is funded through the priority “Creating conditions for sustainable growth” of the Operational Programme “North West England”

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