Over the last year the Co-operative has been focusing efforts on tackling fuel poverty in a number of areas within the estate to help reduce carbon emissions, improve energy efficiency and reduce energy costs.
We have been investigating a variety of options to upgrade the current heating systems within the multi storey and low rise properties to a more modern, affordable and controllable energy efficient heating system as we are concerned that a number of our members are suffering due to rising energy bills.
We are unable to install gas directly within the buildings. As a solution we have been investigating the prospect of installing a bio mass heating energy system which is fuelled mainly by wood chip from a purpose built energy centre. We have been developing proposals, in partnership with NPower and their design team, and are delighted to announce that we have secured a significant funding package to move this forward.
Ground investigation works has been ongoing and is near completion. The following main elements of the proposed project are in the process of being tendered:
- A new energy centre building which will be located on land to the rear of WWHC offices
- Ground works to lay the pipe work to connect to individual towers and low rise buildings
- Installation of pipe work within each building to individual properties
- Installation within individual properties of a heat interface unit (similar to the size of a traditional domestic gas boiler) which instantaneously heats the hot water and radiators. The radiators will be controlled by thermostatic valves.
We are hopeful that the project will start on site with the build of the new energy centre mid to late summer, although, this is dependant on tender return costs being contained within the funding package agreed.
A full tenant communication plan will be developed which will incorporate individual house visits pre installation to discuss the works involved, regular tenant liaison meetings and leaflet information to keep our members fully up to date as the project progresses.
We will update tenants further once we have received the outcome of the tender process.