Welsh Government invests £10m to boost energy efficiency in social housing

Some of the upgrades that will be trialled include the installation of heat pumps, intelligent energy systems and solar panels

The Welsh Government has announced an additional £10 million of investment to transform social housing through an energy retrofit programme.

The Optimised Retrofit Programme (ORP) is a key part of the government’s plans for a green recovery, with the first year bringing together housing associations and councils on projects that will help upgrade at least 1,000 existing social homes through energy efficient materials and technologies.

The programme will take into account the materials the homes are made from, the way homes are heat and energy is stored as well as the way energy is supplied to homes, with a focus on off gas grid properties.

Some of the upgrades that will be trialled in upcoming ORP projects include the installation of heat pumps, intelligent energy systems and solar panels.

The measures are expected to help tenants as well as the environment by reducing the amount of carbon produced in powering and heating homes as well as reducing fuel poverty and slashing bills for consumers.

The programme supports the Welsh Government’s efforts to decarbonise all 1.4 million homes by 2050.

The latest investment follows previous funding of £9.5 million for the programme.

Julie James, Minister for Housing and Local Government said: “We see the Optimised Retrofit Programme as just one part of our plans for a green recovery, creating a low carbon economy for Wales, reducing fuel poverty and tackling the climate emergency. It’s about much more than just a one-off scheme. This is an approach that could create a sustainable, long-term retrofit industry that supports thousands of local jobs and training opportunities as we act to meet our 2050 carbon targets.

“If it is successful, Optimised Retrofit will set the standard for retrofit schemes in Wales and be the forerunner of an approach and an industry to decarbonise all 1.4 million homes in Wales by 2050. But it is critical we get the approach right first. Just throwing money at the problem doesn’t work and can end up in the installation of poorly fitted measures that aren’t right for the house, don’t work and have to be replaced in just a few years.”

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