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April 26, 2021
Hundreds of UK homes to benefit from Energiesprong approach
Energiesprong UK has been successful in two Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF) funding bids to deliver projects that address challenges seen in the UK retrofit market.
Seven housing providers across two different projects will use the Energiesprong model to deliver energy-efficient homes that are affordable, warm and desirable.
The Energiesprong Model
The Energiesprong model achieves scalable, high quality, net zero solutions, using money which landlords and tenants would have spent on maintenance and energy bills. This is made possible through a long performance guarantee which allows the landlord to charge a fee for comfort, meaning landlords share the energy bill savings with tenants.
Housing providers procure a performance outcome of net zero, rather than a specification, meaning the supply chain has flexibility to innovate to deliver lower cost solutions, driving towards a self-financing business model at scale. To ensure solutions can be rapidly scaled and that quality is high, pre-fabrication and offsite manufacture are expected to be used.
We’ve seen some successful pilots in the UK over the last couple of years, building on thousands of homes being retrofitted in the Netherlands. These have inspired the UK market to act and started to show what is possible.
But let’s be clear. This is new. We are asking the supply chain to develop solutions which don’t yet exist, and so far in the UK, mostly we’ve been asking suppliers to do that for a handful of properties, with stop and start pilot projects. This is particularly unhelpful when we are seeking manufactured solutions which only become cost effective at scale. Whilst the performance guarantee is also essential to the business case, it’s hard for a supplier to guarantee something they have never yet built.
Our SHDF projects are designed to overcome these issues and move the UK forward to a net zero retrofit market which works for the suppliers, purchasers and occupiers, which is the goal of Energiesprong UK.
National Net Zero Retrofit Accelerator (NNZRA)
Working with several London based landlords, and our partners Turner and Townsend through the Retrofit Accelerator for Homes, we launched a ground-breaking ‘Innovation Partnership’ in late 2020.We have now secured funding through the Social Housing Decarbonisation Demonstrator to support six landlords in joining this procurement exercise.
The Innovation Partnership provides a runway for suppliers to develop new net zero, performance guaranteed scalable solutions, from design, through prototyping, and scaling up, resulting in a £10billion framework available to all social housing providers in the UK. The opportunity for scale provides the incentive for suppliers to bid to take part, and for them to invest in innovation.
The Solution Providers are targeted with hitting performance targets and cost reduction at each stage, driving towards the economic price point, required at the end of the partnership to enable housing providers to purchase large volume through the framework, using the Energiesprong approach to business case development.
The Innovation Partnership also allows the collaborative space for demand and supply to work together and to learn together. Using this approach means housing providers really ask for what they want – a partner to develop net zero solutions which don’t yet exist, which can be desirable, warm, and affordable for both them and their tenants.
This tackles a few of my ‘top 10 lessons learnt’ that I discussed at the Retrofit Academy’s recent Retrofit for Social Housing Summit.
Through NNZRA, BEIS will support six landlords to deliver over 200 homes during the initial stages of this procurement, which adds to the 150 homes already committed through our two Whole House Retrofit projects, meaning a total of eight new Energiesprong projects are set to be announced soon, once the suppliers have been selected. These projects kick start programmes which will result in more than 2,000 net zero retrofits over the next few years, with many more to follow once the framework is live.
Energiesprong UK has worked with Nottingham City Homes and Nottingham City Council for our other successful bid, which builds on the Nottingham Energiesprong pilots.
The Destination Zero model seeks to learn deep lessons from the Energiesprong model which can be shared with the wider market by putting the Housing provider in the central role, in place of the solution provider. The project also intends to test whether a two or three stage approach to achieving a net zero standard is firstly possible, and secondly, more cost effective, through smart detailing and integration with Nottingham’s asset management strategy.
The successful bid to the SHDF allows this model to be delivered to 104 properties, which combined with 96 through Nottingham’s Whole House Retrofit project means a total of 200 Nottingham City Council homes will be warmer and more comfortable, following their Destination Zero Energiesprong retrofit. Nottingham City Council has also accessed local authority delivery funding, meaning that the scheme can be delivered to private owner occupiers in the area, creating a decarbonised neighbourhood of warm and comfortable retrofitted homes that is designed with a net zero destination in mind.
We intend to keep people updated on the progress of this project with a blog, so that lessons can be collectively learnt, helping to ‘sprong’ forward the UK net zero retrofit market.
Launched in October 2020, the SHDF Demonstrator project is an initial allocation of £62million in funding to drive innovation in retrofitting across the UK’s social housing sector. The programme will demonstrate innovative approaches to retrofitting social housing at scale, resulting in warmer and more energy efficient homes, a reduction in carbon emissions and lower energy bills.
A total of 19 projects by 17 local authorities have been accepted, with Energiesprong UK playing a pivotal role in two of the successful bids.
Both Energiesprong projects are set to be completed by December 2021 and will serve as a critical use case for the Government’s proposed £3.8bn Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund.