Minister visits energy efficiency makeover estate
Published by Craig Downs for Keepmoat in Housing and also in Central Government, Communities, Environment, Local Government
Barry Clay Contracts Manager for Keepmoat, Greg Barker MP Minister for Energy and Climate Change and Iain Stewart MP for Milton Keynes South look at energy efficient roofing materials
A Government Minister has visited a Milton Keynes housing estate to see first hand how energy efficiency measures are transforming the lives of local residents.
Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker met tenants from The Lakes Estate this week – where nearly 500 council-owned homes are undergoing refurbishment as part of a £7.7m project to make them warmer and greener.
The work, which includes installing double glazing, external wall insulation and new cladding, replacing boilers and installing new warm flat roofs, is being carried out by Apollo, part of the housing and regeneration company Keepmoat, on behalf of Milton Keynes Council.
Barry Clay, Contracts Manager for Keepmoat, said: “Energy Efficiency is high on the agenda right now and Keepmoat are highly experienced at providing this type of regeneration work.
“We have worked closely with policy makers to ensure we can provide the type of home improvements required to be carried out as part of the Government’s Green Deal.
“The work we are carrying out not only benefits the environment but also means tenants and home owners could save hundreds of pounds a year on their energy bills, which is obviously very welcome.”
The Lakes Estate was built between 1968 and 1975 and consists of 2,200 homes, mostly terraced houses and bungalows.
About half of these are owned by Milton Keynes Council, with the bulk of the funding for the regeneration work coming from the Council’s Housing Revenue Account, with support from its Carbon Offset Fund.
It is envisaged that many of the privately owned homes on the estate will also undergo renovation over the coming months, with a range of low cost loans being offered by the Council to allow owner occupiers and private sector landlords to take part in the project.
Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said: “The refurbishment project at the Lakes Estate is a fantastic initiative, making homes more energy efficient and helping people to save money and stay warm.
“The Green Deal, which allows the cost of upgrades to be attached to a building’s electricity meter, will help even more homes get energy improvements as there are no upfront costs involved.
“I’m really encouraged by the innovative approach being taken by Milton Keynes Council and the new Community Interest Company to take advantage of the Green Deal and ensure more people in the Lakes Estate can get the energy efficient upgrades they need.”
Derek Beaumont, Housing Contracts and Partnering Manager at Milton Keynes Council, said: “Milton Keynes Council is committed to improving the homes of its tenants with a view to them saving money.
“We have worked successfully with Apollo, now part of Keepmoat, for a number of years to implement our Decent Homes programme so we were confident that they would be able to deliver this project for us.”
The tour of the estate followed a conference organised by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, during which Mr Barker announced new guidance to help local authorities improve the energy efficiency of their residential housing.
Under the plans, councils will be asked to publish a report by the end of March 2013, detailing how they intend to reduce energy use in all residential accommodation in their area.
They will also be asked to consider the role key local partners, such as social housing providers and community organisations, can play in supporting their plans.
It is envisaged that The Green Deal will be significant in helping local authorities achieve their aims.
Iain Stewart, MP for Milton Keynes South, joined Mr Barker during his visit to The Lakes Estate.