Circle Housing Group seeks new energy deal
One of the country’s largest affordable housing providers has launched the search for a new partnership with a single energy provider that could set a new precedent for energy procurement in the sector.
The agreement for an energy partner to deliver Circle Housing Group’s entire gas and electricity needs is planned to generate lower energy costs, a lucrative level of ECO funding and significant cost savings.
Circle will invest the savings back into improving the energy efficiency of its homes, protecting thousands of residents against rising fuel bills. The deal could ultimately secure better energy rates for Circle’s 65,000 households.
The housing provider will initially work with its energy partner to supply gas and electricity for all its office spaces and the communal areas used by Circle’s sheltered housing tenants, saving the group an estimated £3 million over ten years.
The partnership arrangement will include:
- Preferential access to ECO funding for solid wall, hard to treat cavities and basic loft and cavity insulation measures.
- A full package of easy-to-reach advice and guidance to Circle customers, helping them to save energy and understand their bills
- Further access to support for those who are in or vulnerable to fuel poverty
- Opportunities for local employment and apprenticeship within Circle communities
- Access to competitive rates for the supply of materials
Helen Wilson, Group Head of Energy and Green Strategy at Circle Housing Group, said: ”A significant number of people living in fuel poverty are currently residents of social housing providers*. So we are procuring an energy partner to work with us to offer a unique package which will help us invest in our homes and hopefully, in the future, secure reasonable energy prices for our customers.”
We are in the initial procurement stage at the moment and expect the end result to be an agreement that sets a precedent for combining low cost energy supply and energy saving investment across the housing sector which would help thousands more people.”
* Under the current government definition in 2010 17% of people in fuel poverty, which is when more than 10 per cent of a household’s income is spent on energy bills, are currently residents of social housing providers in England. The elderly, families with young children and people with long-term health problems and disabilities are most at risk of becoming fuel poor. Social housing providers have an important role to play in protecting their residents and helping them to manage the impact of rising fuel costs.