Scheme that saw residents’ bills almost halved is shortlisted for award
Published by Hywel Lloyd for Merlin Housing Society in Housing and also in Communities
One of the finished non-traditional properties
A scheme to improve the energy efficiency of homes in Cadbury Heath has been shortlisted for a prestigious award after residents’ bills were almost halved.
The Merlin Housing Society project saw 66 homes in the Bristol suburb fitted with external wall insulation as well as the replacement of windows, doors and roofs as part of a £2.6 million investment.
The post-Second World War homes were earmarked for improvement in 2012, with regeneration specialist Keepmoat appointed to carry out the work part-funded by a £147,000 ECO grant. The work has seen residents save up to 40% on their gas and electricity bills and reduced carbon emissions.
But it’s not just the residents whose homes have been improved who are benefitting from the work; Merlin and Keepmoat have also been working with local schools, colleges and community centres to leave a lasting legacy throughout the area. The partnership has worked with Avon Fire and Rescue Service to raise awareness of fire safety, sponsored an apprentice at Juice Community Project and donated money to local community groups.
Now the scheme has now been shortlisted for the Chartered Institute of Building’s South West Built Environment Award for Value.
Project Manager Richard Hopkins of Merlin Housing Society said: “These homes are the first of 1000 we will be improving in the next few years. The work has made a huge difference to the people living in them who now have warmer homes that are cheaper to heat. This work is bringing these homes into the 21st century, making them energy efficient and extending their life by up to 30 years.
“Residents have been full of praise for the work we’ve carried out to their homes and we’re delighted that the project has now been shortlisted for this prestigious award.”
Paul Senior, Regeneration Managing Director at Keepmoat added: “We feel that this exemplar project, demonstrates true value to; the partnership, the community and the residents. We hope that by working with the local community we’ve achieved more than a successful scheme for the residents and that wider benefits have been felt by others in the wider community.”
The work in Cadbury Heath is the first part of a £23m project that will see external wall insulation fitted to 1,000 Merlin properties over the next few years.