Greener homes pilot scheme underway

Artist impressions of Abbey Rd

Senior members of Kirklees Council were out in Huddersfield to inspect work on a housing retrofit pilot project. The pilot is a demonstration of the council’s commitment to a carbon neutral Kirklees and shows how existing housing can be retrofitted to reduce carbon improve the warmth and comfort of residents.

What is the pilot project?

The pilot will combine a fabric first approach of insulating the loft, cavities and the external walls, with the installation of renewable technologies including a heat pump for heating and hot water which will replace the gas boiler and photovoltaic (solar PV) or solar thermal panels.

The eight properties, at Abbey Road, Far Town will also have new roofs, doors and windows.

Once the work is complete, energy use and the performance of the new greener technologies will be monitored to help measure gains in carbon reduction. This will inform future schemes and help identify other homes across housing stock that could benefit from retrofitting.

Councillor Cathy Scott, Cabinet member for Housing and Democracy, and Deputy Leader of the Council, said:

“Through this pilot, Kirklees Council is looking at a project that could significantly contribute to our efforts in tackling the climate emergency and our aim to be carbon neutral by 2038. The eight properties will hopefully demonstrate that existing housing can be redesigned to use renewable energy instead of fossil fuels and with effective insulation, the carbon footprint of these properties can be diminished to net zero.

Skills and regeneration are key priorities, this small-scale pilot has the potential to lead to larger projects in the future that will create opportunities for the people of Kirklees to learn a new skillset and get involved in innovative technologies.”

Councillor Will Simpson, Cabinet Member for Culture and Greener Kirklees said:

“This pilot project further demonstrates how Kirklees Council is committed to meeting its own carbon neutral targets for the district by 2038. I’m keen to see the results of the survey and how successful retrofitting energy saving solutions are in reducing the domestic carbon footprint.

I am hopeful that this pilot will provide a blueprint for the rest of the council’s housing stock but also a benchmark for privately owned and rented housing, to aim for, across the district and further afield.”

Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, was also on site and added:

“I’m proud to be supporting Kirklees’ housing retrofit pilot which will make a real difference to the quality of life of its residents. By making homes more energy efficient, we can help people keep warm and reduce their energy bills while contributing to our ambition to make West Yorkshire net-zero carbon by 2038.”

When is the work due to end?

Kirklees Council are working in partnership with Michael Dyson Associates, who have designed the properties, and Groundwork who are coordinating the retrofit project and will ensure the scheme is delivered to PAS 2035.

Work started on 2 August 2021 and is due to end this December. Tenants are looking forward to no more gas bills and a greener home.