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Whole House Retrofit

In July 2020 the Government announced funding for Cornwall Council to start work on a pioneering programme to make residents’ homes more energy efficient.

The Council is one of three local authorities across the country to secure funding. The funding comes from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s Energy Innovation Programme for the Whole House Retrofit Innovation project.

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The £4.2m pilot scheme is also receiving funding from the Council and its energy partner SSE. This will see improvements fitted to 83 homes managed by Cornwall Housing such as

  • decommission chimney
  • hot water tank
  • insulation to external walls
  • ground floor insulation
  • loft insulation 
  • solar panels
  • single room ventilation and heat recovery
  • double glazing
  • temperature controls
  • ground source heating
  • heat pumps

Work is set to start on the first 16 homes in autumn 2020. The work involves using innovative solutions that aim to significantly reduce the

  • properties’ emissions
  • heat loss
  • and running costs for residents.

All work will be carried out following social distancing safety requirements.

The Whole House Retrofit programme is a key part of the Council’s response to the climate emergency. The carbon-reducing programme aims to be a cost-effective model to improve energy efficiency to Cornwall’s existing homes. It will cut energy bills for residents and help to reduce fuel poverty.

The Council hopes the ground-breaking scheme will be the first step in wider plans to fit mass retrofit improvements across Cornwall’s housing stock. The scheme will help Cornwall strive towards becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

“While we respond to the COVID-19 pandemic we continue our work tackling the climate emergency. We welcome this Government announcement today which will allow us to progress our plans to make our homes warmer and greener. The Whole House Retrofit programme is one of the priority projects of our ambitious Carbon Neutral Cornwall programme. Cabinet approved the Carbon Neutral Cornwall programme last year in response to the climate emergency. We need to substantially reduce emissions from Cornwall’s existing homes, which make up 21% of our overall carbon footprint. We need to do this while reducing energy bills for Cornish residents; particularly householders on low incomes and those who are vulnerable to the effects of living in a cold home. The 83 homes in this pilot will benefit from a radical improvement, reducing their emissions by up to 80 per cent. And delivering this project will provide very useful learning to inform our approach to retrofitting our 10,000 Cornwall Council homes.”

“We welcome this funding from BEIS which will enable us to demonstrate how we can retrofit our own Council homes. This will ensure their energy performance is fit for a carbon neutral energy system. But to help Cornwall become carbon neutral by 2030 we are asking the Government to support us in providing the finance and training needed for us to undertake the mass housing retrofit of all Cornwall’s homes that are rated below EPC level C. Cornwall has

  • over 97,000 solid wall properties
  • 133,000 homes off gas

These properties are a priority for energy efficiency improvements. They are a key part of our response to tackling the climate emergency.”

“I am pleased that we now have the opportunity to move ahead with this pilot. It will provide important learning to develop larger-scale programmes and proposals for our own housing stock but also for other social landlords, the private rented sector and more widely across Cornwall.”

“We are delighted to be involved in this project. It will not only improve the energy efficiency of our homes but ultimately benefit the people of Cornwall by contributing to a better environment for the future.”

Cornwall Council’s Whole House Retrofit Innovation programme will be managed by SSE Energy Solutions with support from PRP Architects LLP which designed the Whole House Retrofit system. It will be monitored and evaluated by BRE.

The Whole House Retrofit Innovation programme is receiving £1.051m from BEIS, £2.28m from Cornwall Council and £0.88 from SSE.