Case Studies

Rochdale private housing scheme

The project

Warm Zones developed an external wall insulation (EWI) project in conjunction with Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council that was targeting an estate of private sector houses. The aim of the project was to improve the thermal efficiency of 200 solid wall homes that were proving difficult and expensive to heat.

To maximise the council’s funding Warm Zones blended three funding streams to ensure the maximum number of homes could be treated. The funding was gained from ECO, Rochdale MBC and the Warm Zones Fund, with a total project value of £1.8 million.

The delivery

The scheme was 100% private sector housing so it was challenging and very unpredictable in terms of how residents would respond to the proposition and how many would sign up.  It also meant that the CDM, health and safety and general site management were harder to develop and manage.

As a result, Warm Zones in collaboration with Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council and Groundwork, spent a lot of time doing householder engagement to ensure the residents were aware of the scheme and its benefits, to generate interest, and to enable Warm Zones to assess their properties.

The properties were also very different due to the alterations that many residents had made to their homes e.g. extensions and new door and window configurations. The assessments soon revealed that the majority of properties were unique, with few similarities, unlike most social housing schemes. This led to increased assessment work and costs to ensure the houses were individually costed, including accurately calculating the carbon savings and funding to support the installs.

The outcome

Warm Zones worked collaboratively and brought in the expertise required to ensure high levels of resident engagement, resulting in elevated levels of customer care and customer satisfaction. They also ensured that contractors were well informed and that the pricing was closely monitored to remain on budget. The client was well informed throughout all stages of the scheme with detailed monitoring and reporting.

This was a challenging project due to the nature of the properties and their tenure, but Warm Zones successfully delivered 209 EWI installs in vulnerable customers’ homes, improved the general living conditions and achieved a total of £51,205 per annum energy bill savings. Wherever needed loft insulation and heating were also installed. And by collaborating with local groups such as Energy Works and Rochdale Kashmiri Youth Project they were able to make referrals to wider support services as well as benefit entitlement checks to maximise household income.

“Delivering energy efficiency programmes in the private sector is always difficult and, given that the recipient communities in our borough are amongst the most deprived in the country, the degree of difficulty involved in identifying and delivering the programme was significant. The Warm Zones team worked very well in partnership with the Council’s team to identify and engage with the communities across the borough and built an impressive level of trust with the residents, hugely aiding the communities’ willingness to participate. Thanks for a programme well-delivered.” Peter Maynard, Housing Services Manager, Rochdale Borough Council

“Delivering energy efficiency programmes in the private sector is always difficult and, given that the recipient communities in our borough are amongst the most deprived in the country, the degree of difficulty involved in identifying and delivering the programme was significant. The Warm Zones team worked very well in partnership with the Council’s team to identify and engage with the communities across the borough and built an impressive level of trust with the residents, hugely aiding the communities’ willingness to participate. Thanks for a programme well-delivered.” Peter Maynard, Housing Services Manager, Rochdale Borough Council

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