Luton Rising has been working in collaboration with Luton Borough Council to deliver the first retrofit home in Luton. The exemplar home showcases the future of what an energy efficient home may look like.
During the summer of 2023, working with many partner organisations, we carried out the retrofitting of a home in Luton with the following low-carbon and energy-efficient improvement measures:
The retrofit home will be open this autumn allowing visitors to come along to view and experience the various energy efficient technologies which have been installed. This will enable visitors to gain a better understanding of how each measure can benefit a home to help save energy and help reduce our carbon emissions.
The retrofit home demonstrates that by improving the fabric of the property, insulation and glazing, this can make a significant difference in reducing heat losses from the home. The installation of an air source heat pump can improve the overall efficiency of space and water heating. Adding the solar panels with the battery storage can offset a majority of your energy use in the home and the running costs for the air source heat pump. With a combination of these measures, this will help towards:
• reducing home energy bills;
• eradicating fuel poverty in Luton; and
• meeting the UK’s net-zero targets.
Tackling fuel poverty is an issue that requires focus and immediate practical and affordable steps.
In a parliamentary debate on fuel poverty on 23 May 2023 the Undersecretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero confirmed that “In 2022 there were an estimated 3.26 million households—13.4%—in fuel poverty in England” and commenting specifically in relation to Luton, Sarah Owen MP stated that “…there are families—13,255 families in Luton—living in fuel poverty. I also have pensioners in Luton suffering from chronic health conditions who are risking their health because they cannot afford to put on the heating.”
According to a September 2023 House of Commons Research Briefing “Spending on energy to heat and power a home is, to a large extent, not discretionary. There is a limit to the amount a household can do to cut their costs while adequately heating their home, without substantial improvements in the energy efficiency of their property. Sharp increases in energy prices in 2022 mean that all households would have needed to spend more on energy. These price rises would have had a disproportionate impact on lower income households as any given increase in prices will take up a greater share of their (smaller) family budgets.”
These are some of the reasons why Luton Rising and its sole shareholder Luton Borough Council are working together on the housing retrofit project in Luton.
For further information on energy advice and grants please refer to:
In addition, working together with HACT, the charity of the social housing sector that has supported the transformation and development of housing providers for over 60 years, we are seeking to ensure that the retrofit scheme in Luton can generate RETROFIT CREDITS. Developed by HACT and Arctica Partners, RETROFIT CREDITS is a carbon credits scheme that unlocks additional funding into housing retrofit by verifying the emission reductions and social value of retrofit projects.
Retrofit activities will vary from property to property but may include:
• improving loft, cavity wall and floor insulation;
• improving the thermal efficiency of doors and windows;
• installing more efficient space and water heaters;
• installing energy efficient lighting;
• installing solar PV and battery systems,
as well as helping householders to reduce their energy use through permanent changes in habits, thereby ensuring that energy efficiency savings are not subsequently cancelled out by an increase in energy use .
Our retrofit project is supporting Luton Borough Council’s 2040 vision including to:
• improve energy efficiency and eradicate fuel poverty in Luton
• tackle the climate emergency and ensure Luton becomes a net zero town with sustainable growth and a healthier environment.
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