OVO Energy Solutions and Cornwall Council team up to bring 400 warmer, greener homes to Cornwall

09 June 2022

OVO Energy Solutions and Cornwall Council team up to bring 400 warmer, greener homes to Cornwall

  • This new joint project will see OVO Energy Solutions and Cornwall Council work together to complete whole-house retrofits for 400 poorly insulated homes in the area.
  • The homes will be upgraded to an EPC band of C or D by dramatically improving their energy efficiency, as well as installing green technology such as heat pumps and solar panels. 
  • To meet the UK's government climate change targets, we must retrofit all homes to an EPC band C standard by 2035.
  • The UK has among the highest rates of fuel poverty and one of the most energy inefficient housing stocks in Europe*. In Cornwall alone, fuel poverty affects over 11.5% of all households.

\ Thursday 9th June, Cornwall: OVO Energy Solutions, part of OVO, UK’s 3rd largest energy supplier and Cornwall Council announce the start of a partnership to manage and deliver whole house retrofit solutions to over 400 off gas homes across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. 

Whole-house retrofitting is a complete approach to making homes more energy-efficient, focusing on the fabric of the house first, then installing the right technology. It has the immediate impact of keeping homes warm and reducing energy bills. The whole house retrofit measures include: external wall, cavity and loft insulation, underfloor insulation, draught proofing, air source heat pumps, high retention storage heaters, solar PV and double glazing. 

OVO Energy Solutions partners with Local Authorities and Housing Associations to help them achieve their fuel poverty and energy efficiency targets for homes. 

Since 2020 OVO Energy Solutions has improved more than 2,700 homes' energy efficiency across the UK, including: installing air source heat pumps to nearly 400 homes, and in some cases helping to reduce energy bills by up to 50%. Through 2021, as global gas prices started to rise, OVO Energy Solutions insulated over 1,500 homes. All of these were vulnerable or fuel poor households with approximately 50% being privately owned. 

A warm, well-insulated home is critical for all households across the UK, but particularly those with health conditions who are vulnerable to colder temperatures.

As part of the Cornwall Winter Wellbeing partnership, OVO Energy Solutions will work with Cornwall Council to retrofit 400 homes. OVO Energy Solutions will deliver 1,000~ whole house retrofit measures to the properties including: external wall, cavity and loft insulation, underfloor insulation, draught proofing, air source heat pumps, high retention storage heaters, solar PV and double glazing. 

OVO Energy Solutions are also working in partnership with Cornwall Council and Cornwall Housing to deliver the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund Demonstrator project in Falmouth to 45 Cornish Units. These houses were built as part of the regeneration effort after the Second World War.  The Social Housing Decarbonisation project, funded by the UK Government, will focus on reducing a home’s heat loss through installing low-carbon and sustainable materials, which will achieve energy savings for the lifetime of the buildings and reduce heating loads on the homes. As a result, the expected annual cost saving is due to be around £600 per household**. The project started in February 2022 and is due to be completed in July 2022.

Raman Bhatia, CEO of OVO, said:

“By working with leading local authorities and housing associations, we’ve unlocked a huge opportunity to create greener, more energy-efficient homes for those people who live in draughty homes and will benefit from lower energy bills. 

“Now, more than ever, the projects are critical to supporting households during the cost of living crisis while also bringing down the carbon footprint of the home. We're proud to be working with Cornwall Council to retrofit homes across the county by installing technology, such as heat pumps or solar panels, and improve the lives of people in the community."

Business and Energy Minister Lord Callanan said:

“Improving the energy efficiency of UK buildings is the quickest way we can support families and businesses at a time of high global energy prices. That’s why I am thrilled to see the UK Government’s support of over £1 million, delivered through the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund Demonstrator, helping residents in Cornwall upgrade to homes that are cheaper to run, heat and cool, whilst supporting economic growth and jobs across the region.”

Councillor Olly Monk, Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for housing, said:

“This programme will help residents on low incomes have warmer homes, reduced energy bills and access to lower cost energy that is powered by renewable sources. It will also cut homes’ carbon emissions, helping in tackling climate change and contributing towards our goal for Cornwall becoming carbon neutral by 2030.” 

Andy Virr, Cornwall Council’s Portfolio Holder for Adults and Public Health, said:

“Having a warm home is a basic human right and also important to keep people healthy, which in turn helps to reduce pressure on our health services. This programme will help people affected by fuel poverty and those most in need.”

Heidi Flack, Interim Director, Homes and Investments at Cornwall Housing Ltd said:

“Cornwall Housing is delighted to be partners with Cornwall Council and OVO Energy on the Retrofit Programme. This important investment in our homes provides a range of energy efficiency measures to each property, including new roofs, photovoltaic panels, new UPVC windows and doors, more efficient external wall insulation and upgraded heating. These works also support Cornwall Council’s carbon reduction targets and creates homes fit for the future. Most importantly these improvements offer our tenants a comfortable, energy efficient home which will help to reduce costs and fuel poverty.”

END

Notes to Editors:

* NEA - The Cold Man of Europe

** Estimation based on a 3 bedroom, 4 person family home receiving at least one Insulation and one renewable installation

  • The target is to support 400 rural off-gas rural fuel poor homes. A maximum of 30 on-gas properties could be included provided they still meet the eligible fuel poverty definitions within the fund.
  • The UK Government’s Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF) scheme is improving the energy efficiency of thousands of social homes – cutting bills for tenants and supporting jobs across the country. Through the demonstrator scheme, Cornwall Council was awarded £1 million to retrofit an estimated 75 homes, working with Coastline Housing Ltd. and OVO (S) Energy Solutions Ltd to create and deliver decarbonised neighbourhoods.

For more information please contact:

[email protected]

About OVO Energy:

OVO Energy was founded in 2009 and redesigned the energy experience to be fair, effortless, green and simple for all customers.  The company has spent the last decade investing in the market leading technology, customer service operations and digital products to help members cut their carbon emissions. OVO is on a mission through its sustainability strategy Plan Zero to tackle the most important issue of our time; the climate crisis, by bringing our customers with us on the journey towards zero carbon living. OVO Energy has committed to being a net zero carbon business and achieve bold science-based carbon reduction targets by 2030, while helping members reduce their household emissions at the same time.