Category One

Energy Efficiency in Local Communities

Sponsor: British Gas

Winner: Walsall Housing Group

Solid wall insulation was installed to 1,000 properties, biomass for 150 homes, gas district heating for 150 homes and new domestic heating for 700 homes. In addition, solar pv has been installed on tower blocks and some private homes.

The judges felt that this scheme was an exemplar for other authorities and were particularly impressed with its scale, the wide range and high quality of the energy efficiency solutions installed including pv and the consequent reductions in carbon emissions. Community engagement was notable and so too was the visual improvement to the facades of the properties which has restored local pride in the area.

Runner-Up: London Borough of Redbridge

This was a true transformation of the Orchard Estate, one of the poorest wards in the London Borough of Redbridge and which had high levels of fuel poverty.

A number of key energy efficiency measures were undertaken involving new windows, external wall insulation and Ecopod heating systems which were installed in each of six 11-storey towers which provide heating and hot water to 535 homes.

Solar arrays were added to the tower blocks and other external improvements were carried out at the same time. All the work had to be completed in 9 months, all of which was undertaken without having to decant the tenants.

Heating and hot water charges across the estate in the first year have been reduced by an impressive 34% and the works have contributed substantially towards Redbridge Council’s carbon reduction scheme.