A strategic housing stock energy study for Somer Housing Group

Protecting tenants from rising fuel prices

Social-housing providers have a duty to ensure that their housing stock is both fit for purpose and affordable for tenants to run. They also have a key role to play in contributing to national carbon reduction targets, and as such are well placed to benefit from Government-backed incentives designed to encourage installation of renewable energy and energy efficiency improvements such as the Feed-in Tariff, Renewable Heat Incentive and forthcoming Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation.

Somer Housing Group, whose members include Somer Community Housing Trust, Redland Housing Association and Shape Housing Association, commissioned CSE to undertake a strategic assessment of options for improving the energy efficiency of their housing stock – including a substantial numbers of heritage properties (Grades I and II listed).

With a mixed client base spanning families, elderly people and other vulnerable tenants (e.g. previously homeless and young people), Somer was also keen to develop a strategy which protected tenants from rising energy prices and fuel poverty.

CSE used its Housing Assessment Model – a software programme which incorporates an enhanced 2009 SAP calculator – to assess and validate the SAP ratings of the whole Somer stock, model energy demand for space heating, water heating and lighting and model energy expenditure at an individual property level.

We then analysed a range of individual measures and packages of measures taking account of external factors such as fuel prices and assessing options based on investment costs, modelled occupant costs, payback, positive net present value, target SAP improvements, fuel poverty impacts and carbon reduction impact.

CSE provided Somer with a full modelled dataset and report detailing the results from different options packages modelled. These included maximising SAP ratings for lowest cost, measures which produced the biggest reductions in tenants' energy bills and measures that produced the largest CO2 reduction.

The following graphs provide an illustration of some of the analysis provided. Click on the thumbnails to expand them.

CSE’s report also provided recommendations for maximising income from existing incentive schemes (such as the Feed-in Tariff and Renewable Heat Incentive), advice on accessing forthcoming Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation funding and recommendations for a deployment strategy including clear short term (years 1-2), medium term (years 3-6) and longer term (years 7-10) goals.

CSE's Ian Preston who undertook the desk-based study said "Our findings should enable Somer Housing Group to prioritise the sustainable energy measures needed to reduce emissions and protect their tenants from future rises in energy prices."


For more information on our services for housing associations contact Ruth Cole.

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