Energiesprong retrofit consortium wins £2.6m EU grant
The consortium of housing associations, contractors and advisers planning to bring the Energiesprong zero carbon retrofit model from the Netherlands to the UK has secured an EU grant of £2.6m to boost the concept in the UK.
The money will be used to establish workable legal and financial mechanisms to transpose the system from the Netherlands, and will also support the roll-out of the concept in France.
Contractors Willmott Dixon, Mears and Wates Living Space, and housing associations Nottingham City Homes, Accord Group and Affinity Sutton are all part of the UK consortium, which also includes the National Energy Foundation, the National Housing Federation and the Energy Saving Trust. [Peabody HA has apparently ceased to be involved].
Energiesprong, or Energy Leap, aims to install carbon-cutting reclads, solar panels and new kitchens using pre-fab technologies in around 110,000 social homes from the 1960s and 1970s in the Netherlands.
Housing associations there pay for the upfront refurbishment works via a loan from the WSW bank. The works are completed in a 10-day period. The four contractors in the Dutch programme, which include BAM, must also offer 40-year guarantees and fix any failures that occur in the period.
40 houses in Soesterberg, Holland, are being retrofitted under the Energiesprong initiative
The tenants pay for an individual "energy plan" that covers the reduced cost of their energy bills plus the loan repayments, and is roughly the same as their current energy spend. These parameters are set during procurement and are warrantied by the contractors.
The National Energy Foundation, a charity and energy consultant, said that the successful bid to the EU’s Horizon 2020 funding stream was called “Transition Zero” and is expected to be confirmed next year.
The three-year grant will fund a UK market development team that will look at “stimulating increased demand for net zero energy refurbishment solutions and improving the UK regulatory, planning and financing conditions for such solutions”.
Energiesprong is initially targeting 5,000 homes in the UK, and another 5,000 in France, to help demonstrate the concept. The new funding will not be used to directly fund projects, but to prepare the ground for them.
In particular, the group hopes to stimulate the construction supply chain to prepare for Energiesprong. In the Netherlands, contractors have adopted laser scanning and BIM modelling to fabricate clip-on cladding and roof panels for a variety of house types.
NEF spokesman David Dean said: “Hopefully, this will lead the construction sector to offer new and better products: a net zero energy retrofit with a long warranty on the performance, and which is quick to install, much cheaper than what’s currently available and improves the look and feel of a house.
“The money won’t be used to fund Energiesprong solutions themselves but a condition of the funding is a commitment to implementing Energiesprong solutions to 5,000 homes in the UK and 5,000 in France during that period.
“If 5,000 homes can be achieved in the UK, this will enable the Energiesprong concept to be proven at scale, and should help facilitate a wider roll-out.”