Dutch consortia Energiesprong could give zero carbon retrofits to social homes across England, using innovative wrap-around insulated panels, if EU funding is approved
More than 100,000 homes across the UK could be given a carbon-neutral retrofit by 2020 if the EU approves funding for a ground-breaking green social housing project this month.
The first pilot projects are due to start within a year on council estates and housing association properties in London, Birmingham and southern England and are set to save 1,950GWh of energy.
The Energiesprong (Energy Leap) initiative involves completely wrapping houses with insulated panel-facades that snap on like Lego. Insulated roofs adorned with 24 high-efficiency solar panels each are fastened on top, while heat pumps, hot water storage tanks and ventilation units are stored in garden sheds.
On the Woonwaard housing estate near Amsterdam, tenants whose homes have already received the upgrade say that the final effect is like living inside a ‘tea cosy’.
“This new house is great,” former social worker Astrid Andre, 58,told the Guardian. “You can’t hear the traffic from outside anymore. It feels as if I’m living in a private home, rather than social housing. Before, the wind used to go through the house in winter. I have arthritis and when the weather was colder, it became worse. But my bones are better now, more supple.”