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Warm Wales sponsorship feature

How do you turn an empty house into a desirable home for rent with innovative energy saving and renewable energy appliances?  

Warm Wales is managing a research project with the SOLCER (Smart Operation for a Low Carbon Energy Region) and LCBE (Low Carbon Built Environment) teams at Cardiff University, who specialise in the low carbon renovation of social housing, to design and install test systems in housing. The first house selected, owned by social landlord Neath Port Talbot Homes, was in need of a complete makeover. It had been empty for 18 months and was ideal for the retrofit project. Now the home is available for rent at ‘intermediate’ rates and a list of prospective tenants are ready and waiting.  Warm Wales will move on to retrofit four more homes for the project.      

The stone, end of terrace house was given an integrated photovoltaic roof, Aero-gel insulation, whole house mechanical ventilation and heat recovery systems. A complete LED lighting circuit fed from a self-generated battery storage unit was installed which also pre heats the hot water for the house.  Cardiff University will monitor and evaluate the performance of the equipment, when in daily use in a family home. The initial prediction is that the family will make a 70 per cent saving on their heating bills and gain a significant reduction in electricity usage as well.  

The project sets out to demonstrate that the costs of achieving high carbon savings can be driven down to become more affordable. As a general guide, improving a house to a level which would produce an 80 per cent carbon saving would cost in the region of £80,000. The SOLCER team anticipates a 70 per cent carbon saving for £28,000 which will give a maximum carbon saving at best rates.    

Warm Wales is extremely pleased to be associated with such prestigious research and looks forward to more cutting edge, retrofit projects which demonstrate how ‘best practice’ can be rolled out on a national scale.

Contact Warm Wales for further details 01656 747622; information@warmwales.org.uk or www.warmwales.org.uk.

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