What we plan to do

The HRA capital programme up to 2020 includes significant investment to increase the energy efficiency of our housing stock, and reduce CO2 emissions, this is primarily focussed on domestic and communal heating improvements, insulation (incl. over-cladding) and some investment in renewable technologies.

Building on the above we are developing an HRA Energy Strategy, alongside tenants and leaseholders, throughout 2017. This will set out how we can improve the energy efficiency of our housing stock, focussing on the benefits this can generate for tenants, leaseholders and the city more widely. A key ambition will be to meet the Fuel Poverty Regulations (England 2014). The strategy will work alongside and complement both the wider HRA Asset Management Strategy and the Fuel Poverty and Affordable Warmth Strategy.

The aims of the HRA Energy Strategy will be to set out how we can ‘future proof’ housing, specifically aiming to;

  • reduce energy use and costs for residents;
  • increase health & well-being;
  • and improve, high-quality housing stock that lowers carbon emissions.

In addition to the above capital improvements we have been successful in securing EU funding for the SHINE project to tackle carbon emissions and fuel poverty in the city. SHINE stands for Sustainable Houses in Inclusive Neighbourhoods and is made up of 14 Flemish, Dutch, French and British partners who are working together to explore different ways to speed up renovation and behaviour change for residents in the partner areas. The project r will run until 2020.

In Brighton & Hove the aims of SHINE are to;

  • work with residents in council housing properties to monitor the impact of maintenance and capital works programmes and behaviour change on energy efficiency and fuel costs
  • provide a rolling programme of energy efficiency/fuel poverty awareness training for staff, contractors and residents
  • train and support a cohort of volunteer resident energy experts to provide advice, support and signposting to residents
  • provide energy saving kits and energy advice visits for residents and test new technology to track and reduce energy use

A key element of this project will be to capture the benefits to resident’s health and wellbeing from improving the energy efficiency of their homes, and help inform future capital investment.

We will also participate in the Your Energy Sussex (YES) energy tariff scheme, with the aims of;

  • Reducing the number of householders in or at risk of fuel poverty;
  • Offer more competitive tariffs and encourage the 70% of the market that does not switch suppliers, to switch - in particular vulnerable households
  • Supporting the local economy;
  • Helping to meet local carbon reduction and renewable energy targets;
  • Increasing investment in local generation;
  • Offering the latest Smart metering technology for customers in advance of the national roll out by 2020;
  • Establishing a local fund to support Sussex energy and fuel poverty projects ; and
  • Providing access to customer and energy consumption data in order to identify, target and support further projects.

We are part of an emerging partnership of housing providers within the Local Enterprise Partnership area looking to explore models for self-funding large scale retrofit to near zero carbon standards. If funding is secured it will allow for the development of an innovative pilot project on properties in the region with an aim to move to large scale in the future.

We will continue to signpost residents through our home energy efficiency web pages to Smart Energy GB for information and advice about smart meters

We will continue to work with local third sector organisations, through the Fuel Poverty & Affordable Warmth Steering Group, to help ensure the vulnerable e.g. elderly benefit from energy efficiency measures to their homes, to help ensure they stay warm, while reducing excess winter deaths and associated ill-health problems.

In Planning:

  • We will work with developers to ensure best practice in energy efficiency and the use of sustainable energy.
  • Achieve highest possible standards for housing through applying CP8 Sustainable Buildings. These require the achievement of building standards above the national minimum (19% carbon reduction improvement against Part L 2013 and enhanced water efficiency).
  • By 2017 75% of new dwellings will meet energy standards (19% improvement on Part L 2013) and water standards 110 litres/person/day
  • On-site renewable energy technologies will feature in new build and on existing buildings where feasible.
  • Continue to work towards the energy target: 15% of the city’s energy to be generated from renewable technologies by April 2020.
  • Explore ways to ensure that housing delivered in existing buildings that comes through the planning system is delivered to high energy efficiency standards through adoption of policy in City Plan Part Two.

Over the coming years the University of Brighton launches a new Carbon Management Plan, with plans for further renewable energy systems, building refurbishments and improvements to the efficiency of energy-intensive laboratory buildings.

Community Energy

BHESCo - The next three years will bring many new and exciting projects. We will be collaborating with other energy co-operatives across the country to deliver energy efficiency retrofits under ECO2t.  We will be continuing to service small businesses helping them to lower their operating costs, keeping their shops open for business and their families earning an income so that our high streets continue to thrive with the diversity for which our city is renowned.  We will also be helping our community centres lower their costs so that they have more economic security, enhancing their ability to service the people in their local community.

BEC - Going forward we are working with the Big Lemon on a 31kWp scheme to power their electric buses, will be installing 150kWp at the University of Brighton in Eastbourne and plan another 500kWp array on a commercial site in summer 2017.