Edgeley Construction


The role of EPC upgrades in tackling fuel poverty and climate change

News | 10.05.22 |

With a cost of living crisis joining the climate crisis in the headlines, the need to reduce energy consumption has never been higher on the news agenda. The Government has set ambitious net zero carbon targets which can only be achieved by a combination of measures, including investment in renewables and driving down consumption. Meanwhile, escalating costs for gas and electricity are putting millions at risk of fuel poverty and those most at risk are those on low incomes, many of whom are social housing tenants.

One of the initiatives the Government has instigated to help deliver its carbon reduction targets is EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) upgrades for social housing properties, with £179 million of funding in place to improve the energy efficiency of 20,000 social housing homes. The initiative will help thousands of people to avoid the choice between heating and eating next winter, providing resilience against additional anticipated energy price rises in the autumn, while updating housing stock to extend its service life.

At Edgeley Construction, we are proud to be part of the solution to reducing energy bills for social housing tenants while contributing to reducing carbon emissions through the social housing EPC upgrade scheme. Working with housing provider, Caridon Property and their EPC upgrade team, Caridon Eco, we will be involved in upgrading up to 1700 homes over the next two years with the installation of internal wall insulation (IWI), storage heaters that take advantage of cheaper overnight tariffs and new ventilation systems.

The project will draw on the expertise of our maintenance teams, who are trained in the specialist skills required to carry out the scope of work, and are experienced in delivering refurbishment projects in occupied residential properties. Health and safety will also be a critical factor in delivering these projects to a high standard and both our in-house team and our commitment to training will ensure we work safely and efficiently to carry out the work.

The EPC upgrades will require close collaboration with our client to coordinate work, and our ability to work flexibly thanks to the skills and experience of our team will be essential for the agile approach needed.

Good communication is also an important factor in projects of this kind, as we will need to engage with occupiers to keep them informed about the programme and how work will affect them. Our aim will be to keep disruption to a minimum for tenants and our commitment will be to communicate clearly with them to manage their expectations and enable them to feel in control of the process.

The properties involved in our two-year project are homes constructed with solid walls in the Victorian era, so they are not suitable for external or cavity wall insulation improvements. IWI is an excellent alternative that will help to keep the homes warmer so that less energy is required to keep tenants comfortable. Meanwhile, the storage heaters will keep the homes warm all day using cheaper electricity during the night and the new ventilation systems will improve air quality and reduce the risk of condensation, enhancing the living environment and extending the service life of the property and interior finishes.

Maintenance is not just about looking after a property, but about updating it to answer contemporary requirements. The EPC programme is a valuable opportunity to deliver benefits to people, our built environment and our natural environment and we are proud to be part of it.