Environmental charity Hubbub, working in partnership with OVO Energy Solutions, part of OVO, the UK’s 3rd largest energy supplier, is launching a pioneering trial in Glasgow to help residents make changes to their homes to improve their energy efficiency and reduce their bills.
They are looking for a Glasgow street with a strong sense of community and a willingness to make changes to their homes. The project will seek to minimise the cost of the improvements by accessing relevant local and government funding sources.
Increases in energy prices are set to kick in this autumn with Ofgem predicting that the energy price cap will hit over £3,000 in October. This will be a further blow to households already feeling the effects of the cost-of-living crisis and as such there is a pressing need to make our homes more energy efficient. The UK spends more money on energy wasted through the walls and roofs of our houses than any other country in Western Europe.1
This pilot project aims to explore and subsequently educate the public about what actions and home improvements have the biggest impact on energy use as well as exploring the benefits of neighbourhoods working together to tackle this problem.
Bespoke advice will be given to residents of the winning street with support from OVO Energy Solutions, local community groups, contractors, and other on-the-ground experts. Residents will also be able to choose from a variety of suggested home improvements, and will be supported by grants and financing options where possible.
Potential improvements include, but are not limited to, solid wall insulation, loft insulation, underfloor insulation, upgrading heating systems, upgrading windows and energy efficiency lighting. Energy and cost-savings will be independently monitored throughout.
Since 2020 OVO Energy Solutions has improved more than 2,700 homes’ energy efficiency across the UK. Through 2021, as global gas prices started to rise, OVO Energy Solutions insulated over 1,500 homes. All of these were vulnerable or fuel poor households with approximately 50% being privately owned.
According to the Home Energy Security Strategy from E3G1, the average household in a home with an Energy Performance Rating (EPC) of D or below, has the potential to save around £916 per year if it becomes a home rated EPC C or better. So the results of the project have the potential to help people save significant money on bills. Crucially they will also help households reduce carbon emissions which contribute to climate change.
Gavin Ellis, co-founder of Hubbub said: “We’re really keen to discover what is possible when a community comes together to tackle energy use in the home. This might include economies of scale by multiple houses on the same street carrying out the same work or be as simple as sharing ideas and information.
“We’re looking for a street that already has a strong sense of community spirit and is happy to work together and help each other. We hope the learnings and insight gained from this project will inspire other communities to work together and our ultimate aim is to create a model that can be replicated by people across Glasgow, Scotland, and the UK.”
Mark Robson, Commercial Development Director, OVO said: “The pioneering trial will help bring neighbours together to upgrade their homes with green technology and reduce their bills. Now, more than ever, projects like this are critical to supporting households through the next winter while also improving the lives of people in the local community.”
As part of the project, Hubbub will create an online group to encourage participating residents to work together and share their ideas, successes, and challenges in making home improvements. To take part in this exciting initiative, residents can apply via this Google Form by 00:00 Sunday 11 September 2022: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/11ZW1ELBoR4bTVn6Wqiz_Gkz6L8wWywYt6sQ_zs6kGb0/edit