30th March 2023
We have invested £2m, in partnership with Mayor Steve Rotheram and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, as part of our first major retrofit project - including a ground source heat pump.
The work at Norwood Court and Gordon Court in Wirral has involved boring two 140m holes underground to install a ground source heat pump, to provide heating and hot water to more than 40 flats.
In addition, the blocks are undergoing a refurbishment of communal areas, and the most noticeable change is the installing of external insulation, which has seen the three buildings in the complex transformed with a white render that has covered the brick work.
Cavity insulation, new windows and new patio doors in some ground floor flats are among the other retrofit works being carried out at the scheme to improve energy efficiency throughout the buildings.
The work has been funded by Plus Dane and a grant secured by Mayor Steve Rotheram and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority from the first wave of the government’s Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund.
Mayor Rotheram is ramping up his highly successful retrofit programme after securing a further £42m from the government to take the region’s total retrofit fund to £105m, which will be used to help 10,000 low-income homes to save money on their energy bills.
The ground source pump works by absorbing natural heat from the ground and transferring it into buildings to provide heating and hot water in a low-carbon, energy efficient way. This is the first time we have undertaken a retrofitting project of this size, and represents a new way of working as part of our commitment to sustainability and aim to meet the housing sector’s net zero targets.
The flats previously relied on inefficient and costly storage heaters, which have been completely replaced with the new system. Almost all of the residents agreed to have the new system installed in their homes, and those who did not will still be able to connect to it in future.
Work began in November 2022 and is scheduled for completion in mid-April. Despite the building work, customers have been able to remain in their homes throughout.
Director of repairs, Barry Callow, said: “We identified Norwood Court and Gordon Court as some of our poorest performing homes with regards to energy efficiency, so they were ideal for undertaking this pilot scheme. Storage heaters are not only inefficient but expensive for customers to run, and we are delighted to have been able to offer a sustainable alternative in the form of a ground source heat pump.
“Sustainability is a massive priority for the housing sector, and we are pleased that is also the first major project that sees us moving away from gas central heating to offer low carbon technology in our homes going forward.”
We are working with designers and retrofit specialists Constructive Thinking and contractors SBS on the project.