Government’s Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery scheme, North West Leicestershire District Council
As part of the Government’s Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery scheme, North West Leicestershire District Council has implemented a programme of energy efficiency improvement works for 56 homes across the area, with a further 25 to be surveyed.
Called the Green Homes Improvement Programme, the project – which received around £700,000 – must be delivered between April and September 2021, in line with the funding arrangements of the grant.
The homes in question were predominantly electric or solid-fuel heated, with a small number of them being on mains gas, and the programme involves the fitting of a range of measures including air source heat pumps, external wall insulation, cavity wall insulation, solar PV, energy-efficient lighting, and loft insulation.
The council approached CPC to procure suppliers for the project.
Using the Energy Efficiency Consultancy Services (N8C) framework, Rybka, a building services engineering consultancy, was appointed to survey the properties and provide energy efficiency improvement recommendations. Meanwhile, using the complementary Energy Efficiency Measures and Associated Works (N8) framework, the council appointed Aaron Services, a specialist multi-fuel heating and insulation contractor working across the Midlands and the East of England, to install the recommended measures.
Rybka’s building physics and sustainability team has substantial experience in energy efficiency and low-carbon design, and takes a holistic approach to consider the whole life of a building.
Aaron Services brought detailed local knowledge to the project, as it has staff in the area and had previously worked with the council on installations. On top of this, the company was an early adopter of the PAS 2035 standard for retrofit, has in-house domestic energy and retrofit assessors, and has won multiple awards for its work with air source heat pumps.
Tony Maw, technical support manager at CPC, said: “We were delighted to work with North West Leicestershire District Council on this, as it meant we were integral to not just the completion of the works, but also enabling them to secure the funding in the first place. It’s a great feeling when your work has a direct impact on outcomes for residents.
“The benefit of using the N8C and N8 frameworks in tandem is that clients can access the full range of services for their energy efficiency projects – from survey and consultancy through to installation. The N8 framework has two workstreams, ensuring we have suppliers that can cover works of any cost, from small single measures to whole-house retrofits. We have also appointed suppliers by region, ensuring contracting authorities can support businesses in their area.”
Alan Glover, housing procurement officer at the council, said: “CPC’s frameworks gave us the opportunity to procure competent suppliers within a tight timeframe which was essential for all parties within our wider project team. Council officers, CPC and suppliers quickly gelled to mobilise the necessary resources and deliver the required works to the benefit of our tenants and to justify our receipt of the Government Green Homes Grant.”
Jeremy Murgatroyd, associate sustainability consultant at Rybka, said: “The focus of the N8C framework aligns exactly with our expertise and experience in low carbon and energy efficient design. In a wider sense, CPC's vast network of clients and experience in running frameworks, as well as its proactivity in pursuing client opportunities, resonates with our appetite for work in the North and Midlands region.”
Kirstie Payne, head of bids and marketing at Aaron Services, said: “We find CPC to be easy to work with, providing a fast, efficient service and responsive to collaboration for the benefit of our mutual clients.”
Rybka outlined energy efficiency improvement measures for each property identified, which ranged from building fabric upgrades to building services improvements and the installation of photovoltaic (PV) arrays.
Works then started onsite in June 2021, with Aaron Services applying its expertise to help the council overcome some initial challenges. The company’s contract manager organised weekly progress meetings with the council’s team to expedite works and provided a team leader to act as resident liaison to prepare and inform those who would be affected by the project.
The supplier also helped the council to better define the measures needed, which included altering the air source heat pump specification after assessing seasonal co-efficient operational performance and higher flow temperatures. The solar PV specification was also updated following Aaron Services’ advice, to include battery storage.
The target is for Aaron Services is for all homes to be increased to EPC Band C+, and to maximise the funding investment. In terms of KPIs, the project is, at time of writing, 100% on time, 100% to budget, and has 100% resident satisfaction.
Jasbir Singh, housing asset team manager for the council, said: “The work Aaron Services has completed for our Green Homes Improvement Programme to date has been exceptional. Installation quality has been maintained to a high standard with satisfied residents volunteering praise at every turn. A particular thanks to Aaron Petts for his diligent contract management.”
Kirstie Payne said: “Our successful approach has encouraged the council to apply for the Green Homes Grant Phase 2 funding for a subsequent tranche of properties – for which they plan to directly select Aaron Services again.”
Jeremy Murgatroyd at Rybka said: “We’ve had a positive working relationship with NW Leicestershire District Council from the outset. Lots of communication is required due to the timeframe, particularly for the Green Homes Grant project.”
Rybka has now also been appointed to update the EPCs for all of the council’s residential properties over the next few years.