Category Eight

Photovoltaics on a Retrofit Scheme

Winner: Durham County Council
Sponsor: Schuco UK

Within Durham County Council, the primary aim of this project has been to reverse Craghead’s decline and renew housing market confidence. This has been achieved by placing energy efficiency measures at the heart of home improvements by providing fee solar PV and an insulated brick effect external render treatment for 89 properties within the improvement area.

With areas of significant deprivation, Craghead was amongst 63,000 households classified as living in fuel poverty.

Targeting energy inefficient homes and emissions reduction are at the heart of the council’s plans and form a priority objective within its ‘altogether greener’ theme and the Durham Sustainable Community Strategy.

The Craghead regeneration project is a partnership initiative funded jointly the Single Housing Investment Programme funding, Durham County Council, Scottish and Southern Electricity with additional resources being made available by British Gas, NEDL, owner- occupiers, private landlords, the Craghead Development Trust and Groundworks North East.

Judges’ comments: The judges were impressed by the comprehensiveness of the scheme and the fact that energy efficiency measures and particularly the provision of free solar pv were at the heart of the improvements in Craghead, an area associated with fuel poverty. Maximising funding from the FiT Scheme and the significant reduction in residents’ fuel bills was also praised as was the introduction of a Community Scheme to ensure the best use of pv.

The judges would also like it noted that they were equally impressed with the Aspire Housing project (runner-up) as they too had addressed issues such as fuel poverty amongst the elderly, used apprentices and had included the Community Centre in their residential scheme.

Runner up: Aspire Housing