Orbit welcomes Lord Callanan, Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance, to showcase energy efficiency improvements for West Midlands’ homes

Orbit Housing and Stratford-on-Avon District Council recently welcomed Lord Callanan, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance) and representatives from Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) to view its recent retrofitting works at its site in Kineton, as part of the Government’s Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund Demonstrator (SHDFD).

The Demonstrator project saw Orbit and its partners successfully upgrade 69 low energy performing social homes (EPC rating D or below) in and around Stratford-upon-Avon, by taking a deep, fabric first, retrofit approach using energy efficient doors and windows, along with loft and wall insulation and some low carbon heating, to increase the energy performance of the homes. 

The project received £1.45 million in funding from the Government’s Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF) Demonstrator and along with a further £2.2 million investment from Orbit.

During the visit, Lord Callanan visited a selection of homes that have been made more energy efficient thanks to the project and met with residents to discuss their experiences, along with how the project has enabled them to warm their homes more affordably. He also took a tour of nearby homes which will shortly be undergoing retrofit works as part of Orbit’s work in partnership with the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) to upgrade the energy performance of a further 212 properties across the West Midlands, after securing funding from the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund SHDF Wave 2.1.

Lord Callanan, Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance said: “We’re committed to upgrading the energy performance of homes right across the country, spending billions to reduce emissions, drive down energy use and bills and support green jobs – just as we’ve done here in Stratford-upon-Avon.”

“It was a pleasure to tour the newly retrofitted social homes, speak with happy tenants about the benefits they have enjoyed, and listen to the experiences of the delivery team.” 

“It’s thanks to the hard work of social housing landlords like Orbit Housing and the local council that we’re making sure social housing tenants can enjoy comfortable, warm homes that are cheaper to heat.”

Ted Pearce, Director of Strategic Asset Management at Orbit, commented: “We were delighted to welcome Lord Callanan and his team to our retrofitting projects in the Stratford-upon-Avon area.”

“Committing to a deep retrofit while customers remain living in their home is a complex undertaking, but it plays a key role in delivering on net zero carbon targets and reducing carbon emissions, even within harder to treat homes. Showcasing our projects to date as well as discussing our learnings with Lord Callanan will enable us all to continue to work together to ensure our customers enjoy the benefits of a more energy efficient home which is warmer and more affordable, as well as further our important collective journey towards achieving net zero.”

Paul Chapman, Private Sector Housing Manager, Stratford on Avon District Council said:

“Stratford-on-Avon District Council has been keen to support the investment that the Government has made through the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund Demonstrator Project and by Orbit.  Many homes across the District are now more comfortable to live in, health and wellbeing will have been improved for those residents whilst also reducing carbon emissions. We were pleased that Lord Callanan took such an active interest by seeing first-hand the successful delivery of the project and meeting residents.  The discussion held was valuable in not only reflecting on this particular project – but also in looking forward to future such schemes”.

Carl Yale, Refurbishment Director at Lovell, commented: “It was a real privilege to meet the minister and his team and showcase the efforts of the collective team. We were engaged in a discussion around our lessons learnt from the SHDF Demonstrator project and the minister was keen to gain our insight from the supply chain in delivering the works. It has been a fantastic opportunity to develop our retrofit capability and develop and upskill some of our staff and supply chain to the new PAS2035 standards. We are pleased with the outcomes and hope that Orbit and their customers will benefit from the energy efficient retrofits.”