July 2013: Housing group Affinity Sutton has issued the final research report – as part of their Future Fit project – which examines the actual energy savings achieved by 150 homes as a result of installing energy efficiency measures. It’s an excellent study with some key findings which will be of important consideration to policy-makers on programmes such as the Green Deal.
- A fabric first approach does work and residents,on the whole, have felt benefits from living in a retrofitted home.
- Identifying energy savings was challenging and there needs to be more transparent mechanisms to show energy usage in the home.
- Electricity use is unpredictable. Adding the GreenDeal charge to the electricity bill will make identifying savings even harder and could result in bad press for the policy.
- SAP is not an appropriate tool for a PAYS model and could result in negative consequences for three out of four Affinity Sutton residents if they were to take up the Green Deal.
The foreword to the report [p4] by Affinity Sutton’s CEO sets out why the organisation in not utilising the Green Deal at present:
“Very few studies of energy bills before and after retrofitting social housing are in the public domain. This report is a major step forward for the sector in showing how retrofitted properties actually perform and how residents find living with the effects. But it is very much a starting point from which much more investigation is required. And although the results make it clear why Affinity Sutton is not currently supporting the Green Deal in our homes, this report sets out why it is so important to find a way to make it work for the very people who need it most.”