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Next round of low carbon projects confirmed

Details of the successful schemes for the second round of funding from the Homes and Communities Agency’s (HCA) low carbon infrastructure initiative, totalling £8.80m, were announced yesterday.

The initiative, a partnership with the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and Communities and Local Government (CLG), will provide funding for schemes across the country to benefit from new and existing low carbon energy plants by creating the infrastructure needed to link them up.

The successful bidders for the second round of the national housing and regeneration agency’s initiative, are:

  • Hackney, London - £0.5m to install pipework to retrofit CHP energy to three high density housing estates. The funding will help provide risers in the high rise blocks and interface units in the homes.
  • Greenwich, London - £3m for a number of schemes that will eventually deliver 10,000 homes. The funding will make provision to connect the homes to a London wide heat network, provide two heat spines for CHP energy and will support the construction of an energy centre.
  • Rowner, Gosport - £1.12m to connect 700 new homes, of which 40 per cent will be affordable, to a CHP plant.
  • Hanham Hall, South Gloucestershire - £0.8m to extend planned onsite biomass CHP plant that will power 195 zero carbon homes and take waste heat for use in neighbouring secondary school.
  • Manton and Reynolds Towers, Birmingham - £0.78m to connect two thirteen storey tower blocks to a new biomass energy system at the nearby Holte School. There is also potential for some of the funding to be used alongside PFI funding to connect planned new housing in the area to the system.
  • Wood End, Henley Green and Manor Farm (WEHM) estates, Coventry - £1.6m to help develop a community energy scheme using ground source heat pump technology that will provide heating and hot water for 154 homes, the first phase of a scheme that is ultimately planned to include a district CHP plant to power the whole neighbourhood.
  • Yarn Street, Aire Valley in Leeds - £1m to provide a new heat network supplying CHP energy from waste plant and micro-technologies to power 280 new homes that will form part of the urban eco settlement vision for the area.

Sir Bob Kerslake, chief executive of the Homes and Communities Agency, said: “Together with nearly £12m we allocated to low carbon infrastructure schemes in July, this funding will help ensure that more people have access to energy that is both less harmful to the environment than traditional sources and lower cost for them.

“The range of projects we have been able to allocate money to shows there is a real appetite for this kind of infrastructure and the benefits it brings to communities and the industry as a whole. We look forward to using the lessons we learn from these innovative projects in our future work at the HCA, to help create and support sustainable places around the country.”

Housing Minister John Healey said: “Homes account for a quarter of carbon emission so reducing this is a major part of our efforts to tackle climate change.  By making all new homes zero carbon from 2016 we are already leading the way to a much greener housing stock, and lower energy bills for residents.  But we also have to make existing homes greener, and this funding will help both new and existing developments to access clean energy sources.” 

Energy and Climate Change Minister Lord Hunt said: “This latest round of funding will make it possible for thousands more people to keep warm in their homes whilst reducing energy bills and carbon emissions. Community heating schemes are an excellent example of how we can work together to tackle climate change.” 

With more than a quarter of Britain’s carbon emissions produced from homes, the announcement are a major step towards meeting the Government’s green policy pledges and Britain’s transition to a low carbon country.

For further information please contact:
Gemma Bird in the HCA press office, on 020 7881 1054 or email gemma.thompson@hca.gsx.gov.uk

Note to editors:

Housing stimulus package
As a result of April’s Budget the HCA will receive an additional £635 million.  This is broken down as follows: £400m to unlock developments; £50 million social housing grant to allow local authorities to deliver new social housing (complemented by £50 million capital cover for associated prudential borrowing); up to £80 million to support delivery of the Mortgage Rescue Scheme; £84 million to provide cavity wall insulation in the social sector; £21 million for investment in innovative low-carbon heating systems.

Building Britain’s Future
As a result of the Prime Minister’s recent announcement on Building Britain’s Future, an additional 20,000 new affordable homes will be funded by £1.5 billion over the next two years.  This adds to the housing stimulus package announced in the budget and breaks down as follows: £750 million to be allocated via the HCA’s National Affordable Housing Programme; £500 million to unlock developments; and £250 million to allow local authorities to deliver new social housing.

Low carbon infrastructure initiative
Schemes selected were required to meet the following criteria:

  1. Exemplar status – for instance, size of scheme, support to new and existing homes, technologies deployed.
  2. Affordable heat and power – provisions to protect the fuel poor.
  3. Fuel diversity – use of renewables or extending the efficiency of fossil fuels.
  4. Readiness – ability to allocate and spend the fund within two years.
  5. Leverage – commitment of funding or assets from other project partners.

Projects were reviewed by an internal group and by our external sounding board, who will assess the technical and financial viability of all projects. In addition to the HCA, the board comprises representatives from:

Communities and Local Government;
Department of Energy and Climate Change;
Energy Saving Trust;
Faber Maunsell;
Zero Carbon Trust; and
Michael King (independent advisor).

The successful bidders for the first tranche of funding (£11.85m) from the low carbon infrastructure initiative, were named in July as:

  • Cranbrook New Community, Exeter – £2.5m to provide biomass CHP for the first phase of development of 2,900 houses.
  • The Southside Regeneration Area, Nottingham – £1.5m to connect scheme to energy station providing heat from waste heat.
  • Anaerobic Digester Gas Injection, Milton Keynes – £1.5m to provide a new biomethane plant sited with the city’s planned anaerobic digestion plant that will power households with green energy by injecting into the regional gas network.
  • Mayflower Theatre and Gantry development, Southampton – £0.65m to connect scheme to Southampton’s deep geothermal district heating network.
  • Woolston Riverside Growth point, Southampton – £2.5m to create two energy centres on site with transmission pipework that will be connected to the existing deep geothermal system.
  • Cambridge & Crescent Towers, Birmingham – £1.5m to channel waste heat from neighbouring convention centre to heat homes that are currently heated by expensive electric heating.
  • Riverside Dene Biomass District Heating Scheme, Newcastle – £1.7m to connect ten council owned tower blocks to biomass district heating plant, supporting households that experience high levels of fuel poverty.

The Homes and Communities Agency is the single, national housing and regeneration agency for England.  We bring together the development and regeneration expertise of English Partnerships, investment functions of the Housing Corporation, and the Academy for Sustainable Communities, with major delivery programmes of Communities and Local Government.

Our role is to create opportunity for people to live in high quality, sustainable places. We provide funding for affordable housing, bring land back into productive use and improve quality of life by raising standards for the physical and social environment.

Over the current three financial years the HCA controls a budget of £17.3bn.

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