Nearly 140 homes retrofitted to be warmer, healthier and greener

Press ReleaseUpdated: 1 December 2023Environment and Climate Emergency

Nearly 140 socially rented homes in Three Rivers and Watford have been retrofitted to be warmer, healthier and greener thanks to grant-funded insulation.

Three Rivers District Council and Watford Borough Council, in partnership with Thrive Homes and Watford Community Housing, have successfully delivered a programme that upgraded some of the worst-performing homes by installing external wall insulation.

As part of the first phase of the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF), 82 of Thrive Homes’ properties and 57 of Watford Community Housing’s properties have benefitted from improved insulation, helping tenants feel warmer in their homes and reducing the amount of energy needed to keep homes comfortable which can in-turn help to reduce tenants’ energy bills.

As a result of the insulation installed, 139 homes were improved to an EPC C rating, which has reduced the carbon emissions from these properties by approximately 173.4 tonnes per year – equivalent to an average of 1.25 tonnes of carbon saved per home every year.

The £1.6m partnered project, managed by OVO Energy Solutions, was partially funded by a government grant that supported the investment from the housing associations.

The SHDF is not over yet. To build on the success of Wave 1, Three Rivers District Council and Thrive Homes continue to work together to retrofit a further 120 socially rented homes in addition to eligible private in-full homes in the district with a £2.9m grant under Wave 2.

Meanwhile, under Wave 2, Watford Community Housing will improve another 285 of its properties as part of the Greener Living Consortium.

Joanna Hewitson, Climate Change and Sustainability Strategy Officer at Three Rivers District Council, said: “As the lead authority for this project, Three Rivers District Council is proud to have worked with our partners to deliver high-impact energy-saving improvements to so many local homes.

“Not only have these upgrades significantly reduced carbon emissions assisting the district in its journey to net-zero, but they will also help residents keep warm in the winter and cool in the summer, save money on their energy bills, and improve health and wellbeing.

“The council looks forward to continuing its partnership with Thrive Homes under SHDF Wave 2 to support the decarbonisation of the district’s homes."

Jo Barrett, Executive Director of Operations at Thrive Homes, said:“Improving the energy efficiency of our homes is a key priority for us. It benefits our customers and the environment. This partnership has enabled us to make some of our least energy efficient homes warmer and more comfortable for our customers, and at the same time reduce the amount of energy they use.”