Funding boost for renewable energy housing scheme

Plans to develop more than 200 low carbon homes in the east of the city have been awarded Welsh Government grant funding.

The Cardiff Living development will deliver 214 properties on the former site of Eastern high school off Newport Road and will receive £3.9m as part of the Innovative Housing Programme – the £90m, three-year programme to support new ways of designing and delivering housing to increase housing supply, meet carbon reduction targets, tackle fuel poverty and address demographic change.

Through the Cardiff Living scheme, a partnership between Cardiff Council and Wates Residential, new council homes and homes for sale on the open market are being built at sites across the city to meet housing demand. The programme will deliver 1,500 new homes for Cardiff, 600 of which will be council homes.

The new development in Rumney, which includes 65 new council homes and 149 open market sale properties, will take energy performance standards to a new level as all of the homes will incorporate renewable technologies to significantly reduce the energy demand on the grid as well as helping to tackle fuel poverty by reducing energy bills. Both council and sale housing will be built to the same energy performance standards.

Sero Energy, a sustainable energy services company, is working with the Council and Wates Residential to incorporate low carbon technologies into the development of the new homes including  ground source heat pumps, smart thermal storage, electric vehicle charging points and solar panels.

Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, Cllr Lynda Thorne, said: “The first phase of Cardiff Living has been extremely successful, delivering affordable properties for private sale and homes to rent from the council to meet increasing demand in the city.  We are looking forward to building on that success in the next phases of the scheme and it’s exciting that this project in the east of the city has the ability to raise the profile of new low carbon housing models and promote renewable  energy technologies to the local market.

“We are committed to piloting new forms of construction and highly energy-efficient schemes and are pleased to have been awarded Welsh Government funding for this highly innovative scheme.”

Edward Rees, Regional Director for Wates Residential, said: “We’re delighted that Welsh Government has recognised Cardiff Living and the Eastern High School Site in particular as leading the way in the implementation of energy efficient housing for Wales. By using technology that can learn from people’s energy use habits and reduce energy bills across both affordable and market sale properties alike, this scheme will provide valuable insight for the next generation of housing. We now look forward to starting on site and working with our partners at Cardiff Council to make these plans a reality.”

James Williams, Managing Director of Sero Energy, said: “The project will look at new mechanisms to address the financial viability of low carbon schemes, including energy as a service and green finance initiatives such as green mortgages. It will seek to support the emerging evidence base of the value of low carbon homes.”

Work is expected to start on the former Eastern high site early next year.