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Radian, Hampshire, UK

Social housing retrofits give big carbon savings

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These homes that Radian recently built achieve the highest efficiency rating (level 6) of the code for sustainable homes

Many people are living in social housing that is draughty and expensive to heat. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Housing association Radian has become a leading authority on energy efficient retrofits and new builds.  Nearly 44,000 people are living in more energy efficient homes as a result, and reaping the benefits every day in lower fuel bills and a better quality of life. And by improving efficiency, Radian has achieved cuts of 34 per cent in CO2 emissions across its housing stock.

Radian retrofits its older homes – including insulation, double glazing, condensing boilers, solar water heating and solar PV – as part of on-going maintenance work. But in some cases it offers a top-to-toe eco refurbishment, and this achieves a reduction of up to 90 per cent in CO2 emissions. The housing association also builds new houses, with a growing number going well beyond the minimum standards required.

By managing its housing well, Radian can afford to spend money raising the level of energy efficiency in its properties faster than is usual for the sector. Looking to build up the skills capacity of others, Radian has trained over 100 contractors and maintenance staff, and shares its expertise as widely as possible. And, since houses are responsible for 30 per cent of the UK’s energy use, this expertise in carbon cutting could help make a big difference to meeting our CO2reduction commitments.