GREEN energy sources are being trialled in some of Newark and Sherwood District Council’s latest social housing developments to embrace the opportunity to pilot the latest sustainable technology available.
The District Council set a target to become carbon neutral by 2035, 15 years earlier than the 2050 target set out by the UK government. Whilst its housing stock is not currently within the remit of this target, the Council is keen to explore how alternative energy solutions can improve its homes for both tenants and the climate. Instead of using traditional energy methods, selected new homes in Caunton, Sutton on Trent, Newark and Edwinstowe will use green energy, allowing the Council to trial solutions which could eventually be rolled out to all future new homes.
Alternative heating systems being trialled include air source heating systems, electric combi boilers, solar panels and battery back-ups. Each system will be monitored and factors such as installation, running and maintenance costs and overall comfort and experience for the tenants will be considered and reviewed for the first 12 months of occupation.
These homes form part of Newark and Sherwood District Council’s ambitious five year programme to build 335 high quality new homes over five years. Currently in its fourth year, the programme with local Nottinghamshire construction company Robert Woodhead Limited and other local contractors has so far delivered 198 homes in the first three years and year four is on target to develop 103 new homes with an additional 34 homes being completed at the moment.
The District Council declared a climate emergency in July 2019 and has been working with The Carbon Trust to define its carbon footprint. In becoming carbon neutral the District Council is committed to reducing carbon and exploring opportunities to offset any residual operational emissions that remain in 2035 after the completion of carbon reduction projects.
These projects aim at reducing direct emissions, particularly from Council owned corporate buildings and leisure and recreational facilities. This will focus on the supply and installation of energy saving measures, biodiversity and transport improvements.
Councillor Tim Wendels, Chairman of Homes and Communities at the Newark and Sherwood District Council, said, “We know that climate change is important for our communities and our 2018 resident survey reflected this, with more than 90 per cent of residents saying it was important or very important to them to be able to live in a sustainable way.
“To complement the District Council’s plans to become carbon neutral by 2035, we are pleased to also be exploring the supply and installation of energy saving measures and are pleased to be partnered with the Woodhead Group, a local construction business, committed to helping us build sustainable, new homes for tenants.”
Tom Woodhead, Business Services Director, Woodhead Group, said: “We are delighted to be stepping on the path to a low carbon future alongside Newark & Sherwood District Council, as we assist with their commitment of becoming carbon neutral by 2035. The new homes at Deans Close, will not only contribute to reducing carbon footprint, but also reduce costs for tenants, giving back to the local community. The dual emergencies of climate breakdown and biodiversity loss are serious matters of our time and construction plays a major part, so it is a pleasure to be in partnership with the council as we adapt and head towards a more sustainable, green future.”
Contractors have been working under stringent COVID-19 safety measures to continue with the housing programme and have been working collaboratively with Newark and Sherwood District Council’s housing team to help move tenants in safely, on some occasions just 24 hours after the keys were handed over.