Wheatley Group unveils £100m glazing and insulation investment
Scotland’s biggest housing group Wheatley is to invest £100 million in major glazing, insulation and heating initiatives as part of a green agenda drive.
The group said its ambitious sustainability targets and a range of other initiatives will help its long-term aims of becoming carbon neutral and eliminating fuel poverty.
Announced as Glasgow prepares to host the United Nations Climate Change Conference – COP26, the investment totalling £100m over the next five years will include:
- £36m spent on new double/triple glazed windows to make homes more energy-efficient;
- £10m on external wall insulation to help improve the thermal efficiency of homes and cut fuel bills;
- and £10m on ‘connected response’, an innovative solution to inefficient and expensive electric heating which has been shown to reduce energy use by up to 30% and cut bills by up to £300 per year.
Wheatley, like all social landlords, is working to improve the energy performance of its homes by 2032, under the Scottish Government’s requirement for Energy Efficiency Standards in Social Housing (EESSH).
The group will also invest £10m on new innovative technologies to improve energy efficiency as they become available to meet these EESSH targets.
Wheatley is also committing to being carbon neutral in its corporate estate by 2026, and reduce carbon emissions from its homes by at least 4000 tonnes per year.
Stephen Devine, Wheatley’s director of assets and sustainability, said: “Wheatley is absolutely committed to creating ‘Greener Homes, Greener Lives’ across Scotland over the next five years – and we want to inspire our staff and the communities we serve to help us meet climate commitments and reduce carbon emissions.
“Many of our communities are already benefiting from our massive investment programme, including new energy-efficient heating systems in multi-storeys and solar panels, which make our homes more environmentally friendly and reduce heating costs.”
Wheatley already has a strong track record in sustainability and is continually improving the energy efficiency of its homes by investment work.
That includes the use of solar panels and battery systems, and enhanced external insulation on tens of thousands of homes.
That investment has meant Wheatley homes perform better than the Scottish average on carbon emission standards. (Scottish average 78kg/m2, Wheatley Group 47kg/m2).
Future plans will include an emphasis on green jobs and apprenticeships – including with Wheatley’s partners City Building (Glasgow) – in renewables and low-carbon alternatives to gas, such as electric and hydrogen heating, as well as more electric vehicles and improved recycling.
Communities will also be asked to bring forward ideas for sustainable projects in their areas.
Stephen Devine added: “Wheatley’s commitment to sustainability is already making homes and lives better.
“Our investment in greener living will help us tackle fuel poverty and reduce the cost of running a home and our focus on new and emerging technologies will help create green jobs, training and other opportunities for our customers.”
In June, Wheatley became the first housing group in Scotland to gain the prestigious Planet Mark accreditation.
The UK’s leading sustainability body hailed Wheatley as ‘a leader in the housing industry’ for its commitment to reducing carbon emissions.