‘Homes as Power Stations’ funding granted
In a landmark funding agreement between UK and Welsh Government ministers, the Swansea Bay area of Wales has secured funding the install a range of low carbon technologies to new and existing homes. The scheme, which is worth £1.3billion and has been crafted to boost the local economy, will generate almost 10,000 new jobs in total and will be active over the next 15 years. Comprising of eleven major projects in Swansea, Carmarthenshire, Neath Port Talbot and Pembrokeshire, the focus will be on science, technology and environment. Neath Port Talbot will be the leaders in environmental awareness, with the ‘Homes as Power Stations’ being its major focus and £15million of the fund to play with. Retrofit applications will account for 71% (3,000) of the homes to be included in the five-year scheme – with 250 to be completed within the first year. This will be coupled with the creation of 1,200 new build homes. In terms of the technologies installed, these will be low carbon and renewable systems, with a spokesperson for the council confirming that roof integrated solar photovoltaic (PV) and battery storage systems being incorporated. These installations will be used to evaluate the implementation and performance of houses as power stations in the area and could be used as the basis for further projects, to combat increasing fuel poverty in the area. If this project performs well, it may open the door to other councils looking to undertake themselves – increasing jobs, council revenue (through the FIT scheme) and grid independence.