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New take on retrofit sees fuel savings soar

A bespoke heating and energy saving package has helped an award-winning Sussex housing project on its way to saving residents 1500kg of CO2 emissions per year.

Residents for Low Impact Sustainable Homes, or RELISH, included two Alpha FlowSmart systems in their demonstration project, which won the Energy Saving Initiative at the Sustainable Housing 2010 Awards.

Designed to reduce energy use and fuel poverty the scheme comprises Worthing Homes, a registered provider of social housing in the Sussex region, Faithorn Farrell Timms, specialist surveying consultants and Rydon, a nationwide contractor with a significant commitment to refurbishment of RP stock.

Always at the forefront of heating innovation, Alpha’s FlowSmart system delivers above average hot water demands at less than 25% gas usage of a standard system boiler and 200 litre unvented cylinder. This made the system ideal for the RELISH scheme, which aimed to save residents an average of £280 a year off their utility bills.

Andrew Leatherland, a KTP associate working with the Rydon Group, was responsible for educating residents about the benefits of their refurbishments. “The primary aim of the RELISH project is to reduce energy use in existing occupied housing stock, leading to a new standard for low carbon retrofitting. The maximum spend, over and above the decent home works, was £6,500, and Alpha’s system was chosen as part of a larger bespoke package of energy saving works.

“Alpha provided excellent support and guidance – to ensure we chose the right product – all the way through to installation and commissioning processes. They were also able to supply an extended warranty as standard, which other boiler manufacturers could not match. Because of this high level of service, the Rydon Group are looking into future schemes using Alpha’s innovative products.

The initial success of RELISH has attracted interest from other Registered Providers and has also been granted Innovation in Practice but Construction Excellence.

Simon Foord, regional specification manager at Alpha, said: “Projects like RELISH do an excellent job of highlighting fuel poverty and energy consumption in existing properties, demonstrating that systems like Alpha’s can be instrumental in helping Registered Providers effectively and economically retrofit existing housing stock with substantial results.”

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