Exeter City Council has confirmed that 700 council homes in the region have been retrofitted with low-carbon technologies, including solar photovoltaics (PV) and heat pumps.
The retrofits form part of Exeter City Council’s energy-efficiency retrofit programme which secured £4.1 million in funding, including through a central government funding package. The council expects more than 200 additional properties will benefit in the upcoming year as its retrofit programme continues to aid council housing.
This milestone was reached as part of the council’s ambition to deliver 500 new energy-efficient council properties over the next decade.
Councillor Barbara Denning, lead councillor for council housing, said: “Our team at the Council have done a brilliant job with the retrofit programme, and I know from speaking to tenants that they really benefit from this.
“We have a lot of older properties in Exeter that need making more energy efficient. This not only brings benefits to our residents but also cuts our carbon footprint.”
Exeter’s green patch
Exeter has been the site for several renewable energy projects throughout the UK’s energy transition. Most recently, in January 2024, the Exeter Energy Network received just over half of an £80 million funding package for greener heating from the UK government.
The £42.5 million was awarded to the network for building a new network of air-source heat pumps and one of the UK’s largest high-temperature water-source heat pumps.
It is estimated that buildings connected to the network will see an initial reduction of 65-75% in carbon emissions compared to gas heating once the heat pumps are fully operational.
Moreover, Octopus Energy partnered with housebuilder Verto in July 2023 to kickstart the energy supplier’s ‘Zero Bills’ homes initiative, initially based in Exeter.
With this partnership, the firm aimed to deliver a total of 70 houses across Cornwall, Devon and Exeter which eliminated the need for energy bills through the installation of solar panels, batteries, and heat pumps.
Since this launch, the initiative has expanded to developing 250 homes in Bedfordshire and Octopus Energy now aims to deliver 50,000 ‘Zero Bills’ homes globally by 2025.