Energy specialist SMS is partnering with Aberdeen City Council to carry out a £5.2 million decarbonisation retrofit scheme at 100 homes in the city.
Following a bid to the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the project is being backed by £2.2 million from the Government’s Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund Demonstrator. SMS and delivery partners will roll out fabric retrofits and green energy technologies across the council properties.
Taking a whole-home energy-efficiency approach, the scheme is intended to demonstrate a viable route to net-zero carbon emissions for the UK social housing sector – while reducing fuel poverty among residents.
The project, which also involves delivery partners Robertson Group and IRT Surveys, will draw together a range of low-carbon generation and energy-efficiency innovations to prove decarbonisation’s potential for the UK’s social housing stock. The technologies to be deployed include solar panels and heat pumps to remove the supply of carbon-intensive fuels, installed alongside behind-the-meter battery storage systems.
SMS, which is financing the roll-out of the assets at no upfront cost to the landlord or tenants, will operate the battery system through its cloud-based aggregation software, FlexiGrid. The company said that “remotely optimising the use of a battery in this way removes the barrier of consumer behaviour change and maximises the use of renewable electricity generated on-site by the solar panel”. FlexiGrid also optimises grid import and export through the home’s smart meter to deliver demand-side management that is crucial for wider grid decarbonisation.
The demo project with Aberdeen City Council is trialling the integration of electrified heat with this service to reach even greater carbon reductions.
As part of the project’s fabric-first, whole-home approach, each home will be surveyed using thermal-imaging technology to identify where fabric improvements are needed to cut space-heating demand. By implementing these fabric upgrades in tandem with the installation of renewable energy assets, the scheme is intended to showcase a route to reaching net-zero emissions through a financed and scalable business model.
The installation phase, which is set to create 39 local jobs, is set for completion by December, after which the energy performance of the 100 homes will be resurveyed and monitored for six months to demonstrate efficacy.
Image credit | Susanne Pommer-Shutterstock