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New take on retrofit sees fuel savings soar

18 Jan 12 A bespoke heating and energy saving package has helped a 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 of the Year at the Sustainable Housing 2010 Awards.

Designed to reduce energy use and household fuel bills, the scheme comprises Worthing Homes, a registered provider (RP) working in the Sussex region, Faithorn Farrell Timms, specialist surveying consultants and Rydon, a nationwide maintenance and construction company who have a long and successful track record of occupied 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 heating and hot water utility bills.

Andrew Leatherland, Knowledge Transfer Partnership associate working with Rydon to research low carbon refurbishment, was responsible for educating residents about the benefits of their sensible refurbishment packages. “The primary aim of the RELISH™phase 1 project is to reduce energy use in existing occupied homes, leading to a new standard for low carbon retrofitting. The maximum spend for phase 1, 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 insulation and airtightness works.

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“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, Rydon is looking into future schemes using Alpha’s innovative products.”

The initial success of Relishhas attracted interest from other Registered Providers and has also been granted Innovation in Practice status by Constructing Excellence, as well as winning their 2010 sustainability award.

Steve Hopkins, Product Marketing Manager at Alpha, said: “Projects like Relish do an excellent job of highlighting energy consumption in existing homes, demonstrating that systems like Alpha’s can be instrumental in helping registered providers effectively and economically retrofit existing homes with substantial results.”

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