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Landmark deal to improve energy efficiency in social housing

  • UK Green Investment Bank and Equitix announce a commitment of £5m to sheltered housing boiler replacement project
  • Deal marks GIB’s first investment in UK social housing sector
  • More than 1,000 homes managed by Places for People to benefit from conversions
  • Energy efficient new systems to deliver affordable, lower carbon heating

UK Green Investment Bank plc (GIB) and Equitix have today announced a commitment to fund the installation of energy efficient heating systems in sheltered housing complexes throughout England.

The Equitix managed fund Energy Saving Investments (ESI), in which GIB is a cornerstone investor, is investing £2.5m in the project. This will mobilise an additional £2.5m of additional private sector capital from the Equitix Energy Efficiency Fund (EEEF).

The injection of capital – GIB’s first investment in the UK social housing sector – will see new, highly efficient heating systems fitted in up to 28 developments across the country. This includes a pilot scheme of seven completed installations in the North West.

With each complex consisting of between 38 and 50 individual homes, the complete programme will benefit 1,100 homes.

The highly efficient biomass and gas boiler systems will be fitted externally, to minimise disruption to residents, by Boxed Energy Limited, a joint venture between Places for People and Fontenergy Construction Services,.

Once operational, the boiler systems will be sold to Boxed Esco Services Limited which will then manage and maintain the equipment, selling the generated heat to Places for People (PfP), property owner and manager of the sites, under a 20-year energy performance contract.

The arrangement will provide PfP with cost-effective, energy efficient technology that substantially reduces energy consumption at each scheme while avoiding the significant capital costs and the operational burden associated with the installation.

Research from Energy Efficiency Partnership for Homes shows there are close to half a million supported housing units in the UK, many of which would benefit from the installation of more energy efficient heating systems. It is hoped that the structure of the arrangement can easily be replicated at other sites.

Bill Rogers, Managing Director, UK Green Investment Bank, said:

“We are very pleased to be able to support Places for People’s programme to improve the energy efficiency of its housing stock. The project will bring cost savings, carbon savings and provide the social landlord with the practical benefits of outsourcing its energy arrangements. This is a model we’d like to see rolled out at scale across the rest of the UK.” 

Geoff Jackson, Chief Executive Director, Equitix, said:

“Equitix has developed strong partnerships and a track record of investing into the social housing sector through its core infrastructure funds. We are very pleased to be building on our existing relationships by furthermore investing into high quality and environmentally beneficial projects within this sector through our energy efficiency funds. We are a long term partner and investor and understand the needs for Places for People and its customers so look forward to providing them more sustainable and cost effective solutions.”

David Cowans, Chief Executive, Places for People, said:

“We’re delighted to have received this investment from the UK Green Investment Bank and Equitix and to have formed a joint venture with Fontenergy Construction Services. This is great news for our customers who will benefit from the installation of these energy efficient boilers, saving money on their fuel bills. Places for People is at the forefront of bringing innovative solutions to the housing and regeneration sectors and we are particularly pleased that this is the first such investment by the Green investment Bank in the UK social housing sector.”

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