At Homebaked CLT we first learned about the environmental importance and social benefits of energy efficiency measures when we started creating proposals of how to retain the terrace on Oakfield Rd in 2011 and worked with Liverpool based retrofit expert architect Marianne Heaslip of URBED. Rather than putting a blanket on ourselves, we learned, it is possible to put a blanket on our home. Metaphorically speaking…
Local resident’s jacket is surprisingly similar to insulation material! Image: Tim Jeeves
We have since gone on about domestic energy efficiency and how those measures connect to fighting climate change, improving health, and even creating local jobs to everyone who wanted to hear about it – or potentially didn’t (sorry!). The scheme that we finally co-created for our terrace will be very well insulated and also features air source heat pumps and solar. It lowers carbon emissions in comparison to similar housing stock by 80% and is projected to cut tenants’ energy bills in half. Moving to low carbon electric heating also means our residents will not be dependent on gas anymore.
A visual of all the sustainability features as part of the Oakfield Terrace Scheme Image and design: URBED
Skip forward to today, with a global pandemic sandwiched in between and a distinct lack of action on energy efficiency from our government, we are now grappling with the burning question of how we can support ourselves and our neighbours in the struggle to pay our energy bills and help each other to improve our homes to be warmer, healthier, and cheaper to run. And we ask ourselves: How can we make sure we never end up in a situation like this again? How can we future proof our housing stock for good? And how can we make sure that these improvements are equitable and achievable for all? Basically, how can we spread that blanket across the neighbourhood?
With timely funding from Liverpool City region Combined Authority’s Community Environment Fund, Homebaked CLT is proud to be launching a local capacity building and hands-on support programme to tackle that question together in our community.
Badged as the ‘The Cosy Homes Club’, the initiative will be delivered through a growing network of interested people and organisations in Anfield & Everton.
All Saints primary school in seed bombing action at Homebaked CLT Market Green Edition, credit: Helen Ball
The first phase of the project is to recruit locally rooted organisations to join us in a process of learning, thinking and doing together. We will build our internal knowledge and capacity around the theme and start imagining and building local solutions. This phase will be supported by community energy organisations across the North of England and beyond, so we can draw on the experiences of other communities in who have adopted people-led approaches to tackling energy efficiency.
Over the next six months we will be delivering a whole host of community events, hosted by the The Cosy Homes Club network members, to pilot support for local residents including practical sessions on things they can do themselves to reduce energy costs and increase efficiency in the home.
The ‘Energy House’ as a hands-on way to learn about energy efficiency in the home – courtesy of Carbon Coop, credit: Brandon Denny
Toward the end of the project, we will make places available for accredited Level 3 energy efficiency training for community frontline workers and volunteers so they can roll out their knowledge across the neighbourhood and to their own customers and communities.
The work won’t end there, the network will take the insight from the project, crafting an energy efficiency action plan to take the initiative into its next stages.
Would you like to join The Cosy Homes Club or find out more?
Drop Helen an email on [email protected]
And watch this space and our social media for updates!