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Two sell out fuel poverty conferences. What did we learn?


Here is a summary of the London event, held on 28 September in beautiful Church House, Westminster.


Save Energy, Save Money wins top sustainability award


Knowsley Housing Trust’s (KHT) Save Energy, Save Money project, which has helped hundreds of people cut their household bills, has picked up a prestigious award.


Sustainable Housing Awards 2024 - a green celebration


This year’s Sustainable Housing Awards, the awards run by Ocean Media, were held on the 19th October in the Hilton Hotel, Park Lane. In these times of austerity and funding cuts, the Awards celebrated those social housing providers, consultants and contractors who have continued to focus in on sustainability, and have delivered low-energy projects that will benefit their residents.


Renewable Heat Incentive proposals to exclude housing providers


The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) are consulting on proposals for a subsidy scheme for supporting those that replace their existing fossil fuel-based heating systems with renewable-based ones.  


Government u turn on Green Deal – millions of new funding to drive uptake


The UK government looked set to undertake a partial U-turn and launch a national communications campaign to promote its new Green Deal energy efficiency scheme when it launched in the autumn.


£40 million for local energy bill blitz


The Government is putting local action at the heart of efforts to keep energy bills down and homes warm, with an £40 million competition aimed at driving local initiatives to boost energy efficiency, reduce fuel poverty and encourage collective switching and purchasing.


£245m Green Deal cash back offer – hundreds of pounds up for grabs


The Government has announced that hundreds of pounds of cash back will be available to householders in England and Wales who make energy saving home improvements under the Green Deal from January 2013.


Retrofitting homes for energy efficiency? Beware of radon levels


If your stock is subject to reasonably high radon levels then, according to a recent Health Protection Agency report, you need to take care in consideration of air-tight retrofit solutions. This posting looks at some of the issues around high radon levels and retrofit solutions for homes. 


How can a simple button save your life?


Pressing a simple button on a Tuesday may save your life! It seems easy and surely we would all jump to the chance of saving our life in such an easy way! We at Baker Homes wanted to let you know about this new initiative to make your homes safer.
What are we talking about? Test It Tuesday! It’s a new initiative launched by the fire service to increase the awareness of testing your smoke alarm.
The good news is 9 out of 10 households now have a smoke alarm fitted in their homes; however 7 of these households don't test their fire alarm on a weekly basis.
So how do you test your smoke alarm?
It really is a simple press of the test button on your smoke alarm. If the alarm sounds, then all is well. If not then this indicates a problem which means your fire alarm may not alert you in the event of a fire in your home.
Sounds easy enough – so why aren't we testing our fire alarms weekly?
Lack of time often springs up, along with not being able to reach the alarm to test it. A fire alarm can be tested from the ground using a long handle such as a broom.
The fire service hope to build awareness by making testing your smoke alarm a weekly habit in the same way that shopping is done on a Thursday, the bins are put out on a Monday and the like.
If testing your fire alarm is built into your routine, it is far less likely you will forget to test it which puts your home and family at risk.
NEVER be tempted to cover up a fire alarm that sounds whilst you are cooking and NEVER be tempted to remove a battery.
What are the fire alarm options?
There are many options available now for smoke alarms with all modern fire alarms offering increased reliability.
Many local fire services will fit fire alarms to your property free of charge. If you do not have any fire alarms in your home, this is the perfect opportunity to enquire about free fire alarms. The fire alarms will be placed in your property by a fire specialist in integral areas. The units are completely sealed with a battery that should last for up to 10 years.
Another option with optimal safety features is to have your home fitted with hard wired smoke alarms with battery back up. This work would need to be carried out by a qualified electrician who would advise on the best fire system for your property and install the system for you. The best time to have this work done would be when you have your home rewired. This option is ideal when you are planning home improvements. Ask your local electrician for more details.
Don't forget though, you still need to test it weekly!

Test It Tuesday, find it on Twitter by searching #testittuesday


How can we maximise the benefits of renewable energy for social housing?


New research finds that social landlords need greater certainty to plan investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency programmes.


Major Welsh housing provider joins national sustainability group

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Cartrefi Conwy, becomes the first Welsh social housing association to join leading sustainability benchmarking initiative, SHIFT. With members spanning the majority of the UK – England, Scotland and Wales – housing associations nationwide are beginning to see the benefits of independently assessing the sustainability of their organization.


CITYWEST Homes - providing more than a roof over one’s head


Social housing provides an important necessity for individuals – provision of affordable accommodation – emphasised more today given the current economic climate. However, while shelter and warmth are priorities it is important to consider the quality of life and environment afforded through such means. Alison Weller, green spaces manager at CityWest Homes, a SHIFT member, states:


VPhase move forward into Scottish Housing

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VPhase plc (AIM: VPHA) has now signed up as a member of the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations.


£24m boost to help cities kick-start Green Deal


Seven cities across England will receive a share of £24m to help them kick-start the Green Deal in their regions - awarded by the Department of Energy & Climate Change.


Fuel Poverty Conference goes down a storm


On Friday 28th September we held our Fuel Poverty Conference at Church House, Westminster. Over 110 people attended almost selling out the venue.   


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