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Longhurst Group gains environmental best practice award


Spire Homes, a member company of Longhurst Group, have won international recognition for the sustainability of their development at Seaton Road in Uppingham, Rutland, with the Green Apple Award for Environmental Best Practice. This prestigious award was given by The Green Organisation, an independent environment group dedicated to recognising, rewarding and promoting environmental best practice around the world.


Renewable Heat Incentive made easy


In March 2011 the UK government announced plans for the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme – the first of its kind in the world.


Retrofit for the Future project findings reveals an 80% carbon cut


I suppose that given time and an injection of creativity one could envisage many links between the two, but for this blog, the story starts in 1948. It was then that the Gaymer Cider Company built the Gaymer Memorial Cottages which are situated near to the old cider factory. They housed factory workers and their families and overlooked the orchards. They are now held in trust by Hastoe Housing Association who successfully won £150,000 from the TSB funding stream “Retrofit for the Future”, to lower the carbon emissions associated with the one of the four terraced homes. The cottage is off the main gas network and was heated by electric storage heaters, which placed a great financial burden on tenants. 


Sustainability standards in a cost conscious time


Right now the emotive topic of debate is about the Government’s changes to the definition of zero carbon outlined in the Budget, which will see new build standards from 2016 drop from Code for Baker Homes level 6 to level 5. However, there is a much more fundamental problem to tackle: some associations are reacting to financial hardship by threatening to drop sustainability standards altogether.


DCLG wants to work with SHIFT members on climate change adaptation


Our last SHIFT event attracted a lot of attention from Government as well as attendees. Information from the events, presentations, workshops and informal chats with SHIFT members are being collated by a DCLG representative who attended. The information will be forwarded to DCLG Minister Andrew Stunell.


Partnership to create new generation of eco-friendly homes has begun


Longhurst Group is a SHIFT member, one of 40 organisations committed to environmental improvement through public benchmarking and sharing lessons. Longhurst Group is one housing association that is experimenting with the creation of eco-friendly, affordable homes for the future. One of their credos is "investing in communities is a fundamental part of our approach." Rebecca Mills goes into more detail as to how they will do this.


Government announce £8.6billion energy meter roll out


The Government announced a couple of weeks ago the roll-out time table for smart meters. The roll-out will take place between 2022 and 2019 and the meters will have been installed in 30 million homes in the UK. The question is, will they be code compliant meters for new build homes? 


Gentoo Group acquires solar panel manufacturer


The Gentoo Group, an affordable housing provider and member of the SHIFT sustainability network, is extending its business with the acquisition of one of the few solar panel manufacturers and specialist glass makers in the UK.


Gentoo is retrofitting and running on solar power


The last year has been an exciting and challenging time for Gentoo. We were named as the 14th Greenest business in the UK in The Sunday Times Best Green Companies list and 48th in the Times Best Company to Work For. You would think that on the back of this we may have decided to take it a little easier but you would be wrong.


Top tips for engaging residents around green issues


Sophie Atkinson of the Sanctuary Group explains how encouraging tenants to get involved with sustainability benefits housing associations, residents and the environment.


Baker Homes for two more exciting awards!


Baker Homes, a consultancy passionate about driving green issues in housing, has been shortlisted for the second industry award in as many weeks.


Increase in feed-in tariff rates from April 2011


The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) have announced the new Feed-in Tariff payment rates applicable from 1st April 2011. The rates have all been increased in line with the retail price index of 4.8% over 2010 rates. 


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