The Sustainable Communities Partnership is a real opportunity to link water with energy saving to benefit social housing
Housing Associations are being given an early Christmas present this year as a pioneering water, energy and money saving initiative is launched. In fact, it could be one of the most significant breakthroughs in helping Housing Associations make a major impact on the environmental management and cost efficiency of social housing.
The Sustainable Communities Partnership brings together Housing Associations and Local Authorities, SHIFT, The Energy Saving Trust and industry specialists SaveWaterSaveMoney, in a beneficial programme to enhance the sustainability of the nation’s four million social housing tenants.
By making new, cutting edge water and energy saving devices accessible to Housing Associations and Local Authorities, the partnership is able to deliver potential savings of more than 30,000 litres of water and 750kWH a year per household – which translates to up to GBP250 annual savings for tenants whose properties are on water meters, and up to GBP50 a year for those who are not.
What makes these savings so notably high is the innovative, patented CombiSmart. It’s a simple, thermostatic valve that accelerates the heating process by holding back water while the combi boiler heats it to the right temperature. By doing this, it is able to dramatically reduce water wastage and utility bills. This represents a highly accessible solution that’s both affordable to Housing Associations and Local Authorities, and effective for the millions of cash-strapped social housing tenants in the UK. And it’s not just helping them now – the savings will continue, cushioning tenants from ever-rising fuel bills in years to come.
By being a part of the Sustainable Communities Partnership, Housing Associations and Local Authorities can purchase CombiSmart for GBP29.99 excl VAT, a 20% discount on the volume purchase price. They will also receive a number of water and energy saving devices free of charge for installation in tenants’ homes.
A dozen Housing Associations are already trialling the initiative including Wakefield and District Housing (WDH), with more expected to follow suit.
Ben Stone, WDH’s Sustainability Manager, says:
‘We are committed to tackling fuel poverty across the Wakefield district and are using many innovative ways to help tenants reduce their bills. By working in partnership with Yorkshire Water and SaveWaterSaveMoney, we hope to introduce water-saving products such as the CombiSmart to the majority of our 31,000 homes over the next 18 months.’
Suzanne Dunn, Water Resources Planner at Yorkshire Water, says:
‘Yorkshire Water is committed to helping customers reduce their water and energy usage. As a member of this Partnership we will be helping customers make savings on their utility bills, as well as reducing the volume of water being taken from the environment.'
Andrew Eagles, Managing Director of SHIFT says:
‘If you have a combi-boiler you wait for the water to heat up. All that time as the water heats up, water is being wasted down the sink. Residents throughout the UK are suffering from rising water and energy bills. Practical and useful devices such as this are welcomed to reduce those costs to residents.’
Tim Robertson, Director of SaveWaterSaveMoney, says:
‘The Sustainable Communities Partnership is a real opportunity to link water with energy saving to benefit social housing. As well as the significant savings in water and energy wastage, the financial advantage for tenants is undeniable.’
Andrew Tucker, Water Manager at Energy Saving Trust, says:
‘23 per cent of the average household fuel bills are as a result of hot water usage (showers, baths, taps). This shows the importance of saving water in the house, with simple water efficiency behaviours providing substantial fuel bill savings. Now more than ever saving water should be considered as a core business requirement to help householders suffering from high fuel bills and fuel poverty.’
Housing Associations interested in taking part in the Partnership are asked to contact Lisa Gohil on 0845 371 0728. For further information about CombiSmart, visit www.combismart.co.uk
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