Statement to cabinet on agenda items;
5 Report title: Warmer Homes Project – External Wall insulation to High-Rise and Low-Rise Flats in Bristol
6 Procurement of Domestic Heating Installation; and New Bathroom
Installation Contracts for Council owned homes.
Bristol Green Party councillors would like to welcome the proposal to spend £70m on insulating the 45 multi-story and low-rise blocks of flats – which includes 1,715 individual flats. We further welcome the proposal to procure domestic heat insulation.
The first proposal has the capacity to cut the fuel bills to the residents of these blocks and therefore cut levels of fuel poverty. It will also cut Bristol’s carbon emissions. It is therefore a win-win project.
The second project also has the capacity to deliver similar benefits – and, in general – we welcome it too.
We do wish to make a number of comments however:
1. We note that the Economy 7 heating system will be replaced with gas central heating in something like 200 properties per year. While we accept that these will be a more efficient heating system, we are aware that an electricity-based system is usually easier to source from renewable energy generation. Gas central heating, however efficient, offers greater challenges in ensuring a renewable energy supply. We therefore ask that, where possible, measures are taken to ensure the future use of renewable sources that are sustainable and environmentally friendly.
2. We ask that any heating systems installed are future-proofed so that they are compatible with any potential district heating systems and/or – as far as possible – compatible with renewable energy sources
3. We ask - given this is a 30 year programme, and that by the end of this timeframe, (unless the Tories abolish our climate change targets), we will be close to the point whereby we should have cut our carbon emissions by 80% -– will this programme be making a sufficient contribution to our emissions reduction targets?
4. In view of the Tory government attacks on social housing, we also ask if these proposals are affected by changes to the potential rental income the council may receive into its housing revenue account
We ask the mayor to take this into account, when making his decision.