Agenda item

Agenda item

HRA Energy Efficiency Projects 2023/24

Cabinet, at its meeting on 13 September 2023, will consider a report from the Executive Director (Communities and People) on HRA Energy Efficiency Projects 2023/24. Cllr Linda Smith, Cabinet Member for Housing, Cllr Anna Railton, Cabinet Member for Zero Carbon Oxford and Climate Justice and Juliet Nicholas, Energy & Sustainability Manager have been invited to present the report and answer questions. The Panel is asked to consider the report and agree any recommendations.


Juliet Nicholas, Energy & Sustainability Manager introduced the report, highlighting that Oxford City Council had set a target of getting 95% of its housing stock to an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) C or above by 2030, alongside a commitment to reach net zero carbon emissions as a city by 2040 – going beyond EPC C. The report set out a proposed piece of work to deliver HRA energy efficiency projects using a budget previously agreed by Council.

Cllr Anna Railton, Cabinet Member for Zero Carbon Oxford and Climate Justice added that this work was completely separate from the Clean Heat Streets trial in Rose Hill, which was delivered through a different funding pot.

In response to questions, the Panel was advised that:

·       The Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP) trial undertaken in 2022/23 was a very small trial with a focus on monitoring efficiency; the efficiency of the ASHPs was found to be very high and the Council was in the process of taking the learnings from that project so that it could look to rollout other projects.

·       The cost to deliver circa 40 heat pumps (£500k) was an estimation and included not only the pumps and installation, but also additional costs such as remedial works to residents’ homes where required following the removal of gas boilers; the budget included contingency.

·       Circa 40 ASHPs would be installed in 40 fairly standard detached or semi-detached homes; they would not be installed in flats.

·       The procurement route for delivery of the projects had not yet been decided upon; value for money considerations would be taken into account as part of the procurement process.

·       It was felt that the proposal to conduct EPCs in circa 350 HRA properties in 2023/24 was realistic in the timeframe with the budget available; further EPCs would be undertaken in future years.

·       The Council had a piece of software which gave an indication of the EPC of each of the HRA properties, even if the property did not have an EPC lodged; conducting EPCs would help test the data and the accuracy of the software.

·       Soft market testing had been undertaken and it had been found that there was capacity within the market in respect of the projects for design and delivery, though capacity was expected to become more problematic in future years as demand for specialist suppliers increased.

·       If the Council awarded the contract to Oxford Direct Services as main contractor with a number of sub-contractors, project management and ensuring sub-contractors were delivering would form part of the delivery programme.

·       There was the possibility of exploring medium-to-long term relationships with suppliers, contractors and sub-contractors as part of the procurement process.

·       Taking advantage of economies of scale could be explored.

The Panel agreed to recommend to Cabinet that:

1.    The Council explores the full range of procurement options for the delivery of the projects, including alternative suppliers and the possibility of establishing medium-to-long term relationships with suppliers, contractors and sub-contractors.

2.    The Council sets a timetable for achieving a full set of EPCs for its HRA properties.

Juliet Nicholas, Energy & Sustainability Manager left the meeting and did not return.

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