Archive for March, 2012

Energy Efficient Homes for students

Swansea University Students’ Union has recently passed a motion which will effectively change the housing stock for students within the Swansea city area. Landlords will be asked  to join the new scheme which will enable the opportunity for landlords to improve the energy efficiency of houses that they own.This will be done by writing a statement/charter which will carry a message that landlords can agree to,said statement/charter will contain the message that landlords are committed and support the campaign to improve the housing stock they own.

The next part of the motion looks at a grading system, the grading system will comprise of different levels including   Bronze,  Silver and Gold. Each level having its own criteria set out and costings of which are considered and taking into play. For example looking at a bronze level, landlords would be expected to  enact  minor changes this can be actions such as applying hippos to toilets, replace any old lightbulbs with energy-saving ones et al. A possible criteria for silver will contain  criteria including grade C or above appliances and heating pipe installation. One main aspect of this is to avoid the usage of plugging in heaters, which many students today use on a day-to-day basis, and of course uses the vast amounts of electricity and due cost to the student. Gold will be the highest level that landlords can achieve, the level will include criteria  such as central heating for those homes that do not already have it, all wall insulation/attic insulation/cladding.

Many may ask about the pricing and cost which may be placed on landlords, or be afraid to ask the landlords, they needn’t be as there is many funding  pots out there that are accessible to both students and landlord. For students, and the general public, there is a new scheme called the Green Deal, what this entails is a loan which stays with the house not a person, it allows changes to the house which will enable a more efficient household to both seats and energy usage with no extra cost to the individual. The reason why there is no extra cost to the individual, is due to the fact what ever is saved through the usage of the changes, is sent to pay off the loan. So in regards to student households, as many of you already know students leave their houses in June,  they needn’t worry that the loan will follow them, as said it would stay with the house not the individual. Landlords can not refuse a request to  enact change according to the Energy Bill 2010, unless the house is already scheduled to have changes done to it according to Green Deal.

Landlords may receive funding from various locations, more in particular for Attic insulation/wall insulation/cladding on houses and this can be found from various sources. There will be a guidebook created which will reference reference relevant information for landlords in Swansea, thus landlords will be able to find out where they may receive such funding and hopefully enact change for the benefit of students within the city. The process may take a while as you probably imagine we are not considering an overnight change, however Rob Abrams and myself are committed to provide the stepping stones for this new exciting opportunity that we have now been given.