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Major energy boost in pipeline for thousands of homes

Multi-million pound plans to tackle fuel poverty while equipping over 10,000 homes across South West Wales with energy efficiency technology could soon take a major step forward.

Each local authority in the Swansea Bay City Region is being asked to approve the submission of a Homes as Power Stations project business case to the City Deal’s Joint Committee for decision.

Subject to approvals, the business case will then go to the UK Government and Welsh Government for final sign-off.

Energy efficiency technology will be retro-fitted to 7,000 homes throughout the Swansea Bay City Region as part of the project, with a further 3,300 new build homes also set to benefit.

A Swansea Bay City Deal investment of £15 million is being sought to set up a Homes as Power Stations project team, a regional financial incentives fund, and a regional supply chain development fund.

The City Deal investment would also enable detailed monitoring and evaluation of the energy efficiency technologies being introduced.

Neath Port Talbot Council is leading the project, which will complement the authority’s Decarbonisation and Renewable Energy Strategy, as well as forming part of a regional response to the Welsh Government’s declaration of a climate emergency in April, 2019. The council will do this by enabling renewable technologies to become embedded in future residential developments, as well as retro-fitting existing properties.

Cllr Rob Jones, Leader of Neath Port Talbot Council, said: “The Homes as Power Stations concept will initially be proven within a selected number of new build and retrofit developments to gather a detailed understanding of the varying energy efficiency technologies available.

“This understanding will then help inform examples of best practice for further roll-out in future across both the public and private sectors.

“With considerable benefits to be made available for local and regional supply chain businesses, the Homes as Power Stations project will generate thousands of construction jobs, create new skills, tackle fuel poverty and improve health and well-being, while helping the region meet its carbon reduction targets.

“The project will build on a number of energy efficient home developments either completed or in progress throughout South West Wales to establish the City Region as a global innovator for this kind of technology.”

Cllr Rob Stewart, Chairman of the Swansea Bay City Deal’s Joint Committee, said: “Homes as Power Stations is one of three regional projects due to be part-funded by the City Deal, along with a Digital Infrastructure project to improve digital connectivity, and a Skills and Talent Initiative that will put pathways in place for local people to access the high-quality jobs the City Deal will generate.

“Consideration of the Homes as Power Stations business case is yet more progress for the City Deal, with two projects having now been approved, other projects with both governments for final sign-off, and the first £18 million of funding having been released.”