Watford and Three Rivers residents look forward to warmer, smarter homes thanks to unique partnership deal

Residents on an estate on the border of Watford and Three Rivers will enjoy warmer, smarter homes thanks to a major energy-saving scheme resurrected thanks to partnership working.

Thrive Homes, Three Rivers District Council and Watford Borough Council have been working together to find a solution to help fund the external wall insulation work on flats and houses in Boundary Way.

Many homes on the Garston estate had similar improvement work done last year but the project was halted following government changes to funding for home energy efficiency.

Now the three partners have come up with a unique plan to ensure the scheme is completed with no up-front cost to residents and are working with the National Energy Foundation to ensure tenants, leaseholders and private home owners all benefit from ‘Green Deal’ funding towards the work.

Fitting external wall insulation will improve the properties’ energy efficiency and appearance while, in the long-term, reducing residents’ fuel bills.

Contractor Lakehouse will start work on Thrive’s flats this month (May), followed by houses subject to the full row of properties signing up to the scheme.

A successful consultation event was held with residents on the estate earlier this month to answer their questions about the work, which needs a Green Deal Assessment Report carried out on each home.

Jo Barrett, Operations Director at Thrive Homes, said: “I am really pleased that we have been able to develop a scheme that can be offered to private customers as well as Thrive tenants, so that the whole community can benefit from energy efficiencies that will result from this work.”

Katherine Frost, Sustainable Projects Officer at Three Rivers District Council, said: “We are pleased to be working in partnership to deliver this exciting project to help improve the homes on Boundary Way and to keep residents warm and well. External wall insulation can potentially save hundreds of pounds a year on fuel bills and also reduce the impact on the environment of heating your home.”

Neil Walker, Energy and Renewal Surveyor at Watford Borough Council, said: “It’s great to offer the opportunity for residents to have their homes insulated, refreshing the look and making them more comfortable to live in.”

Alison Royle, Senior Project Officer at the National Energy Foundation, said: “This is a really good offer that the partners have put together for residents, enabling all of them to benefit from the energy efficiency work with no up-front costs.

“We project manage in 14 areas but this is the only one where we are working with a housing association.”

Duncan MacLeod, Group Head of Energy Efficiency Measures & ECO Delivery at Lakehouse, said: “By maximising the funding from a number of different sources, our partnership can install external wall insulation on a larger scale, making a real difference at Boundary Way. These works will provide much improved levels of energy efficiency, giving residents warmer homes, more control over bills and reducing their carbon footprint.”