Housing and government leaders pledge joint action on climate change and fuel poverty

March 21, 2014
Posted by in Government, Microgeneration, News, Partnerships, Statistics & Data | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Leaders from the housing associations and local authorities of the Liverpool City Region today pledged closer working to address global climate change and fuel poverty.

Councillor Ann O'Byrne, Assistant Mayor and Liverpool City Council cabinet member for housing

Councillor Ann O’Byrne, Assistant Mayor and Liverpool City Council cabinet member for housing

The pledge was signed at an event attended by over 100 representatives from twenty organisations at Liverpool Town Hall.

Delegates heard about the work of the Viridis partnership to work with individuals and communities across Merseyside to reduce resident’s fuel bills and reduce carbon emissions.

Speaking at the event, Maggi Howard, Chair of Viridis and Director of Assets and Enterprise at Liverpool Mutual Homes, said:

“The Viridis partners have committed to work together to reduce carbon emissions and reduce fuel poverty.

“Local people are concerned about the future impact that climate change is beginning to have on our weather systems – the changes we have been warned about are beginning to bite. Viridis partners are leading the way in making homes in the Liverpool City Region more energy efficient. 27% of emissions are from domestic properties. Tackling this element of carbon pollution is a win:win:win- improved comfort, lower bills and less pollution.

“Local people want to make a contribution to protecting the environment and lowering fuel bills is a priority for everyone now as energy prices rise. By working together, sharing best practice and initiatives we can make an impact on the future.”

Councillor Ann O’Byrne, Assistant Mayor and Liverpool City Council cabinet member for housing said:

“Investing in and supporting the low carbon economy also offers real opportunities for the Liverpool City Region that we are determined to realise in terms of inward investment and jobs.”

Projects at the event include highlighting projects by the partners at developments across Merseyside such as at Belvidere Road and Broad Lane in Liverpool, Castlefields in Halton and in Knowsley where properties have included major upgrades to improve home energy efficiency, including:

  • A rated boilers
  • Double glazed windows
  • External and internal wall insulation programmes
  • Floor and loft insulation
  • Installing air or ground source heat pumps – exploring new technologies
  • Installing solar thermal systems
  • Researching opportunities for microgeneration

The Viridis partners aim that by committing to raise the priority of such work, and by working together wherever possible, much more such work can be done.

The event, titled, ‘Delivering Energy Savings – cheaper, cleaner, greener’, also focused on the of work Viridis to support residents to do a range of simple and either low or no cost things that will help them reduce their energy bills and be greener in their energy use.

These include turning off appliances, taking showers instead of baths and changing energy suppliers – which can add up to several hundreds of pounds savings from bills for some households.

A Viridis Home Energy Savings website has been established – www.viridisenergysaving.co.uk – backed by a Save Energy Advice Line available across the City region and provided by Viridis partner Energy Projects Plus on 0800 043 0151 (UK).

Local case studies who have benefited from the work of Viridis partners and by their changing their own energy use can be seen on this video:


The Viridis partners are:

The six local authorities of the Liverpool City Region: Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral.

Registered Social Housing Providers (Housing Associations): Beechwood Ballantine, Cobalt Housing, Halton Housing Trust, Helena Homes, Knowsley Housing Trust, Liverpool Housing Trust, Liverpool Mutual Homes, Magenta Living, Plus Dane Group, Regenda Group, SLH Group, Venture, Villages Housing, Your Housing Group

Other Partners:

Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership
Energy Projects Plus

REECH has provided over £7 million funding for Viridis partner retrofit activities to date.

Viridis is also working with:

United Utilities
British Gas
E-on Energy
Scottish Power

Save Energy Advice Line – 0800 043 0151 (UK)

The Advice Line operates Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, with a free call back service for people who leave a message out of hours. The service, providing a free, impartial and independent telephone advice service to Merseyside residents, currently operates across Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St. Helens and Wirral, and is part-funded by Local Authorities in these areas. It is provided by local charity Energy Projects Plus, www.epplus.org.uk.

Viridis Event Speakers:

  • Maggi Howard, Chair of Viridis and Director of Assets and Enterprise at Liverpool Mutual Homes
  • Cllr Ann O’Byrne, Assistant Mayor and Liverpool City Council cabinet member for housing
  • Andrew Eagles, Managing Director, Sustainable Homes
  • Simon Brown, Chair of Viridis Engagement Group, Director of Asset Management, Liverpool Housing Trust


  • Housing energy is nearly a third of total energy use, and its share is rising over time.
  • How people use energy in their homes is usually more significant in shaping consumption than either household size or the size of the dwelling.
  • The energy used by appliances has increased three-fold since 1970. We now own, and use, more electric appliances than ever before.
  • Savings of between 10% and 20% in household bills – £200 / £300 per annum are achievable for many households
  • UN statistics put the UK per capita emissions at 9.4 tonnes
  • The total number of properties within the Liverpool City Region is 631,000
  • Average annual energy costs per household are between £1,200 and £1,400
  • If households made only a 5% saving potential and 30% of Liverpool City Region households take action, the results could be:
    • £11,034,000 per annum saving on bills
    • CO2 86,433 tonnes saved per annum

Sources: UN, Great Britain’s housing energy fact file (DECC 2011)