The Welsh government has doubled its spending on social rental housing, committing an initial Â£ 250million in 2021/22 for 20,000 new low-carbon homes.
The ambitious plans will respond to a growing demand for housing and the climate crisis, providing good quality and affordable green housing to those in need.
All homes will be built to bold new quality and environmental standards with the goal that part of the park will exceed net zero and produce more energy than it consumes. A new announcement on this subject is expected before the end of the month.
Visiting one of Wales’ first ‘positive energy’ social housing programs today, Climate Change Minister responsible for housing Julie James said the program Rhiw Cefn Gwlad of Wales & West Housing in Bridgend was “an example” for developers, housing associations and advice to follow.
The development of 14 houses used the latest technical innovations in renewable energy, from extract air heat pumps integrated with mechanical ventilation, to large photovoltaic solar roof systems coupled with a Tesla battery system.
Residents who moved in in January this year received their first negative energy bill in March, meaning that excess energy generated by their homes has already been fed back into the national grid.
The minister said:
âHearing how much Cai, Allyn and other residents saved on their household bills today, and the difference their new, high-quality home has made to their well-being, strengthens my confidence that our ambitious housing plan will make. a real difference for the people of Wales.
“We’ve doubled our money – committing a quarter of a billion pounds this fiscal year, so we can get started and build 20,000 new low-carbon homes for rent.”
âIt goes beyond estimates of the Welsh housing needs. “
“We are building on a large scale to address the imbalance of supply and demand, homelessness, the growing second home crisis and the climate emergency.”
âWe build high quality homes to improve the quality of people’s lives. And we make sure that the decisions we make today are the right ones for our future generations. “
Cai Phillips and his partner Abigail Rees moved into their 2 bed house in Rhiw Cefn Gwlad with their three year old daughter Olivia after living with their parents in Bridgend.
âIntegrated home systems are really easy to use. The house is so well insulated that the temperature barely drops below 20 degrees.
âEven on the coldest days of winter, we didn’t have to turn on the heat.
âI can control the heating from an app on my phone and have learned to save energy by using the battery to self-power the house. ”
âWe only pay Â£ 20 per month for our electricity bills and get credited on our bills which is amazing. The house is perfect.
Allyn King, his wife Anne-Marie and their three children aged 10 to 17 moved into their new 4 bedroom home in Rhiw Cefn Glwad in January 2021.
Before moving to Rhiw Cefn Gwlad, the family spent around Â£ 250 per month on electricity and gas for heating, washing and drying. Their payments have been drastically reduced thanks to the technologies built into the houses.
âThe house is amazing. In our old house we were spending around Â£ 250 on electricity and gas for heating, washing and drying.
âNow we are paying Â£ 19.33 per month by direct debit on our electricity. We have accumulated over Â£ 250 in credit over the summer which will be very useful for the winter.
âThe battery is fantastic, it stores electricity from the roof for when we need it. I also have an app on my phone to control the heating and hot water when I’m away from home to save even more energy.
âThe extra money we save in our household has allowed us to spend more on healthy, fresh food and save for our children’s school uniforms and special occasions. “