£1.24 million programme underway to improve the energy efficiency of homes in Washington

Gentoo Group has recently started work to improve the energy efficiency of 21 properties in Whinfell, Albany.

The work began last month following the Group’s successful bid to the government’s Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund, submitted in partnership with Sunderland City Council.

The improvements focus on enhancing the energy efficiency of Gentoo properties in Washington, which will benefit from external wall insulation, roof insulation measures and window and door replacements to reduce the amount of energy tenants need to keep their homes warm.

RE:GEN Group will deliver the work that will see the EPC rating of the homes improve to an EPC C standard, making them more thermally efficient. The work to the 21 properties is estimated to cost around £1.24 million and is part of a wider programme that will see the energy efficiency of 500 Gentoo properties improved. Around £2.4 million has been invested into the wider scheme, with half of the programme being funded through the government bid.

EPC ratings relate to the energy demand and thermal efficiency of a property. The higher the EPC rating, the less energy a tenant will need to heat and fuel their home. Gentoo is dedicated to improving the EPC rating of all its properties and aim to upgrade the remaining 11,000 homes with a rating below C to C by 2030.  

It is estimated all homes reaching EPC C will cost Gentoo around £37 million to carry out. Despite challenges relating to inflation, cost of materials and the cost of the living crisis, the Group is working as quickly and efficiently as possible to ensure they meet the goal. This involves prioritising properties that require cavity wall insulation, loft insulation top ups, double glazing, composite doors and new heating systems and controls.  

Nigel Wilson, Group Chief Executive Officer at Gentoo said:

“We’re delighted work is underway to improve the energy efficiency of homes in Washington. This work has been made possible through our partnership with Sunderland City Council resulting in a successful bid to the government’s Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund.

“The launch of this improvement work means we are one step closer to ensuring all our properties have an EPC rating of C by 2030.

“Improving the EPC ratings of our properties is hugely important to the Group as it means our tenants will need less energy to heat and fuel their homes and ensures we are supporting the carbon reduction targets set out by the Government and Sunderland City Council.”

Sunderland City Council’s Cabinet Member for Dynamic City, Cllr Kevin Johnston, said:

“The City Council is pleased to be working with Gentoo on improving energy efficiency across the city’s housing. As a council we are committed to making Sunderland cleaner and greener, and making existing housing more energy efficient is just one of the carbon reduction activities underway as we strive to make Sunderland a carbon neutral city.”