Family is working with various organisations to help make Birmingham one of the leading green cities in the UK. The projects listed below detail how we are helping to cut down on our fuel bills, reduce our carbon footprint, save energy and fight the impact of climate change.
Save your Energy Project – Birmingham
South Lozells Eco Village Programme
Birmingham Green Doctor Service
Summerfield Eco Neighbourhood
Family's First Eco Home
Involvement from local schools
Green Make-Over for Community Church
Family has teamed up with Digital Birmingham and Be Birmingham to develop a system to measure the amount of energy we use at home. The project is called DEHEMS (Digital Environment Home Energy System) and is funded by the European Union with the aim to improve energy efficiency and reduce household emissions.
Save your Energy project - Birmingham
The project is a partnership between European Local Authorities, businesses and universities and is being undertaken across Europe with other households selected in Bulgaria, Romania and Czech Republic.
Households have been selected in the Summerfield and South Lozells area of Birmingham to take part in the project. The households cover a range of property types and sizes, some with good energy efficiency products already in place, some not. The home energy system installed into each property will provide data on household heat loss and appliance performance, as well as monitoring energy usage to give real time information on emissions and the energy performance of appliances and services. Households can then use this information to see where they can alter their energy usage.
It is only by engaging households in this way and helping them understand their energy consumption that lifestyle changes can be made and we can find a ‘greener’ way of living.
You can view full details on the project at YouTube :
You can also download our video at Save Your Energy video.
South Lozells Eco Village
The South Lozells Eco Scheme was delivered by Family Housing Association with funding from the Birmingham/Sandwell Housing Market Renewal Pathfinder Urban Living and has seen 26 low income owner-occupier homes in the area fitted with solar panel hot water systems and energy efficient boilers.
In addition, 60 households in the area received a visit from the housing association’s ‘Green Doctor’ who offers advice on ways to save energy and in turn cut fuel bills.
In total, 1,500 homes have benefited from ‘green’ information packs on recycling, water conservation and other eco issues. The packs also included the provision of free energy saving light blubs.
The improvements, worth up to £6,500 per home, are designed to help tackle fuel poverty by reducing fuel bills and making the homes more energy efficient.
The project follows on from the award winning Summerfield Eco Village, a £2.3 million programme which involved 329 owner-occupiers receiving free environmentally-friendly improvements to their homes.
Birmingham Green Doctor
Home Health Check
A new Green Doctor service is underway across Birmingham. This is being delivered by Family Housing in partnership with Moseley CDT and Groundwork UK and funded by Be Birmingham’s Environmental Partnership – Working Neighbourhood Fund (WNF) and European Union Social Fund.
The Green Doctor Service is being provided FREE of charge by a qualified home energy advisor and will significantly benefit many low income & vulnerable households in Birmingham. It is designed to assess the energy efficiency of the home and of the lifestyle of its occupants. Advice is given on ways to lower fuel bills through better use of heating, ventilation and insulation, recycling household waste, saving water and other relevant green issues by a qualified member of staff from one of the organisations listed above.
For further information on the Green Doctor service, please contact us on 0121 766 1100 or click here for the Green Doctor leaflet.
Summerfield Eco Neighbourhood Project
Summerfield in North West Birmingham has seen a number of improvements and private home owners now benefit from an award winning £2.3m eco neighbourhood project.
The idea for the eco project evolved after local residents raised concerns to Family Housing on energy efficiency and the negative impact of rising fuel bills. Family identified opportunities for accessing new renewable technologies and decided to convert one of their properties into their very first Eco Home, to promote and demonstrate to local residents the energy saving systems available.
Following the success of the eco house, it was decided to make Summerfield into an ‘Eco Neighbourhood’, the first in Birmingham. Bewteen February 2007 and April 2008, Family Housing, with Birmingham City Council, installed 329 homes with solar panels. This will help significantly reduce fuel bills by up to £150 per year and it is estimated that the sytems will deliver 60% of each households hot water per annum.
These installations were fitted completely free of charge for owner occupiers in the area, depending on certain eligibility criteria, with the aim of reducing fuel poverty.
Family's first Eco Home
Working with Birmingham City Council and Urban Living, the Birmingham/Sandwell Housing Market Renewal Pathfinder, Family Housing added £30,000 of its own funding to install a number of new technologies to a Victorian semi which was being de-converted from a house in multiple occupation into a large family home. The eco house was officially opened in June 2006 by and is currently occupied by Family Housing tenants.
Involvement of local schools
The eco house also opened up the opportunity for Family to work with primary school children on promoting energy efficiency and by working with the city council’s housing education initiative, Family has invested £20k helping over 500 young people from the local schools develop an Eco website, Eco radio station and energy advice DVD. Please link to www.eco-radio.co.uk for the latest eco news and podcasts.
Green make-over for community church
As part of this eco neighbourhood project, the church hall situated in the centre of Summerfield, also received a £15,000 make-over. As Family has been using the hall as an office base for the project, a number of environmentally friendly improvements have been made, including solar panels, sun pipes and insulation from recycled cotton and sheep wool. Family has now created their own eco team who will continue to be temporarily based at the church hall until the work has been completed.
For any further details on our eco projects please contact us on 0121 766 1100.