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British Gas transforms thousands of homes in Solihull with £25 million scheme

  • Thirty tower blocks in Solihull are warmer and more energy efficient thanks to a £25 million joint effort by British Gas and Solihull Community Housing
  • The two-year scheme has transformed homes and helped regenerate the area
  • Many residents are already benefiting from cheaper gas bills  

Thousands of people in Solihull now have warmer and more energy efficient homes, after a £25 million project was completed by British Gas and Solihull Community Housing.

For the last two years, 30 high-rise buildings have been fitted with solid wall insulation, which has reduced the amount of heat escaping through walls, keeping people’s homes warmer for longer.

More than 1,100 homes, in most of the high-rise buildings, are being heated by a dozen state-of-the-art biomass energy plants. With low emission levels, the biomass units are a greener and more efficient way to heat people’s homes.

Around a thousand windows have been replaced with double glazing, to keep the heat in people’s homes and to make it quieter for them too.

These improvements should result in lower gas bills for residents, with some people already reporting significant falls in their bills.

David Young, Managing Director of British Gas Energy Delivery, said: “We’re proud to have improved people’s homes and the community with this project.

“The new insulation, heating systems and double glazing mean residents now have warmer, quieter and more energy efficient homes, which should help bring down their energy bills too.” 

Regenerating the area

The project, carried out by British Gas as part of the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO), has also supported wider regeneration in the north of the borough. The insulation has given the buildings a modern appearance and communal areas have been repainted to reinforce the fresh look.

Landscaping, with new flowers and plants, has also improved the spaces around the high-rise buildings.

The area’s MP, Caroline Spelman, visited the scheme to see first-hand the impact it is having on people’s lives in her constituency.

Caroline Spelman MP said: “I was delighted to visit the completed British Gas refurbishment project in Chelmsley Wood, which is one of the largest projects in the country for energy conservation.  It’s helped many of my constituents cut their energy bills, and I’d like to see it replicated more widely.”

Steve Boyd, chief executive of Solihull Community Housing, commented: “This energy project is a fantastic success story and one we are very proud of.

Not only has it delivered more efficient eco-friendly heating, but the high-rise buildings now have a much cleaner appearance. The project has transformed the overall look and feel of the whole neighbourhood.”

Resident, Lisa Coffey, who has lived in one of the high rise buildings for 10 years, added: “I’ve noticed a massive change in my flat since the work was carried out. The rooms used to be very cold in the winter. Since the insulation work was carried out, my home feels cosy - even on cold days.”

Notes to editors

About ECO:

ECO is a government scheme which places legal obligations on larger energy suppliers to deliver energy efficiency measures to homes.

For more information contact:

Simon Feldman
Simon.Feldman@britishgas.co.uk

British Gas is Britain’s leading energy supplier, and serves around 11 million homes in Britain – nearly half the country’s homes – as well as providing energy to around half a million British businesses. British Gas provides value for money, dedicated customer service, innovative energy solutions and the highest quality Homes Services expertise in the country. Find out more at www.britishgas.co.uk.


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