Podcast Power in the City Episode 4: Hitting home

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This episode is all about staying warm. By putting a jumper on your home! Yes, it’s about energy efficiency in the home, about retrofit, its benefits for householders and the difficulties (and nifty ideas) that arise when trying to scale that up across different building types and tenures. Join us as we hit home in Oldham and learn from local householders, crafts people and other brilliant experts.

Image: Brandon Denny

Retrofit – in this context retrospectively making existing buildings more energy efficient – is of course our bread and butter at Carbon Coop, not because it is a money maker (it ain’t!) but because we know both how much impact it can have for people and planet. Homes account for 17% of UK carbon emissions, mainly through heating. So if we insulate homes well we need to heat them less and can avoid large amounts of carbon emissions. But of course the side effect is warmer homes, lower bills and better health, both mental and physical. It’s a no-brainer, isn’t it? This episode gives a bit of an insight into what might be difficult about having that jumper cover the whole of Oldham and how we can get through those difficulties using our hearts and minds.

Image: Brandon Denny

Ibrahim Hoque from the Millennium Centre in Westwood invites us into the workshops they run with local residents to help them make those changes necessary to lower bills and improve comfort and construction workers Mark and Orianne  from B4Box give us insight into the craft of retrofit and why quality is so important for the health of the building and the people inhabiting it. We hear from Clare at Onward about collaboration in the social housing sector to make more retrofit happen and we learn from Jonathan from Carbon Coop and Aileen from B4Box about the importance of doing retrofit programme’s at community level, touching on the value of fairness, neighbourly support and good partnerships between all the stakeholders. Oh and we have a new episode producer of course! Alex from Carbon Coop chats with host Britt about small solutions and big ideas.

Episode credits

Power in the City is produced by Carbon Coop.
This episode was written and produced by Alex King.
Host: Britt Jurgensen  
Local research & interviews: Melissa Kelly Shore
Sound design & post production: Barry Han

Interviews with:
Ibrahim Hoque, OBA Millennium Centre Oldham
Aileen McDonnell, Mark Cox and Orianne Landers, B4Box 
Clare Rainsford, Onward Homes
Jonathan Atkinson, Carbon Coop

Power in the City is funded by the Electricity North West Powering our Communities Fund, ICLEI Action Fund and UCL Grand Challenges.

Image: B4Box team

Find out more

Summary of relevant local data here
Community Led Energy Plans for Oldham – page 49

Trusted national sites
Energy Savings Trust – advice pages online
NEA – Action for Warm Homes – national charity

Local advice and support
Warm Homes Oldham – Council support and referrals 
OBA Millennium Centre Oldham – Coldhurst 
Greater Manchester support links
Groundwork Green Doctors – Greater Manchester wide

If you rent from a social housing provider contact your neighbourhood officer or engagement team.

If you live in Cumbria – Cold to Cosy Homes
If you live in Liverpool – Healthy Homes Liverpool
Or in Liverpool City Region – Housing Energy Efficiency

Helpful guides to understand energy efficiency measures, including DIY solutions
Cumbria Action for Sustainability guides
Centre for Sustainable Energy online resources
South Seed community group resources 

Retrofit specific learning and support
Carbon Coop free online webinars
Carbon Coop resources
Retrofit services for homeowners and landlords
Retrofit householder case studies from Greater Manchester

You might qualify for Energy Company Obligations (ECO) funding – check here
Depending on your region you might qualify for the sustainable warmth grant – list of successful councils here

Oldham and GM plans
Greater Manchester Report on decarbonising our existing buildings
Greater Manchester spatial energy plan

The bigger picture
Case studies social housing excellence and collaboration
Zero Carbon Britain Hub Future Scenario 
Carbon Brief – impartial information on climate change and policy

Friends of the earth

Artwork by Roy McCarthy