Housing provider sends in the ‘net zero’ robots

Liverpool social housing provider Plus Dane Housing is sending robots into homes as it steps up its drive towards net zero. Tony McDonough reports

Plus Dane
Plus Dane is using the Q-Bot robot to install insulation. Picture by Andrew Aitchison / In pictures via Getty Images


Social housing provider Plus Dane Housing is using robots to install underfloor insulation in the homes of its tenants.

Liverpool-based Plus Dane, which has more than 18,000 homes across Merseyside and Cheshire, has completed a 12-month pilot using the robot which has been developed by London tech firm Q-Bot.

This robot makes it easier to install underfloor insulation in certain types of properties. Plus Dane identified 50 bungalows across Congleton that were suitable. Built almost 100 years ago, they have suspended timber floors that lose a lot of heat.

Placed in the underfloor void and controlled remotely, the Q-Bot sprays insulation to the underside of suspended floors. This immediately reduces heat loss through the floor and stops draughts, ultimately reducing customer heating bills.

So far, the project has insulated 64 Plus Dane homes and will now be extended for a further three months with the aim of insulating more of its properties.

Paul Knight, chief operating officer at Plus Dane, said: “This has been a fascinating pilot project which will make a difference to the energy bills of more than 70 of our homes which is great news for those customers.

“The project has had some challenges, particularly around identifying homes that were suitable for this new technology. But it’s been a very useful exercise and given us lots of insight.

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“Of course, anything we can do, to reduce the energy bills of our customers, particularly at the moment, with the cost of living crisis, is vital and we will continue to look at innovative projects to help insulate more of our homes.”

Plus Dane’s retrofit programme of work aims to improve the energy efficiency of 200 homes across Cheshire and Merseyside, while reducing carbon emissions as part of the organisation’s progress towards net zero.

Leigh Fairbrother, head of commercial for Q-Bot, added: “We have been really impressed with the Plus Dane Team and their commitment to using innovation to help improve the health and homes of their residents.

“The long-term impact on carbon and energy savings means residents will be saving thousands of pounds whilst CO2 output is also reduced.”

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