Plus Dane invests £2m to retrofit Wirral homes

Social housing provider Plus Dane partners with Metro Mayor Steve Rotherham to invest £2m in energy efficiency measures at two Wirral apartment complexes. Tony McDonough reports

Plus Dane
Plus Dane invests £2m in energy efficiency at Wirral homes


Plus Dane has invested £2m to improve energy efficiency in two apartment complexes in Wirral.

Liverpool-based Plus Dane, a social housing provider, secured funding from Liverpool City Region Combined Authority to carry out the work at Norwood Court and Gordon Court in Greasby.

It has bored two 140m holes underground to install a ground source heat pump. This will provide heating and hot water to more than 40 flats.

In addition, the blocks are undergoing a refurbishment of communal areas, and the most noticeable change is the installing of external insulation. This has seen the three buildings in the complex transformed with a white render that has covered the brick work.

Cavity insulation, new windows and new patio doors in some ground floor flats are among the other retrofit works being carried out.

Metro Mayor Mayor Rotheram is ramping up his retrofit programme after securing a further £42m from the Government to take the region’s total retrofit fund to £105m. This will be used to help 10,000 low-income homes to save money on their energy bills.

Ground source pumps work by absorbing natural heat from the ground and transferring it into buildings to provide heating and hot water in a low-carbon, energy efficient way.

This is the first time Plus Dane has undertaken a retrofitting project of this size. It represents a new way of working as part of its commitment to sustainability and aims to meet the housing sector’s net zero targets.

These flats previously relied on inefficient and costly storage heaters, which have been completely replaced with the new system.

READ MORE: Plus Dane sends in net zero robots

Almost all of the residents agreed to have the new system installed in their homes, and those who did not will still be able to connect to it in future.  Work began in November 2022 and is scheduled for completion in mid-April.

Barry Callow, director of repairs at Plus Dane, said: “We identified Norwood Court and Gordon Court as some of our poorest performing homes with regards to energy efficiency, so they were ideal for undertaking this pilot scheme.

“Storage heaters are not only inefficient but expensive for customers to run. We are delighted to have been able to offer a sustainable alternative in the form of a ground source heat pump.

“Sustainability is a massive priority for the housing sector, and we are pleased that it is also the first major project that sees us moving away from gas central heating to offer low carbon technology in our homes.”

Plus Dane is working with designers and retrofit specialists Constructive Thinking and contractors SBS on the project.

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