Crawley family sees fuel bills drop by 80% thanks to new technology installed in home

Crawley Council tenant Glenn Meads and his family, are reaping the benefits of a net-zero carbon home following a whole-house retrofit that’s saving them 80% on their monthly fuel bills.

In October 2021 Glenn was one of the first tenants in the area to take part in the council’s project to decarbonise their housing stock and save tenants money on their energy bills.

The retrofit programme saw 10 homes upgraded with renewable technologies including solar panels, battery storage and air source heat pumps to replace existing gas boilers, achieving an EPC B energy efficiency rating for the properties.

The ongoing initiative was developed in partnership with decarbonisation consultants NetZero Collective with the initial stages delivered by Liberty, one of Crawley Borough Council’s long-term property services partners.

Work completed on Glenn’s home in early 2022 and now, nine months on, he is reporting an 80% reduction in his fuel bills as a result of the retrofit.

This has been a real help to his family’s household finances during the current cost of living crisis.

The 46-year-old who lives with his wife and three children, said: “So far we’ve saved £80 a month. It’s quite a major difference so I’m pleased with it left, right and centre really.

“Everything is working well, during last winter the system kept the house heated to a constant temperature and in the summer, the solar panels and battery have saved me 80% on my energy bill, as promised.”

Councillor Sandra Buck, Cabinet member for Housing at Crawley Borough Council, said: “The first pilot property has been a great success, resulting in remarkable energy and financial savings. We’ll be using the lessons we have learned during this installation in our Crawley Homes net zero strategy and I look forward to seeing more installations in the future.”

Neil Waite, NetZero Collective Director, said: “We often hear from people that heat pumps won’t work in the UK, or that they can only work in super-insulated homes. But this is proof that decarbonisation and lower fuel bills can be achieved by combining technologies like air source heat pumps with solar PV and battery storage, in homes that are insulated to good, and easily achievable levels.

Taking this approach can help keep the cost of retrofit down for landlords, whilst still delivering energy bill savings for their tenants, and I’m really pleased to hear that Glenn is benefiting from our work.”

Together with low-carbon energy specialists and academic research partners including the University of Southampton, NetZero Collective is supporting landlords across the UK to produce evidence-based decarbonisation plans, aligned to PAS2035.

NetZero Collective continues to work closely with Crawley Borough Council to plan and support the delivery of decarbonisation of the council’s homes, aligned to the local authority’s goal of being net-zero by 2040.