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Ageing council-owned bungalows transformed into the most modern homes in Swansea

Modern energy-saving technology is being installed at a row of six council-owned bungalows in a Swansea community, in a bid to lower energy bills for tenants.

craigcefnparc retro fit

The six homes are on the edge of the Craig Cefn Parc community, near Clydach and, until now, have used LPG, oil and electricity to heat their homes, including heating and hot water.

Swansea Council has teamed up with Cardiff University's Welsh School of Architecture to trial a 'Homes as Power Stations' project, utilising greener power sources at each property.

The 'retrofit' scheme which has been underway for the last 18 months combines traditional refurbishment work with new technology, transforming them into some of the most modern, comfortable and cheap to run homes in the city.

When completed, each of the bungalows will be fitted with solar panel roofs that generate electricity. This electricity will be stored in a battery at the home and used to power appliances.

Ground source heating technology is also being used to at the homes to help keep the properties warm and provide hot water.

Alongside the installation of low energy technology, the Council is also carrying out more traditional refurbishment work which includes renewing roof coverings, and installing external wall insulation to reduce heat loss. New windows and doors are also being fitted at the properties.

Andrea Lewis, Cabinet Member for Homes and Energy, said: "Because of the absence of a gas supply to these properties, they have been reliant on expensive methods of energy to heat the homes including electricity, oil and LPG gas. This has led to extremely high energy bills over the years.

"This makes these properties ideal for trialling more modern methods of energy efficient technology.

"Working closely with the Welsh School of Architecture, we are converting each of the bungalows into 'Homes as Power Stations' meaning they will generate their own energy from a variety of sources.

"The more traditional refurbishment work the Council is carrying out will also mean the homes will also be warmer, leading to significantly lower energy bills for the tenants."

Dr Joanne Patterson, Senior Research Fellow at the Welsh School of Architecture, who is leading the project for Cardiff University said: "This is a fantastic opportunity for all staff involved in the long term maintenance of existing homes at Swansea Council to learn about new technologies available to reduce energy use in homes and to understand how those involved in the building sector need to work together with the householders to provide comfortable and environmentally friendly homes."

The cost of the modern, environmentally-friendly technology is funded from a £2.5 million grant at the Welsh School of Architecture at Cardiff University to take forward affordable low carbon technologies in the built environment in Wales. 

The investment is part of a £26 million EU funded project - SPECIFIC, which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Welsh Government, and also by InnovateUK and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

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