£14million investment boost to improve Connexus homes
Connexus is pledging over £14million to support its homes and communities in 2022/23, an additional £4million more than last year’s budget. The boost in investment will ensure all homes achieve level C within the Governments Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) by 2030.
SAP is the Standard grading the Government uses to assess homes across the UK on energy efficiency and environmental performance. Each home is given a standard rating between A and G. Achieving SAP level C for homes is not currently a government requirement, but the organisation has taken the decision to move ahead with this work in advance of any changes to legislation.
Connexus has identified 6,055 homes that require additional work to bring them up to this target standard by 2030.
Alongside this commitment, Connexus is working hard to achieve carbon net zero by 2050 for its properties, offices and business hubs too. The organisation has identified the need to invest a further £180 million (an additional £6.7million per year) to meet this target.
Investment 2022/23 - the breakdown
Vicki Tomlinson, Director of Property at Connexus, says: “this year’s programme of investment is split into five principal areas covering regeneration, Decent Homes, fire prevention, energy efficiency, and structural work. The investment will improve the homes of our customers and increase kerb appeal, making sure homes are visually appealing for those who live in them.”
£6.5million of investment will support the renovation of estates adding additional car parking facilities, flood alleviation works, damp proofing and garage repair. It also includes funding for energy efficiency works that contribute to the organisation’s net zero goal.
Vicki continues: “Connexus has actively sought out partnerships and funding through local authorities and energy agencies to ensure that this year's budget stretches even further, ensuring more customers can benefit from improvements.
“Air source heat pumps will be installed in many homes that traditionally rely on expensive, unreliable heating systems or those rural properties off the gas grid. With the increasing pressures of energy costs following the Russian invasion of the Ukraine, Connexus is reacting to changes in the energy markets and moving away from traditional oil and gas.”
The installation of air source heat pumps will also see “additional retrofit work completed to solve damp issues that have been identified in older properties, bringing them up to modern standards,” Vicki adds.
Further investment will ensure the organisation continues to meet the Decent Homes Standard, with over £5.5million allocated to a programme of improvement work in the next twelve months.
The Decent Homes Standard, developed by central Government, sets a minimum standard for homes, ensuring families live in a home that is warm, weatherproof and has modern facilities. The £5.5million is being used to upgrade kitchens, bathrooms, undertake electrical re-wiring, improve heating systems, install new windows and doors and includes fire safety measures and roofing.
Fire safety and prevention is also high on the agenda at Connexus with more than £1.1million planned to be invested this year. Vicki says: “We know fire safety is a huge priority for customers and we are working in our communities to make sure that all residents feel safe in their homes. This includes initiatives like customer-led fire safety audits and ongoing engagement activity.”
The investment budget for 2022/23 also includes around £673,000 for minor estate repairs including tree surveying, adaptions and fencing.