Wiltshire Council To Waste £484m On Zero Carbon Plan

By Paul Homewood

h/t Patsy Lacey


A SIGNIFICANT investment of £195m in a zero-carbon council housing project has been approved.

The council house new build programme will see a £195m investment to create homes to a ‘zero-carbon standard’.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Cabinet also agreed to invest a total of £289m in making council-built properties more energy efficient – energy performance B at a minimum.

This investment will save 20,000 tons of carbon every year and the funding will run until 2032.

The council house new build programme aims to build 1,000 properties over the next 10 years and has already delivered 170 houses.


The council press release offers more detail:

Wiltshire Council’s Cabinet has today (Tuesday 3 November) agreed to significantly invest in zero carbon homes for its council house new build programme, and also improve the energy efficiency of its existing council homes.

This investment will help the council respond to the climate emergency, as part of its commitment to lead the way to make Wiltshire carbon neutral by 2030, and also ensure that council homes are cheaper to run, bringing these savings directly to residents.

The new council house build programme will see around £195m invested into building new, energy efficient council homes up to 2032. The council is initially running a pilot scheme, and if successful, all new properties that are built by the council (not including those purchased from developers) will be constructed to ‘zero carbon’ standards, which features very high levels of insulation, generation of electricity, and triple glazing, among other environmental benefits. These properties enjoy very low energy bills for residents, offset by the properties’ energy generation.

The council will also invest £289m until 2032 on improving existing council housing properties to ensure they achieve a minimum energy performance rating of B. To achieve this energy performance rating, existing council properties will receive the highest levels of loft and wall insulation, and will be fitted with A++ rated windows. Heating and hot water will be sourced from non-fossil fuels, combined with the installation of efficient unvented hot water cylinders. The council will also consider other technologies to enhance these improvements and further reduce customers’ energy bills, such as solar panels on roofs and battery storage, depending on the property.



The new house build works out at £195,000 per home, which presumably is the full cost!.The figure therefore does not tell us much, and really the council should be compelled to declare the extra cost of making them zero carbon.

However, it is the improvement of existing homes which sticks out like a sore thumb. According to the council website, the council owns over 5,000 properties. So expenditure of £289m, which works out at a mind boggling £57,800 apiece. Energy Performance Rating B is not even particularly high anyway – typically a condensing boiler, triple glazing, cavity and loft insulation gets a B rating. I suspect that most of their council houses have most of these features, except triple glazing.

Potential annual energy savings from this investment are unlikely to be more than a couple of hundred quid, so clearly the council’s plan is not a runner economically. And it is safe to presume that tenants will not have to pay the money back through their rents.

The population in the area covered by Wiltshire Council is about 500,000, so it will cost every man, woman and child £578 to fund this virtue signalling nonsense, quite apart from the new build cost.

Just one further thought. If we apply this cost of £57,800 to the nation’s housing stock of 27m, we get a total cost of £1.56 trillion!



November 10, 2020 at 05:15AM

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