Posted 14.06.2023

TPAS NetZero Week: Transforming homes for a greener future.

Hello there, it's Caroline, the Tenant Liaison Officer here at Newydd. This week is TPAS Net Zero Week, a week dedicated to discussing and promoting sustainable solutions. Today, I want to share the progress that we've made in implementing the Optimised Retrofit Programme (ORP). This program aims to transform our homes into energy-efficient and eco-friendly spaces that benefit both our tenants and the environment. 

Let's start by looking at the bigger picture. The Welsh Government has set an ambitious goal of reducing carbon emissions in 1.4 million homes across Wales.  The aim is to find the perfect combination of energy-efficient upgrades for each individual home. The ORP is a vital part of this mission. Upgrades include improvements to the building's structure, heating systems, water usage, and overall energy efficiency. If you're interested in learning more about this topic, I highly recommend checking out the Welsh Government report "Better Homes, Better Wales, Better World" .

Our progress 

Now, let's zoom in and focus on the progress we've made so far. We began our ORP journey in 2021 with 103 homes, adopting a "fabric first" approach. 'Fabric first' means that we focus on repairs, insulation, draught-proofing, and ventilation before installing features such as solar panels. We therefore aim to improve the performance of the building before adding extra systems. We prioritise addressing crucial elements such as external doors, windows, loft insulation, and solar panels first. Of course, the specific upgrades may vary depending on the age and materials of each property, but our goal is to achieve high energy efficiency as well as value for money.  

So, what's the verdict from our wonderful tenants who have already experienced the wonders of ORP? Well, they've been absolutely thrilled with the results!  

One tenant from Rhondda Cynon Taff recently had new triple glazed windows, he said, “The installers were very considerate as I have indoor cats and a son with a disability. They left the place cleaner than when they found it! I have no complaints. It has been great we have had no drafts, found it a lot warmer and quieter. We both feel much more secure.”  

Another tenant from the Vale of Glamorgan recently had the Intelligent energy system installed, they said, “The engineers who installed the IES system were very polite and friendly, in fact they were great. I didn't feel uncomfortable at all and they were super clean and professional. I would highly recommend them! No rubbish was left by the engineers, and I was fully aware of why this system was being fitted and happy where it has been fitted. With regards to the decarbonisation if I had any questions, I would contact Caroline. I'm happy to talk to other tenants regarding the installation.  

In the second year of the program in 2022, we extended ORP to another 110 homes. As the Tenant Liaison Officer, it has been my pleasure to visit tenants, discussing the ORP in detail and answering any questions or concerns our tenants might have. All feedback and engagement have been important in shaping this fantastic programme. 

Looking at the numbers 

We've successfully installed 64 intelligent energy systems across our tenants' homes. These devices help us track energy usage and gather important data. This data is then shared with Swansea University, who work with the Welsh Government to determine the best energy-efficient improvements for our homes. Together, we're working towards reducing our carbon footprint and making our tenants homes more energy efficient. 

But that's not all! Through ORP, we've already installed and commissioned solar panels for 34 homes. Some homes have even received a complete roof overhaul, allowing us to integrate solar panels into their new roofs. Others have had solar panels added to their existing roofs. We've also prioritised boosting insulation levels in 35 properties by adding extra loft insulation. Tenants are already benefiting from lower electricity bills, which is a win-win situation for them and the environment. 

Tenant feedback 

We want our tenants to feel that they have a say with regards to the optimised retrofit programme, decarbonisation and sustainability ideas. We have developed a tenant decarbonisation focus group. We started the group at the beginning of January 2022 and have monthly meetings on Microsoft Teams although during the autumn we met face to face at one of Newydd’s independent living schemes in Barry. At the group we listen to the views, opinions and ideas of tenants and as a group we discuss how we can promote good practice, decarbonisation and involve our communities and colleagues. This is to ensure we are all doing our bit to help the environment not only for our families but for future generations too. If you would like to be part of the group, please contact me by emailing 

Now, for those of our tenants that are eagerly awaiting their turn, I want to assure you that your home is on our radar. Over the next decade, we'll be working to reach each one of you. So, hang in there, and rest assured that we're committed to transforming your home into a greener, more sustainable haven.  

Latest news