Portsmouth estate singled out by EU pressure group

Head: Portsmouth housing project is a 'leading example' of energy-efficient renovation in exhibition at the European Parliament in Brussels.

The Wilmcote House estate in Somerstown has had its energy use reduced by a staggering 90% following an extensive renovation project. The success led the energy-efficiency group Rennovate Europe to select the project as a leading example of what can be achieved through renovation.

Before the work was done residents regularly complained of mould, damp and condensation which adversely affected their health. Tenants also reported high heating bills.

John Howarth, Labour MEP for the South East, who attended the exhibition said:

“Portsmouth City Council should be proud of their achievement with this project. Local authorities should take note of the work conducted at Wilmcote House to see how dramatic changes can be made. Labour made it clear in its conference last month in Brighton that it plans to retrofit zero carbon measures on social and council housing and public buildings. This project shows ambitious targets can be met.”

The exhibition was produced by Renovate Europe, a Europe-wide campaign which aims to reduce energy demand in building stock in the European Union by 80% by 2050.Renovate Europe said to meet such an ambitious target it would be necessary to “rapidly increase the energy renovation rate of buildings in the EU to an annual rate of three per cent and to maintain that rate until 2050”.

John added:

“This exhibition and specifically the work that’s been done, with minimal disruption to residents who were able to stay in their homes while the work was conducted, provides evidence that highly energy efficient homes are possible. It’s a fantastic achievement.”