Client: Cambridgeshire Councils
Measures: External Wall Insulation, Internal Wall Insulation, Cavity Wall Insulation, Loft Insulation, Oil and Gas Boiler Replacements
Date: November 2015 – September 2016
In July 2013, Cambridgeshire’s local authorities were awarded almost £5.7m of Green Deal Communities funding by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).
The funding was to be used to provide grants to householders to significantly reduce the cost of retrofitting private sector properties with energy efficiency measures, and in particular solid wall insulation. Cornerstone became involved in the scheme in late 2015, after the pre-procured delivery partner of the authorities went into administration, leaving significant underspend and a looming delivery deadline.
The challenge was to support the authorities in spending the funding by self-generating eligible leads, as part of a nine-contractor framework of approved delivery partners. This required an intelligent marketing strategy that would maximise uptake across a range of measures and for the target markets of both owner occupiers and private landlords, as well as accommodating regular changes to funding availability and eligibility criteria.
In addition, from May 2016, the authorities ran a series of mini-tenders under a sub-section of the funding earmarked for the fuel poor, for which all approved contractors were invited to bid. These measures targeted private residents unable to adequately heat their homes and offered a range of fully funded heating and insulation measures.
Cornerstone quickly produced a range of marketing materials to promote the scheme, at our own cost and at significant volume, targeting homeowners and private landlords. Mailshots comprising an introductory letter and leaflet were coordinated with the Royal Mail, we ran a coordinated web and social media campaign and we marketed heavily on a street by street basis where we had gained traction through individual installations.
To engage private landlords, we worked with a number of estate and letting agents, incentivising them to promote the scheme amongst their client base, as well as attending regional private landlord forums and engaging major landlords such as universities.
From May 2016, Cornerstone actively participated in every round of mini-tenders for Fuel Poverty Fund works. This process involved a technical survey of each property and the development of a detailed quotation and method statement within the budget of the authorities.
Once awarded, the measures had to be installed quickly to meet funding deadlines; to accommodate this, we reserved capacity for all Fuel Poverty Fund bids submitted and accelerated our customer journey in cooperation with the residents involved.
Through this route, Cornerstone installed around 130 measures in 107 properties. Of these, a total of 51 properties received external wall insulation, totalling approximately 3,250m2. This measure alone saved 1,450 tonnes of carbon.
Green Deal Communities funding contributed 50% of the cost of this complex measure on average, with a 43% customer contribution and 7% subsidised by the ECO funding secured by Cornerstone.
In regards to the Fuel Poverty Fund, Cornerstone was successful with eighteen bids, totalling 25 measures. These included external wall insulation, internal wall insulation, cavity wall insulation, loft insulation, gas and oil boiler replacement and the installation of full heating systems. The properties retrofitted included detached, semi-detached and terraced houses, bungalows and park homes across Cambridgeshire. In total, these works were worth a total of approximately £85,700, a proportion of which was offset by ECO funding secured by Cornerstone.
In all cases, the fully or partially subsidised works were warmly welcomed by the recipients, with our marketing strategy proving highly successful in raising awareness of the generous scheme. The authorities were pleased with the significant contribution we made to their delivery targets, and with the quality of our work.
Total of 155 heating and insulation measures installed
‘In September 2016 your company installed outside wall insulation. I am amazed at the money we are saving on heating – no more wearing coats and sitting covered with a duvet. We would like to say a big thank you for your excellent product.’
– Fuel Poverty Fund recipient, Wimblington, Cambridgeshire