Climate Positive – new building housing design with negative carbon emissions

Climate Positive  

New building housing design with negative carbon emissions

The objective of this project is to undertake a feasibility study for developing Climate Positive houses for the social housing sector, with a view to testing the concept in Phase 2. Climate Positive homes generate a net saving in carbon emissions, thus making a positive contribution to achieving ‘net zero’ carbon.

As we emerge from Covid-19 social housing providers are challenged in meeting their budgets and rising unemployment risks an increase in fuel poverty and bad debt on rent payments. This will challenge their ability to deliver their responsibilities to improve the energy efficiency of social housing, deliver net carbon zero and address fuel poverty. They are therefore interested in alternative delivery models that can operate within their financial constraints.

Power Circle Projects (PCP) has developed an innovative business model to support this. PCP works with social landlords to develop local energy systems which generate, store and trade energy to achieve affordable climate positive solutions. There are many barriers to social landlords delivering these projects such as small capital budgets, lack of trust in third party funded solutions, low ‘risk appetite’ and lack of experience or time.

PCP’s business model addresses these barriers by operating as a socially owned licence-exempt energy services company offering a range of services that will deliver and operate local energy systems. These services include developing, owning (where applicable) and managing local systems, operating a socially owned Virtual Power Plant, selling the resulting electricity and providing grid services. Project structures can be flexible to suit individual customers and their risk appetite.

The feasibility will be tested for Grampian Housing Association’s new build development at Bilbohall in Elgin, as well as a retrofit scenario for roof replacement programmes which could achieve a similar outcome. Grampian Housing Association has already engaged PCP to undertake early concept work. This looks at installing whole roof building integrated solar PV to create a local power plant linked to a centralised battery by private wire to create a local energy network. The energy will be sold to tenants at affordable rates with excess being exported to grid.

Building on early concept work the Phase 1 feasibility study will develop a technically and commercially verified solution for a new build and retrofit scenario to enable field testing of a prototype system in phase 2. The business model and technical innovations will enable PCP to support the wider delivery of ‘climate positive’ homes in the social housing sector.