AgilityEco secures funding for its groundbreaking URBANEER project

AgilityEco has secured funding under the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) Energy Entrepreneur’s Fund (EEF) Scheme to drive forward its pioneering URBANEER research initiative.

The URBANEER project (Urban Residential Block Analysis for Energy Efficiency and Renewables) will create a set of processes for planning the retrofit of low carbon measures into existing tower blocks quickly and efficiently, improving overall building energy performance and reducing high energy bills for residents.

AgilityEco is undertaking the URBANEER initiative in collaboration with building science centre BRE, which uses the knowledge it generates through research to create products, tools and standards that drive positive change across the built environment. The project, financed by DECC EEF, will run to March 2016.

The URBANEER project has chosen three tower blocks, working with Portsmouth City CouncilNottingham City Homes and Enfield Homes, in which a state-of-the-art monitoring system, the BRE Energy Monitor, is being installed. This will enable pre and post retrofit analysis in these buildings. By combining energy monitoring equipment and analysis software from BRE with AgilityEco’s unrivalled knowledge of residential retrofitting, the toolkit will give tower block owners an accurate understanding of how energy is used in their tower blocks.

Tower block owners will then be able to plan for the installation of energy efficiency measures in a cost-efficient manner and without unintended future consequences.

Retrofit installations will take place from March 2015, followed by post-retrofit monitoring over the 2015 winter heating season.  The project will trial a suite of low carbon and energy monitoring technologies, benefiting hundreds of residential units and their occupants. The URBANEER toolkit will then be rolled-out to the broader UK and EU market.

Commenting on the URBANEER initiative, Amber Rudd, the DECC Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Climate Change, said:  “As the nation that is leading the way in tackling climate change, it is important that we help small and medium sized businesses to get innovative energy projects off the ground.  URBANEER’s new approach to delivering energy efficiency improvements could make a real contribution to both energy security and affordability.”

Gearóid Lane, CEO of AgilityEco said: “We’re delighted to have received support and funding from the DECC EEF.  Along with BRE, we’re really excited to get the URBANEER project off the ground. We’re also delighted to partner with these three forward-looking social landlords who have ambitious plans to improve their housing stock. This project will be vital to improving the energy performance in three of their tower blocks initially, allowing us to deliver the best available low carbon outcome for individual residential units and most importantly, reducing energy bills for families on lower incomes. We’re looking forward to applying the URBANEER initiative to other geographical locations across the UK and Europe.”

Jon Mussett,  Acting Director of Monitoring & Diagnostics at BRE said: “Understanding actual energy use and the true impact of retrofit measures is critical to making the efficiencies we need to achieve in the existing housing stock. The URBANEER project using the BRE Monitor will help social landlords target the most effective solutions.”