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Ocean invests £3.7m into home energy efficiency improvements

Ocean Housing is investing £3.7million in improving the energy efficiency of some of its homes.

Following a successful pilot, we have also been awarded additional grant funding by an energy provider which means we can carry out work to more homes. The work will include the renewal of roofs and external insulation of qualifying Cornish Units.

This will help to reduce the energy costs associated with living in this style of home and ensure residents are able to keep all rooms a comfortable temperature.

In order to be eligible for the improvements, the home must be “Hard to Heat”, as specified by the energy provider.

This means your home must have uninsulated ground and first floor walls. It may also have electric night storage heaters or oil heating.

Letters will be sent out shortly to inform those living in qualifying Cornish Units whose homes are scheduled for renovations during the first phase of improvements.

We will be contacting others who qualify closer to the time that work is scheduled to take place at their address.

Ocean Housing will work closely with you explain the whole process from start to finish.

This will begin with a meeting at your home and a survey of your property in its current condition.

Cornish Unit energy efficiency project: What you need to know

If your home qualifies for Ocean Housing’s £3.7m energy efficiency project you may be wondering what happens next.

We have put together a list of commonly asked questions to help guide you through the process.

How do I know if my home qualifies?

You should have received a letter from Ocean Housing explaining why your Cornish Unit qualifies for our energy efficiency improvement project.

As your home has uninsulated ground and first floor walls it has been classed as “Hard to Heat” by the energy provider that is part-funding our project.

But what exactly does this mean?

If your property qualifies, changes will be made to the roof and external insulation will be added to your home.

This should help reduce your energy bills and keep your family comfortable throughout the year.

What is next?

Once you have received a letter confirming that your home qualifies, you will need to arrange a convenient time for us to visit you and discuss the process and the works involved.

We will also need to carry out a survey of your property before works can begin. This will be carried out by our appointed surveying specialist Property Tectonics. They will contact you directly to arrange a convenient appointment.

You will also need to remove any personal belongings from the loft space as work cannot begin until this area is clear.

What will happen to my home?

Here is a quick step-by-step guide:

  1. A survey will be carried out on your property before any work starts.
  2. Scaffolding will be erected around the exterior of your home.
  3. All loft and mansard roof coverings (tiled sections) will be removed and insulation will be installed.
  4. Scaffolding is removed.
  5. The outer wall on the ground floor will be cladded with external insulation.
  6. Work is completed.

It is important that customers are aware that during the renovation works drilling of the exterior walls will take place, to allow the external insulation to be fitted. This will be extremely loud and can cause vibrations to be felt in the interior of the property.

We highly recommend that you vacate the property during this time to prevent discomfort. Ocean endeavors to complete all drilling within two working days.

What if my home doesn’t qualify?

In order to be eligible for the improvements, the home must be “Hard to Heat”, as specified by the energy provider.

This means your home must have uninsulated ground and first floor walls. It may also have electric night storage heaters or oil heating.

If, unfortunately, on this occasion your home doesn’t meet the criteria to qualify for this project you will be sent a letter notifying you and explaining why your home does not qualify.

We would like to reassure you that we actively continue to seek funding opportunities with the energy providers and local authority. We are hopeful that in the future we will secure funding to carry out energy measures to your home.

What if I have any questions?

Ocean Housing wants to work closely with you during this project. If you have any questions during the works please email

Ocean’s wave of Energy Efficiency Works starts

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It’s all go on a programme of works for two families in Ocean Housing homes, as the scaffolding goes up in Foxhole and St Stephens. After installing new heating systems in over 2,000 of our homes over the last 18 years, we are now looking at how we can go one step further with our traditional ‘Cornish unit’ built properties.

Always looking at ways of improving the energy efficiency of our properties, Ocean Housing recently received Energy Company Obligation (ECO) and Warm Homes Funding, to support us deliver our energy efficiency works, which will target properties that are difficult to heat.

We plan to insulate and renew the roofs & mansards, install external wall insulation to the ground floor elevations and upgrade the heating systems to 128 of their homes. No mean feat in the two year window we have set ourselves. Working closely with our customers, we hope to cause minimal disruption and ensure no-one need move out during the works.

Steven and Rachel Townsend, who live in one of Ocean Housing’s larger homes in Foxhole with their six children, will benefit from this work and said

We are very excited to be involved with the project and had no hesitation in saying yes when Ocean asked us”.  Works have already started in their home and should be completed by the end of April. “We are looking forward to a warmer home and more economical bills”.

Stephen Channing, Ocean Housing’s Project Manager stated that

Once completed, the difference these works will provide in terms of heating customers homes, the potential reduction in fuel bills and the external appearance of their home, will be very noticeable straight away”.

At present we plan to complete the programme of 128 homes over the next two years, but hope to expand the programme further in the future, if funding becomes available.

Being proud of the work we are doing to improve our customers’ homes, Ocean Housing will be sending out regular updates on the project via our social media channels, so follow us to track its progress.

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SMART Advice

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We understand how tough it can be when you have money worries, especially if you are struggling to find a job. That’s why Susan, who was previously part of our Welfare Advice Team, is now working on a new SMART Tenant Project:

“I am really excited about helping tenants in different ways – from sorting out money problems to finding employment.”

Sometimes it may be as simple as re-writing a CV, helping with a job application and practicing interview techniques.

“We may also be able to arrange for training that could help residents back into work and support with childcare during the training.”

The SMART project is for new tenants who are unemployed and have the right to live and work in the U.K.

If you are not a new tenant and you think you could benefit from this kind of support, Susan is still very keen to hear from you:

“Please contact me so we can talk about other ways of helping you.”

Susan is working on this project with an organisation called the Penwith Community Development Trust and it is funded by the European Social Fund.


Icon online form sml  Complete: Online Contact Form

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EnergySW – reducing your energy bills

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Energysw-A5-flyer-FV-print2-nocropsOcean Housing wants to help you to reduce your bills.

We at Ocean Housing recognise from our discussions with customers that energy bills can be a significant household cost. To help customers reduce their bills we have worked with other landlords locally and with award winning OVO Energy to develop EnergySW, a new offering that could be cheaper for you and many of our customers.

EnergySW is a new energy brand, which has been designed with the aim of offering no-nonsense, competitively priced tariffs with excellent customer care for households in the South West of England.

If you pay for your bills monthly or by pre-payment meter, EnergySW could save you money.

You can get more information, a quote or switch by ringing EnergySW’s free phone line, or on the internet: Continue reading

You know it makes sense!

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heating warmth icon

Cold winter evenings are the last thing you want to be thinking about as you enjoy the warmth of sun on your back!

However, those ‘in the know’ are already thinking ahead and preparing for a cold winter. That’s because now is the best time to stock up on heating oil – not only to catch the cheapest deals but also to spread the cost by paying monthly in more manageable bite-size payments!

“If you have oil central heating and haven’t already filled up your tank, now is the time to stock up.”

That’s the advice from Ocean’s Energy Champion, Jon Hedley.

“Oil prices go up in a cold snap so I recommend that you shop around and maybe consider using an oil buying club or use the heating oil price comparison website ‘’.”


Icon online form sml  The Oil Club

Icon online form sml  Boiler Juice

Cheap fuel

At the moment, as you can see from the Boiler Juice graph above, fuel is much cheaper than it was last December. Don’t hang around and wait to fill up your tank when it’s freezing cold in November or December – when demand is high (adding delays to delivery times) and prices can rocket through the roof.

Monthly payments

Some suppliers or comparison services like Boiler Juice, offer a flexible monthly payment plan so that you can spread the cost evenly or on flexible terms. They can also find the best deal in your area each time you need a delivery.

Don’t leave it till it’s too late and get caught out by the winter fuel price hikes! You know it makes sense!


Warmer Homes Campaign

Ocean is campaigning for funding that could transform the lives of thousands of residents living in Cornish units. Having designed a unique technical solution to provide these homes with more warmth (roof insulation), Ocean is lobbying the Government and utilities to release funding that was promised for home improvements under the Climate Change agenda.

At a time when some people are choosing between eating and heating, we want to ensure that this money goes to those who need it most, explains Ocean Housing’s Managing Director, Frances Turner.

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Ocean has invested over £6 million improving the warmth and comfort of Cornish Units with cavity wall insulation, central heating and double glazing but until now there has been no effective way of completely insulating the roof because of its unique structure.

This project is the first of its kind in the U.K. specifically designed for Cornish Units and guarantees the highest possible level of roof insulation,” explains Frances.  “Obviously it is not within our gift to pay residents’ heating bills, but this really is the next best thing we can do.  This ‘super insulation’ will make a significant difference, especially for residents who struggle to afford adequate heating and to keep their homes free of condensation.  The external coating will also modernise the appearance of homes, giving a whole new feel to many neighbourhoods throughout Cornwall.

Ocean Services, the maintenance arm of the housing group, has a proven track record in pioneering energy saving schemes and has the skilled workforce to deliver this complex project:

We were ready to start last year and were hugely disappointed when the Government moved the goalposts and funding was drastically reduced,” explains Ocean Services Managing Director, Howard Brett.

We have a core team trained for the task, but with more than 800 units in the county, we would also be creating new jobs to complete this vast project and supporting the local supply chain,” adds Howard.

With government funding for the construction of new affordable homes reduced by 75%, the pressure is on housing associations to self-finance the building of new homes in addition to maintaining their existing properties.

We have fulfilled our responsibilities over and beyond as a landlord, spending  £94 million in the last 14 years bringing all our homes up to and often exceeding Decent Homes Standards,” says Frances Turner.  “We truly believe that this project would further improve levels of comfort for residents living in Cornish Units but to make it possible we need clarity and stability with funding.  That’s why we are fighting on behalf of residents to ensure that climate change rhetoric is turned into action and that money is used where it can have the biggest impact.

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