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The Optimised Retrofit Programme (ORP) is a Welsh Government funded project which began in 2020, to improve the energy efficiency of homes and to support their ambitious targets for all social homes in Wales to reach EPC A by 2033. Each year since, Welsh Government has released funding to support housing associations’ retrofit programmes.

At CCHA, we have an annual pot of ORP funding which has been committed to at least 2025, to support our own programme of retrofit work which began in 2021.

Louise and her husband have been living in their home since their babies were born, 30 years ago! Her home has recently been retrofitted through the ORP programme, and she’s already seeing the difference it’s made:

“We’ve been living here since the kids were tiny, and never really had any problems. As time has gone on and things like the windows got older, we’ve noticed that the house is much colder and we had to have the heating on all the time through the winter, which is expensive.

“One of the surveyors from CCHA called us to say our home was due a survey, and once that was done, they came out and fitted internal and external wall insulation. We also had solar panels with battery storage installed, which has made a massive difference to how much electricity we are using and saves us money as result.

“We have seen such a difference from the insulation too, the house is warmer, and when we do put the heating on, it doesn’t need to be on for very long and the warmth stays. 


“My husband is going through chemotherapy at the moment, so having a warmer home, and not having to worry so much about the cost of our energy bills makes such a difference to us.” 


Amy Thompson, Decarbonisation Project Officer, said about the retrofit programme at CCHA:

“Even though we are now building energy efficient new build properties, the biggest challenge is our existing housing stock. The ORP funding means we are able to make improvements to our older homes too. These improvements can be anything from external, internal or cavity wall insulation, loft insulation and triple glazed window, low and zero-carbon technologies such as solar panels and air source heat pumps to intelligent energy systems and operational controls.

“We are focusing our efforts on properties that are considered to be the ‘worst performing’ in terms of their energy efficiency, in line with our Environmental Strategy.

“For the first two rounds of ORP funding, we were able to install solar panels and battery storage to 20 homes. Under this latest round of funding,ORP 2.2, we received £902,500, which means we have been able to bring an additional 29 properties within the Tremorfa area of Cardiff up to energy efficiency standards. The project was the first for CCHA and we have learnt a lot from it. All residents that were on the programme have been very patient with us as we have worked through issues that we have encountered.

“All retrofit work takes a lot of planning and co-ordination and by working across departments and with our external partners such as Michael Dyson Associates and Joyner Cymru, we have been able to assess the improvements each home will need and undertake the required works to install these measures.

“We have recently received more grant funding from Welsh Government, which will fund the retrofitting of another 125 properties. Watch this space!”