Could Silver Road spark city's retrofit revolution? 🏠

Welcome to another midweek update

Could Silver Road spark city's retrofit revolution? 🏠
Winter rooftops in Norwich (Not Silver Road, though πŸ˜‰). Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Greetings from The Seeker!

It's Shaun here with another midweek update.

Guess what? We are just nine people short of reaching 1000 subscribers πŸ‘

So if you know anyone else who shares our mission to create a new model of independent journalism for Norwich, please share this newsletter with them. πŸ™

Momentum is on our side, but I keep thinking about what form The Seeker will take in future. If we follow the routes of other newsletters such as the Manchester Mill, then we're going to have to build an audience of at least 40,000 to stand a chance of converting the 2000 or so paying subscribers we need.

That said, over in the west country, The Bristol Cable's membership model supports a series of community outreach events, which I quite like too.

Or as a city that likes to do different may be between us all we can come up with a bespoke Norwich Way to scale up?

Email me your thoughts -

πŸ“°Today's edition

  • Retrofit rollout
  • Coastal concerns
  • Exo-llent
  • The 300
  • Pot Luck
  • Seven Up
  • New Heights
  • Tennis Aces
  • Out and about

Right, let's get going..

Retrofit rollout

Rapid action is needed to retrofit homes across our city to help avoid fuel poverty and protect the environment.

That's the call being made by the Norwich for Warm Homes campaign - a coalition of 20 different city-based organisations and community groups including Norwich Friends of the Earth and Norwich Green New Deal.

But with the clocks going back and winter approaching campaigners are not only urging ministers to help people avoid fuel poverty, but are pressing for a street-by-street approach to retrofit, or at least insulate, homes.

A day of action is also being planned at Norwich Arts Centre on November 18 where supporters can come together to make a community quilt.

Sarah Eglington, co-ordinator for Norwich Friends of the Earth, said the key aims of the campaign include:

  1. Ensuring support for people who can't pay their heating bills
  2. Getting homes retrofitting higher up on the government's agenda and making energy efficiency a strategic priority among local councils

"People don't know where to start, or they're put off by the costs," she said. "It needs to be really thought through and done on a proper scale."

But while the government is announcing plans for new North Sea oil and gas field licences in the King's Speech, she said more should be done to move away from fossil fuels and focus on local district renewable schemes.

Why it matters

Members of the Norwich for Warm Homes campaign surveyed residents in Silver Road. Photo: Norwich Friends of the Earth

For the past year the group has surveyed 1000 residents living in and around Norwich's Silver Road to find out what challenges people face heating their homes.

Many had already installed loft insulation and double glazing, but renters in particular felt they couldn't do anything because their landlord wouldn't.

"People were concerned about how much their heating bills were - 90% had turned their radiators down, or turned their heating off," Sarah said.

Analysis by Friends of the Earth also found 18 fuel poverty hotspots across the two Norwich North and Norwich South constituency areas.

At the same time, they said there are 49,829 homes with poor insulation in Norwich – those with an energy performance rating of D or lower – making them inefficient and expensive to heat.

The worst and hardest hit households could save as much as Β£720 a year on their bills if given priority to bring them up to standard.

The group is hoping for cross-party support and will present a petition calling for more action to Norwich's two MPs Chloe Smith and Clive Lewis.

Everyone deserves to live in a warm, comfortable home and have their basic needs met – we hope to unite communities in Norwich under this vision for a better future - Sarah Eglington, Norwich FoE.