Case of the month - Birmingham


Birmingham Energy Savers (BES)
Birmingham (UK)
Partnership led by Birmingham City Council working closely with Urban Living, Family Housing and Birmingham Chamber of Commerce.

July 2010
Territorial scope
Metropolitan region

Target buildings  




Public buildings

 New buildings    

Private buildings
 Existing buildings
 Industrial, services, etc.

Main targets by 2015

• 8.000 jobs created and safeguarded 61.000 property owners/occupiers benefiting
• Annual saving in domestic fuel bills between £120 and £360
• 60.000 houses and 1.000 non-domestic properties benefiting from improved energy efficiency
• Total annual savings for households and businesses of £12m
• 108.000 tonnes reduction of CO2 emitted per year
• Rolling programme up to 2015 to refurbish 200.000 properties up to £2bn
Other main targets
    • 60% reduction of energy consumption by 2026
• 80% reduction of energy consumption by 2050


Birmingham Energy Savers (BES) is a city council initiative which offers solar PV installations and energy advice to the Birmingham inhabitants, aiming to reduce the city's carbon emissions and create local jobs. The initiative was attended by a large group of stakeholders, including housing associations, energy companies, consultants, contractors, renewable energy companies, councilors, and business people.

The BES vision is to achieve Birmingham delivers wholesale eco-refurbishment of domestic and non-domestic buildings and becomes a leading hub of the low carbon economy.

This initiative will run under the umbrella of the UK Government's Green Deal financing model, which allow householders to improve energy efficiency in their homes and pay off the costs of these measures from savings made on energy bills over time.

Birmingham was the first local authority that benefits from the Green Deal ( . The Green Deal is a project of the UK Government strategy entitled "Enabling the transition to a Green Economy: government and business working together", which aims to support the implementation of energy efficiency measures in public and private buildings, throughout the country.

The BES programme has been divided into 3 different phases: phase one, the pilot phase, was restricted geographically and comprises 60 properties refurbishment under an £0.5m investment; phase two based on the Working Neighbourhoods Fund (government establishment to drive people into employment, under a £118 million WNF over a three year period for Birmingham Council), and is therefore targeted at council tenants and vulnerable homeowners; and phase three is more widely targeted at homeowners.

The funding scheme of BES eco-refurbishment solar PV is composed by a PPP (Public Private Partnership) delivery model financed through banks, Birmingham City Council from the public works loan board and energy companies under the supplier obligation.

According to the Birmingham City Council, the main results of BES programme implementation are:

Phase 1 (July-November 2010)
• £0.5m costs
• 38 homes in Birmingham City Council
• 7 registered social landlord's properties
• 3 private homes of vulnerable people
• 4 commercial demonstrators
• 10 industrial units
• Generate 94,140 kWh per year, save up to £11k per year from household and business bills, save 39 tonnes of CO2 per year and earn £40k per year in FiTs (Feed in Tariff)
• Has already delivered 7 jobs and job placements

Expected results from the phase 2 (January 2011-September 2012) implementation
• Phase 2 costs £13.5m
• 1.185 homes in Birmingham City Council
• 402 registered social landlord's properties and private homes of vulnerable people
• 435 industrial/commercial units
• Will generate 4m kWh per year, save up to £212k per year from household and business bills, save 1,638 tonnes of CO2 per year and earn average of £1.3m per year in FiTs (Feed in Tariff)
• Will create 61 jobs and 145 people trained

This ambitious initiative launched in 2010 has shown excellent results and good membership levels, representing an exemplary initiative that earned the distinction of Urban Retrofit Award sponsored by the World Green Building Council.