The new robot helping make homes warmer

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We are getting some help installing underfloor insulation in customers’ homes this winter, thanks to Hawkin, a QBot robot.

This new remote-controlled robot, funded by the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF), can move through the most challenging of spaces with ease to accurately spray foam insulation.

The scheme is part of works to improve energy efficiency on less efficient homes across the district, uplifting these properties using retrofit measures to reach an EPC Band C.

So far, with the QBot project and other works, over 500 WDH homes have felt the benefit of the cash boost from SHDF thanks to the successful funding bid by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA), meaning tenants will benefit from warmer homes and reduced energy use.

Part funded by the government, the SHDF was launched in August 2021 and helps meet the UK government's climate change objectives, tackle fuel poverty, and create green jobs by improving the sustainability of local government and social housing stock across England.

Following WYCA’s successful bid, it partnered with nine registered housing providers, including WDH, from the West Yorkshire Housing Partnership and secured match funding.

Sue Young, Executive Director of Investment for WDH, said: “It is fantastic that we are using these new retrofit technologies. It will greatly support our efforts to improve the energy performance of our customers’ homes – enabling us to sustainably reduce their carbon footprint whilst providing warmer, more efficient places for our tenants to live.”

Cllr Denise Jeffery, Leader of Wakefield Council and Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Place, Regeneration and Housing Committee, added: “Here in West Yorkshire, we want everyone to have an affordable and sustainable place to call home, and our innovative housing providers are working to make that happen.”

“We’re committed to supporting partners like WDH to develop new technologies that boost insulation, slash energy bills, and help us build a greener, more vibrant West Yorkshire that works for all.”