In a groundbreaking initiative for sustainable living, Bristol’s leading innovators in energy conservation, Bristol City Leap and Sustainable Systems (SuSy) have been awarded a prestigious government innovation grant, totalling almost a quarter of a million pounds. This aims to address the cost of living crisis across the city.

SuSy, a proptech company based in Spike Island, has partnered with Bristol City Leap to propel Bristol towards Net Zero by 2030, focusing on enhancing home energy efficiency and improvements.

Awarded £249,000 by Innovate UK, the partnership aims to deliver a project supporting retrofit upgrades for approximately 650 low-income homes in Bristol through the creation of an innovative new app. The app will play a pivotal role in Bristol City Leap’s commitment to upgrading Bristol City Council’s 28,000 social homes to an EPC level C or higher by 2030.

This grant acknowledges SuSy and Bristol City Leap’s commitment to spearheading change in communities through innovative solutions.

The funding will be directed towards facilitating and streamlining sustainable upgrades and retrofit work for low-income homes, focusing on implementing energy-efficient technologies and sustainable retrofit measures where they are needed the most.

From advanced insulation to energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, these upgrades aim not only to reduce utility bills but also to contribute to a greener, more sustainable future.

Low-income households in Bristol will use an engagement app, allowing them to verify data created by “digital twins” of existing properties. These digital twins will apply virtual retrofit upgrades to homes, aiding in identifying the most effective upgrades for each property.

Householders can continue using the app for information on the positive impacts of proposed retrofits, what to expect during works, and the usage of upgraded systems. It also facilitates communication with the council’s housing teams.

The project will generate employment opportunities across the city by increasing the delivery in the retrofitting sector, contributing to Bristol City Leap’s commitment to creating 1000 jobs during its first five years.

Bryan Charter, CEO of SuSy House, stated, “This is a significant step for sustainable living in Bristol. With the funding from this grant, we can support Bristol City Leap to reach and engage a vast network of people most in need of reduced energy costs. We are thrilled to be working alongside Bristol City Leap to deliver this project.”

Councillor Kye Dudd, Cabinet Member for Housing Services and Energy, added, “Reducing Bristol’s emissions and meeting our net zero target is a challenge that we’re committed to meeting. Through our trailblazing Bristol City Leap partnership, we’re securing the investment, knowledge and skills our city needs to deliver new jobs and a just transition to a low-carbon future for all. This new initiative is yet another string to our bow and joins many other initiatives such as the Bristol Community Energy Fund, all aimed at supporting all sectors of the city to play their part in our journey to net-zero.”

Hannah Spungin, Implementation Manager for Bristol City Leap said: “Bristol City Leap is committed to the decarbonisation of Bristol, aiming to deliver significant social value for residents and communities. Our commitment extends to empowering community groups, improving local housing, and creating opportunities for employment and skills through our projects.”

The collaboration project commenced in November 2023 and is expected to be completed by late 2024.