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Background

The arbed programme is Wales’ Strategic Energy Performance Investment Programme which was launched in 2009.

Aims and objectives

The arbed programme covers three aims:

  • Environmental: To increase the energy efficiency of existing homes in Wales – particularly the most energy inefficient homes – and reduce carbon dioxide emissions;
  • Social: To reduce the impact of fuel poverty on people in Wales; and
  • Economic: To create jobs for Welsh residents and economic opportunities for Welsh businesses in the design, manufacture, distribution, installation and maintenance of domestic energy efficiency measures and renewable energy technologies.

Investing in the energy efficiency of Welsh homes should create jobs for Wales in a labour-intensive sector.

It has the added benefit that of also delivering on our housing, fuel poverty and climate change ambitions.

The arbed programme is Wales-wide, although activity will be intensified in the Strategic Regeneration Areas.

This will create sufficient critical mass to generate jobs, attract investment and stimulate growth in Welsh energy efficiency and renewable energy businesses. This should help secure sustainable economic, environmental and social benefits.  

The design of arbed reflects a shift towards:

  • a ‘whole-house’ or ‘consider-all-options’ approach to home energy efficiency to tackle harder-to-treat homes where the impact of fuel poverty tends to be most severe;
  • a community or street-by-street approach, to support social cohesion and achieve economies of scale wherever possible.

The programme is the area-based partner to Wales’ Nest Scheme. Similar to arbed, Nest takes a ‘whole-house’ or ‘consider-all-options’ approach but, unlike the arbed programme, is demand-led.  

More details on Nest can be found on their website.

Visit: Nest Wales (external link)

This is new ground for Wales, as it is for the UK as a whole, therefore the arbed programme has two supporting aims:

  • to create an evidence base of what works – including the best blend of environmental, social and economic aims – to inform future phases of the programme; and
  • to build capacity in Wales’ supply chain, public sector and communities to deliver effective area-based, whole-house energy efficiency projects.

Our objectives are set out in the following documents:

  • One Wales: One Planet;
  • Climate Change Strategy for Wales: Programme of Action;
  • National Energy Efficiency and Savings Plan;
  • Fuel Poverty Strategy;
  • National Housing Strategy: Improving Lives and Communities – Homes in Wales;
  • Capturing the Potential: A Green Jobs Strategy for Wales; and
  • Turning Heads … A Strategy for the Heads of the Valleys 2020.

Timescale

The arbed programme will run between 2010 and 2015. The first phase was completed by 31 March 2012, with the second phase, running from May 2012 to March 2015.

Budget

The budget for the first phase of the arbed programme was £30m with 2 extensions worth a total of 6.6m. This brought the total funding from Welsh Government for arbed phase one to £36.6m,

The second phase has a budget of £45million, primarily funded through the European Regional Development Fund with additional funding from Welsh Government.