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Social housing trial is to warm homes through wallpaper

A trial exploring affordable alternative methods of heating will use wallpaper to heat homes on a social housing development in Wales.

It looks and feels just like traditional wallpaper, but the graphene heat system can be plugged into a domestic socket and is packed with solar panels and a smart battery.

Leaders of the trial believe the technology, which can be installed on walls, ceilings and under floors, will cut emissions and hugely reduce energy bills.

woman in gray tank top and blue denim jeans sitting on bed

When visiting the project in Tredegar, Climate Change Minister Julie James, said: ‘The decarbonisation of homes plays a big part in our journey to a Net Zero Wales by 2050.

‘At a time when costs are rising, improving the energy efficiency of homes will not only help us to deal with the climate emergency but also help families through the cost of living crisis.

‘Just a little over a year ago, the First Minister put the environment and climate change at the heart of the Welsh Government’s priorities and, as we work to build a stronger, greener and fairer Wales, I’m really excited by the prospect innovative products like these could offer in helping us achieve our ambition.’

The Graphene Infrared Heating system by NexGen is largely invisible to residents and can warm homes much quicker than traditional methods.

It uses a combination of far infrared and convection heat and only takes two to three days to be installed, making it more cost-effective than a heat pump.

The trial, run by housing association Melin Homes, received funding from the Welsh Government’s Optimised Retrofit Programme and support from Swansea University.

Melin Homes is now in talks with other registered social housing landlords and local authorities who have shown interest in the trail.

Paula Kennedy, Chief Executive of Melin Homes said: ‘Our residents are already feeling the impact of the cost of living crisis and climate emergency that’s why we have set an ambitious target to become a NetZero organisation before 2050.

‘We know we have to act now, so we have teamed up with Nexgen and our housing association peers in a bid to find alternatives to heating our homes that will be greener and cheaper for people to use.

‘We will continue to work with them and trial new technologies that will help our residents, and residents throughout Wales.  We are also pleased to be a part of the inward investment in setting up a factory and look forward to seeing the opportunities that will bring to Wales.’

In related news, research suggests most social housing tenants don’t realise the impact their homes have on the climate crisis, according to housing association Sovereign Housing.

Photo by Roselyn Tirado

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