Housing association boss praised for inspiring a green revolution

The head of a housing association has been honoured after inspiring a “green revolution”.

Andrew Bowden, the Chief Executive of Cartrefi Conwy, was highly commended at the Institute of Directors’ Wales Director of the Year Awards.

The glittering ceremony was hosted by ITV Wales presenter Andrea Byrne at the Swalec Stadium in Cardiff.

Mr Bowden was shortlisted in the environmental category for his “visionary leadership” of the housing association and in particular his commitment to reducing their carbon footprint.

News about the honour comes hot on the heels of an announcement about a £4 million scheme to transform a housing estate.

Cartrefi Conwy will be using a pioneering type of eco-friendly, external wall insulation to renovate more than 250 homes on the Peulwys estate overlooking Old Colwyn.

In addition, the installation of new boiler systems, loft insulation and draft proofing will help slash around 40 per cent off tenants’ fuel bills.

The massive project will also be good for the planet – it’s estimated that carbon emissions will be reduced by 52 thousand tonnes over a 25 year period.

The same system was used on a much smaller scheme involving 50 bungalows in Rhos on Sea, earning Cartrefi Conwy Gold in the prestigious Green Apple Awards.

Mr Bowden said: “I think this recognition by the IOD further demonstrates my commitment to improving the environment and reducing C02 emissions.

“The ethos of Cartrefi Conwy is about saving and improving the environment – it’s informed what we do and how we do it.

“The majority of Cartrefi Conwy tenants have suffered from increasing prices in fuel energy and the risk of our tenants getting into fuel poverty is something about which I was concerned from the very beginning.

“Wherever we could, we have been improving the energy efficiency of our tenants’ homes through loft insulation, cavity wall insulation, double glazing, replacing front and back doors and in some location installing solar panels to provide free hot water.

“I think the project on the Peulwys estate is going to be a real showcase for North Wales.

“Of vital importance is showing Cartrefi Conwy’s commitment to one of our big estates where the properties were of a non-traditional style.

“The spectacular location overlooking the sea has fantastic views but it is very exposed so the homes were difficult to heat – 230 homes are going to get that improvement.

“That improvement is not only going to make those homes feel warmer and more comfortable it is also going to reduce energy costs.

“We have also designed in the colour scheme and the visual improvement of the homes. The external transformation will also be fantastic.”

Pam Lonie, the Chair of the Cartrefi Conwy Board, praised Mr Bowden’s “visionary leadership”.

She said: “Andrew is committed to adopting a forward thinking approach and he has enthused the whole of the team at Cartrefi Conwy to take ownership of this green revolution.

“As as a result Cartrefi Conwy is at the forefront in terms of energy reduction and cost savings on fuel bills. That’s good for the planet and it’s good for our tenants.”

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