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Climate Change Minister, Julie James visits our innovative heating trial

Minister Julie James visited one of our innovative trial properties in Tredegar today. We are trialling a new heated wallpaper technology in one of our properties, exploring affordable low CO2 alternatives to radiators and heat pumps to help keep residents warm. The system has been tested and verified by Swansea University.

Written by Fiona

31 May, 2022

The minister and some of Melin staff holding a sample of wallpaper

NexGen’s Graphene Infrared Heating which looks and feels just like traditional wallpaper, can be plugged into a domestic socket, and is packaged with solar panels and a smart battery, meaning it cuts emissions to net zero while vastly lowering fuel costs. Installed on walls, ceilings or under floors, the technology is invisible to residents and provides an innovative method to warm individual rooms much more quickly, offering them the chance to manage their energy budgets more effectively.

Talking about the visit, 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.

Julie James — Climate Change Minister

The system, which uses a combination of far infrared and convection heat takes just two to three days to install and is much more cost-effective when compared with a heat pump. The Welsh Government Department for Economy is also working with Torfaen County Borough Council and NexGen to explore opportunities for the firm to establish a manufacturing centre in the local area.

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. We are in discussions with a range of other registered social landlords, and local authorities who have shown an interest in the trial of the radiant heat system.”

Notes: NextGen’s Far Graphene Infrared Heating system is not currently available to purchase as single home systems but could be available to the wider public in future, once the social housing trials are complete.

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