Forrest has been appointed to deliver a £7m upgrade across five tower blocks in Knowsley for Villages Housing Association.

As part of the investment, the housing association, which is part of the ForViva Group, is to install a new energy efficient biomass heating system to replace storage heaters across the five blocks.

The two biomass energy centres, one 500kW and one 300kW, will burn low-cost, sustainable wood pellets to provide 450 units in the area with renewable heat and electrical energy.

The installation is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by 22,200 tonnes over the system’s lifetime, compared with traditional fossil fuel energy sources. The project will be supported by payments through the Government’s Renewable Heating Incentive (RHI) scheme.

Villages, which manages properties across Merseyside and Greater Manchester, is also looking to improve parking on the site of the tower blocks, as well as upgrading existing security measures and installing a new CCTV system. Services including recycling facilities and communal storage are also set to be delivered as part of the investment.

Paul McCarren, energy director of Forrest, said: “More housing associations are considering biomass to improve the value of their properties, become more sustainable and help their customers with rising energy bills.

“We’re now able to deliver biomass on larger scales, which makes it perfect for providing renewable energy to local communities and passing on savings to tenants. As such, we expect biomass to be a growth area for us as housing associations, and larger commercial organisations, continue to make renewables a big part of their property portfolios.”

Paul Carhart, Managing Director of Villages Housing Association and Group Director of Customer Services at ForViva, said: “As part of our Community Impact Strategy, we are striving to ensure all our homes and neighbourhoods are of the very best quality to ensure our residents can lead healthy, fulfilling lives.

“By using clean technology to ensure all homes within the tower blocks are environmentally friendly, we are creating an innovative solution that alleviates fuel poverty through reduced bills whilst also ensuring that our residents’ health is improved through warmer homes.”

Work has begun on the improvements to the homes, and is due for completion in September 2016.